B.A.S.S. announced on Wednesday that the 2019 Classic -- number 49, if you’re keeping track at home -- will take place on the Tennessee River out of Knoxville.
As far as I can tell, it’s a good choice, a new venue for most of the field in a decent-sized city in the heart of the Bass Belt. Crowds are likely to be big and so are the bags of fish, as the system contains both sizeable smallmouths and Florida-strain largemouths. [Note for the law geeks among us: Snail Darters may not be weighed in].
Perhaps most importantly for me, it’s a 7 hour drive from my house, the shortest haul to a Classic since Pittsburgh in 2005. That means that I can bring all of the cold-weather gear I can fit in my vehicle in order to deal with the inclement weather that I often drag along.
So, with 49 on tap, but not yet started, is it too soon to consider 50?
I think not.
I have no inside knowledge, and frankly I suspect that B.A.S.S. has not started negotiations on a site for the golden jubilee. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that when they begin those considerations that they seriously consider Lake Mead. I know that bass fishing might not be more than a blip on the Vegas radar, but it would be significant to go back to the site of the first Classic. Fifty is a big deal and it should be treated as such. Moreover, it would send a signal to the western United States that B.A.S.S. is ready to expand. If not now – when the economy is good and people are spending money on boats and baits – then when?
My schedule wouldn’t allow me to drive to that one – 2,400 miles of windshield each way would take too much time away from my day job – but I’d gladly fly out to Vegas. I can’t imagine they’d have snow in March, so I wouldn’t need the heavy gear, anyway.