Which Bassmaster Classic pros stand the best chance to take home the trophy?
The 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic is set to kick off on February 21, 2014 at Lake Guntersville, Alabama. The three day tournament, the pinnacle event of professional bass fishing, will feature 55 of the country’s best anglers all fighting for the top spot. Being crowned as a Bassmaster Classic champion is something that all professional bass anglers dream of and everyone in the field will bring their best efforts this weekend in an attempt to do just that.
Qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic is a challenge in and of itself and that means it really is anybody’s tournament to win. Here are five pros to watch this weekend.
View the slide show for the top five Bassmaster Classic pros.
1. Jordan Lee
Local Alabama product Jordan Lee qualified for the 2014 Classic through the college tournament series and is the youngest competitor in this year’s field. He considers Guntersville to be his home lake and has plenty of fishing experience on it. He even shadowed his brother in last year’s Classic, so although this is his first time on the big stage, he has every chance of having a very solid finish in 2014 and plenty of high finishes are surely in his future.
2. Gerald Swindle
Another product of Alabama, Gerald Swindle is one of the best at catching bass when no one else seems to be having much luck. That means that if fishing conditions prove to be tough at this year’s Classic, then Swindle might find himself near the top of the leaderboard. His best finish in a Classic was a third place finish in 2005, widely considered to be one of the toughest tournaments in Bassmaster history due to a nearly non-existent bite.
3. Edwin Evers
Although he has never won a major title in his fishing career, that might all change in 2014 for Edwin Evers. He is one of the best anglers who has never won either a Classic or an Angler of the Year Award. However, he is the only B.A.S.S angler who has ever won with all largemouth bass, all smallmouth bass, and all spotted bass catches. Having past success at Guntersville, including a top 3 finish in a February 2005 tournament there, Evers is definitely one to watch at this year’s Classic.
4. Skeet Reese
Skeet Reese is one of the most popular and well-known professional anglers fishing today. Angler of the Year in 2007 and the winner of the 2009 Classic, Reese has the tournament pedigree to back up his reputation. He has had incredible success at Guntersville in the past, including an Elite Series tournament victory there in 2010, and he should have no problem finding fish at this year’s Classic. Look for Reese to challenge for the Classic title this weekend.
5. Kevin VanDam
If there is one pro angler who challenges Skeet Reese in popularity, that angler is Kevin VanDam. You have probably even used one of his custom designed lures at some point on your local lake. Although he has not won a tournament in the past several seasons, he has still managed to finish high in the Angler of the Year voting several times. KVD will be flying under the radar a bit coming into the 2014 Classic and that could mean less spectator boats congregating on him leading to better fishing conditions. VanDam is the favorite to win the 2014 Bassmaster Classic and is definitely one to watch this weekend.