Win the Big One and things will just be different.
I have never won the Bassmaster Classic and I've never fished in the Bassmaster Classic. I have, in fact, never been called a Bassmaster. But I have dreamed about it.
Winning the Bassmaster Classic, which is set to fire off in just a few days, is bass fishing's top achievement. Win one and your life will change. Here's how.
The winner of the 2016 Classic will claim a $300,000 top prize. Money, as they say, can't buy me love, but it can buy me a boat. And a truck to pull it, and a Yeti 110 iced down. . .
2. More Cash
The Classic crown is worth much more than the initial prize money. In fact, the biggest payouts will likely come from endorsement deals and appearance fees afforded only to those who have the "Bassmaster Classic Champion" tag on their name.
3. Increased Stability
I'm not a professional angler, but I've fished a ton of tournaments and have semi-seriously considered making a run on the mid-level circuit. My biggest fear? Going broke.
Tournament anglers live a turbid life financially. A Classic championship means an influx of initial funding, but also means they're more likely to achieve financial stability over a longer period of time.
4. More Success
Obviously, you have to be a pretty good stick to win the Classic. But once you've won that crown, you're in a new league. That could mean bigger and better sponsors, better equipment, more help, which means you can focus more on catching fish and likely have better gear to do it.
5. Less Time
When Casey Ashley won the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, he knew his life would change, but he had no idea just how much. In several interviews, he's talked about how his time following the Classic win was filled with media requests and sponsor obligations. Win the Classic and you'll find yourself a whole lot busier than ever before.
6. Higher Expectations
Win a Classic, and you'll be in elite company indeed, and you'll be expected to do elite things on the water. For some, that's not been a problem. Kevin VanDam, for example, has won the Classic four times and is always one of the favorites. For others, the Classic has proven to be a one-and-done affair.
7. Your Own Lure
Sure, several guys that have won the Bassmaster Classic already had a fishing lure with their name on it, but win the Classic and a bait with your name on it is all but a guarantee.
8. TV Time
Almost as soon as the final fish is weighed in and the confetti starts to fall upon the head of the Classic champ, commercials featuring the winning angler begin to appear across the media world. Win the Classic and you'll be a TV star overnight.
9. Less Display Space
The Classic trophy is huge. Win one and you're going to have less space for displaying the rest of your trophies. That's just the way it works. Unless, of course, you build a bigger house. See items 1 and 2. . .
When you win the Bassmaster Classic, you become a Classic Champion. There are darned few anglers who can make that claim. It's a title that lives forever.