Comparing '19 Classic to now

After three days of practice on the Tennessee River this week, some of the anglers who competed in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic were asked to make a comparison. The unanimous opinion was that this week would be tougher. The ’19 Classic was held March 15-17, and here we were in late February after a major cold front. 

Generally, that prediction has come true. This has been a bear of a bass tournament for most of the field. Only 29 of the 100 anglers caught a five-bass limit on the first day, 39 of 100 the second day and 16 of 50 (32%) on Day 3. 

It is interesting to compare the top 10 final weights of the three-day ’19 Classic and Day 3 on the Tennessee River this week: Ott Defoe won that Classic with 49 pounds, 3 ounces; Jeff Gustafson led after three days this week with 48-13. Fifth place in the Classic was 41-12; yesterday’s Day 3 fifth-place weight was 34-11. Tenth-place in the Classic was 34-15; 10th place yesterday was 32-5. 

Finally, kudos to Brandon Card for his ability as a prognosticator. Here’s what he said Wednesday evening: “Somebody in this tournament is going to catch a 20-pound bag one day. I think it will take 60 pounds to win.” 

Steve Kennedy caught a 20-pound, 14-ounce bag yesterday. Tournament leader Jeff Gustafson unofficially has 61-3 with four keepers so far today.