This past weekend, the crew from Classic Bass was able to take in the Super Bowl of bass fishing. The 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic took place on Lake Hartwell just outside of Greenville, South Carolina. Read along as we discuss some of the highlights of this year’s Classic!
Of course we kept a close eye on Bassmaster Classic first timer and Minnesota native, Seth Feider. After a very strong finish in last year’s Elite Series points race, Seth qualified for his first Classic. Feider was very solid throughout the entire tournament and made the top-25 Sunday cut. On the final day Seth went out with a bang after weighing a 5 lb 15 oz Hartwell toad, which was big bass for the day.
Jason Christie was the story on day one and two, building a lead that many anglers weren’t optimistic about being able to catch going into the final day. Christie generally threw moving baits, covering large amounts of water. Heading into Championship Sunday it looked like Christie would add “Classic Champ” to his long list of professional bass fishing accomplishments.
Early on Day two we followed 2016 Classic Champ, Edwin Evers. Evers was right in the thick of things and held the lead unofficially on BassTrak for much of the day. Evers was fishing way in the backs of creeks targeting dirty water. Evers was firing through several different techniques which produced a nice start to day two, but the afternoon proved to be tougher.
We also observed local favorite Casey Ashley, who won the Classic last time the tournament visited Lake Hartwell. Ashley hung around the entire event but just couldn’t get a big bite to propel him to the top. Ashley had a huge crowd observing him on the water, but was able to stay focused and grab an extremely respectable 8th place finish.
We couldn’t watch the Bassmaster Classic without catching up with Mike Iaconelli… Our timing was great as “Ike” quickly boated a solid keeper and let out a classic Ike scream. Iaconelli had a decent day one, but fell off on the weekend and wasn’t able to make the cut.
As the final day progressed, BassTrak indicated that Jason Christie had struggled and left the door open for several other anglers. Heading into the final weigh-in it appeared to be anyone’s tournament to win which made for a very exciting finish.
Both Matt Lee and Brent Ehrler had a very solid final day, but in the end the defending Classic Champion, Jordan Lee, came up with another magical Sunday. Lee took the lead from Ehrler and sat in the hot seat as multiple anglers failed to eclipse his total weight. Christie was the last angler to weigh, but his light bag proved to not be enough.
Jordan Lee became only the 3rd angler to win back-to-back Classics. Another epic Sunday comeback allowed Lee to grab the biggest title in bass fishing yet again.
The Bassmaster Classic Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods was quite the action packed place as well, with jammed aisles each of the three days. Fishing enthusiasts were eagerly picking up hot deals on rods, reels and baits.
We stopped by Champions Tour sponsor booths, including Minn Kota, Humminbird and Skeeter Boats. Expo attendees were waiting in line to shoot hoops in the Minn Kota, Humminbird booth to accumulate points to win some of the brands new clothing items. While in line individuals could register to win the Triple Threat, a Humminbird SOLIX, Minn Kota Ultrex and Minn Kota Talon. Johnson Outdoors has taken control of the marine electronics world and connectivity with their Bluetooth enabled products, creating the One-Boat Network.
The Skeeter Boats booth was quite busy as well with several killer bass rigs on display. If you’re looking to hit the water this spring in a new boat, we highly recommend checking out a Skeeter. They go above and beyond to build a boat you can rely on when you need to.