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Classic Moves Into Cyber Age

Bill Babler

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I think for the first time in the 43 years of the Classic, conditions other than the weather and the fish are going to be major contributors in the outcome.

With each participants every move being monitered by not only enormious crowds of followers but also tracked on the internet and by helicopter, it has created an enviornment that makes accual fishing more than a challange for the competitors.

As has been mentioned Classic waters are not restricted and the locations that the participants are fishing are also getting extreme fishing prussure from outside anglers.

Between now and dusk, thousands of anglers will be fishing the locations that have produced fish for the elite series anglers.

Not only that, but when the participants are on the water the huge gallerys are getting in the way and creating extreme prussure on the locations, with the sheer ammount of boat traffic on each location. Not to mention electronics and fishing while watching.

For me this is taking away lots of the glammor. It is just making it to hard. There are games within the game.

I will be really suprised if there are not some real shouting matches on the final day, between fisherman and spectators.

It has pretty much went over the top here and I believe this is just the beginning. We are headed into a new world of fishing as a spectator sport.

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I like the new coverage options, I think it's great to be able to follow the tourney while it's in progress and not have to wait until the final weigh in to see how folks are doing. BUT, the estimated weights seem to be off a bit to say the least, so you still won't know until after the weigh in who will win.

I haven't been on the lake, but from what you're saying it seems the spectator boats are out of control, I don't know how they can get them to back off and let these guys fish, but it sounds to me that Bassmaster is going to have to start appealing to folks to stay away, keep the electronics off, and for crying out loud, don't fish close to the pros. Show some courtesy and let these guys fish. Might be a good idea to appoint marshals like you see in golf tournaments, to go around and ask people to back off, that way it keeps the pros from having to do it and risk confrontations.

I see that Palaniuk has taken the lead (based on estimated weights), but several other guys are close. May go down to the wire!

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Quill, it would take an act of law to do it, with many states having hunter and fishermen harassment laws on the book if a "Marshal" or for that matter anyone told an angler to stop it would be a violation of law. From what I have heard from people on the water today and KVD himself at weigh in seems everyone is showing a great deal of respect.

Now what happens after the pros leave doesnt seem to have been a issue there are some great fish coming in,some very harsh conditions, This is the first BMC that to me at least really made guys have to shine and up the game, the weather just made everything horrible and tough. My hats off to them all.

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It was neat to be able to figure out where the guys were fishing so we could watch them but the other nice thing is that the tracking technology can be used for good as well as evil. After the boats were off the water and headed to weigh in on Day 2, we were able to track the guys throughout the day and see areas they hadn't fished so we could kill some time on the water without stepping on any toes and sore lipping the pros fish. We did pretty decent with several solid keepers and one of my buddies even caught a new PB on a jerkbait, a super fat 6.94lb fish that was busting at the seams at only 21.5" long. We fished a bit on day 3 and twice had pros pull right up on us but we just put our rods down and backed off and watched them work. I would have liked to have followed them more but with all the running and gunning going on my little 60hp just couldn't keep up.

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I enjoyed the coverage and those guys know the hoopla is part of it if they want to grow the sport. Pretty amazing you had 25 pros on the same body of water and you had some guys catch 1 or 2 keepers while others caught 15-20...that is what makes it such a great sport.

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