Bassmaster Classic competition begins Friday morning. Final practice day for the pros begins about now. If you're even sort of semi-close to Birmingham, Ala. and a fishing fan and have any room in your travel plans, it's not too late to plan a road trip. The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo and the weigh-ins are free, and no tickets are involved, so you really can make a last-minute decision to make the trip. I don't know what the hotel situation is like at this point, but B'ham's a big enough metro area that I'm pretty sure you could still find something.
The Classic as a whole is a mighty cool event to attend, and this year's Guntersville venue promises some big bags and exciting weigh-ins. The Outdoors Expo, which goes on all three days (beginning mid-day on Friday) fills the conventions center with trucks, boats and booths filled with lures, rods, reels and more and all sorts of cool interactive stuff to do. Several companies always release new products for the first time at the Bassmaster Classic, and many of the expo booths offer special hands-on opportunities for young fishing fans.
Of course, if you can handle the super early wake-up and the hour and a half ride to the lake, morning take-offs are loaded with excitement and really fun to watch. Be sure to arrive really early. Parking is off-site, so you need time to catch a shuttle -- and it will get pretty crowded out there.
If you do plan to attend or are thinking hard about it, check out the attend page on bassmaster.com. Loads of valuable information about hours, locations, access, parking, opportunities and more.
If you can't make it in person, the bassmaster.com Classic Live Blog provides a really good flow of information from various venues and perspectives. Of course, if I don't see you in B'ham, I hope you'll also stay tuned right here and on my facebook fishing page and Twitter feed. I'm Alabama bound early tomorrow morning and will get to spend a few hours with the competitors, talking about expectations, strategies and more.