Tough Classic practice makes Tarheel pro nervous

First day of 2012 championship could be fifth scouting day, Wilks says.


February 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Bassmaster Elite Series Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount said a tough three-day practice left him uncertain about where to fish for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
Courtesy of B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Bassmaster Elite Series Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount said a tough three-day practice left him uncertain about where to fish for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
Rocky Mount’s Dustin Wilks said one word sums up the first three practice days for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic: Tough.

“It was cold and muddy,” the five-time Classic contender said today (Feb. 20). “They call it the Red River for a reason.”

And that experience left the Elite Series pro uncertain about the start of the B.A.S.S. championship on Louisiana’s Red River.

“I lost confidence in some areas that I know the fish come to, so I don’t know if I didn’t hurt myself in that respect,” Wilks said. “I almost think a guy who didn’t practice might have an edge.”

He said Alabama’s Steve Kennedy supposedly did not go out over the weekend.

“He’s sort of known for doing that,” Wilks said.

He said areas he fished during the 2009 Classic, held on the same river system, were completely different during practice because of heavy rains.

“Places that in 2009 were real clear were muddy,” Wilks said. “Now we’ve got cold, muddy water rolling down the river, so everybody is fishing the same small places.”

Even those who might have caught a few fish over the weekend are probably back to square one during the final practice day on Wednesday.

“There could have been some people who found a group of fish in a ditch or something, but those fish will probably leave by the time the tournament starts,” Wilks said.

The reason is simple: The weather is warming up, so fish that in all likelihood were shallow during recent warm-weather spells are just waiting for the chance to head into the backwaters again.

No matter what, he said he thinks fishing quarters will be very tight when competition begins.

“There are probably five well-known places, and they’ll get the most attention,” he said.

So what will the key be for winning the 2012 Bassmaster Classic?

“With the way practice went, I’m thinking there’s going to be a lot of luck involved,” Wilks said. “You’re going to have to find a spot where fish will move to you.”

And there’s precedent for that.

“That’s kind of how Skeet (Reese) won it in 2009,” Wilks said. “I don’t think he had a particularly good practice: He found a ridge (during competition) and the fish moved to him.

“He fished that ridge the entire tournament.”

That illustrates how Wilks said he thinks the event will be won: Finding a good spot and holding onto it tenaciously.

“It comes down to claiming a little area, establishing a little zone where the fish are coming back and forth, and hoping the other guys don’t come through it,” Wilks said.

Nailing down such a location probably won't happen until the first day of competition, which in essence could be a fifth practice day.

“I think that’ll be the case,” Wilks said.

What absolutely won’t work is jumping from spot to spot to spot because of the way the river lays out, Wilks said.

“You can’t run and gun on this river because it takes so long to get in and out of areas,” he said. “At the most you can fish two areas.”

That means Wilks and the 48 other contenders for the $500,000 title will agonize over where to begin Classic competition.

“You have to pick right right off the bat,” he said.

Keep up with all the Bassmaster Classic news, check out the competitor, watch videos and (once competition begins) see daily leaderboards on the dedicated Classic Updates page on our sister site in Louisiana.


View other articles written Andy Crawford


Reports / Forum
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 1963 Views | 3 Comments
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1193 Views | 6 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 871 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 531 Views | 0 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 465 Views | 1 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 457 Views | 3 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 413 Views | 1 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 391 Views | 1 Comments
Deep Sea Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 11 at 8:31 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 283 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 247 Views | 2 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
22 hours ago | 221 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 203 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:47 pm | 199 Views | 1 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 105 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
12 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
7 hours ago | 75 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1193 Views | 6 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 871 Views | 4 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 457 Views | 3 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 1963 Views | 3 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 247 Views | 2 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
22 hours ago | 221 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 203 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:47 pm | 199 Views | 1 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 391 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 465 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 413 Views | 1 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
7 hours ago | 75 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
12 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 105 Views | 0 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 283 Views | 0 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 531 Views | 0 Comments
Deep Sea Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 11 at 8:31 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Paisley's first turkey 
7 hours ago | 75 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
12 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
22 hours ago | 221 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 203 Views | 1 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 105 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 247 Views | 2 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:47 pm | 199 Views | 1 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 457 Views | 3 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 391 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 465 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 413 Views | 1 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 283 Views | 0 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 871 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 1963 Views | 3 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 531 Views | 0 Comments
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1193 Views | 6 Comments
Deep Sea Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 11 at 8:31 pm | 361 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
This is a brand new bow in the box never been opened never been fired. It is a Carbon Express X-Force 400 Cross Bow. It is a complete package with Rope Cocker and Rail Lube, 4x32 Deluxe Scope, Quick detach 3 arrow quiver, 3 20' crossbolts and 3...
April 15 at 7:38 pm | 37 Views
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
Very good condition 1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It has been very wellrnkept. It appears to have always been garaged and only driven on cityrnstreets and not been offroaded. This Jeep was owned and cared for by arnperson who appreciated nice things....
Yesterday at 5:06 pm | 15 Views
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Looking for revolvers anything Dan Wesson, thanks please call Will at 919-937-7687...
April 16 at 5:04 pm | 15 Views
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60's Early 70's Eagle Arms by Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun. 26' Barrel, 3' shells. This gun was handed down to me and I am not a gun enthusiast, so do not have a need for it. Can provide more pics, info if necessary. Email...
April 16 at 5:30 pm | 55 Views
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
Only a few days left to get your Kansas deer hunting license & permits. Last day to apply is April 24th. I have 3-4 spots available for the exciting gun season Dec 8th thru Dec 14th. Come hunt with me in 'The Land of Giants' on privately managed...
April 14 at 10:51 pm | 41 Views