Big Bass Fishin' Contest

1 decade 6 months 1 week ago March 22, 2006 Mar 22, 2006 Wednesday, March 22 2006 Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:42:57 PM CST in Sports

They know it will take more than luck to win, with more than 100 fishermen on the Lake of the Ozarks.

"Oh, there is always a strategy," explained Jamie Barnes. "You find out what's going on in the lake, and if you can find any secrets or other tournaments, or just local fisherman, or anything that they've been doing, and just history of the lake."

Jamie Fisher is an eight-year veteran of bass tournaments.

"It's kind of a finesse way to fish," he said. "You're just covering real short pockets or areas. And just letting that jig bounce across the bottom of the rocks."

Is fishing really a sport? Tournament director Ralph Haggard responded, "I'd say it's a sport. Now, is it a payback like it is in baseball and football and basketball? No, but this is one sport that anybody can do. But I think anybody can pick up a rod and reel to learn how to fish."

Haggard continued, "I once fished with this one gentleman. He was a 320-pound offensive linemen. He graduated from Michigan, and he was Kansas City's, one of their top draft choices, and this was his first or second year here. And we fished a tournament up there, an eight-hour tournament. And about half-way through the day he says, 'My back is killing me. My legs are hurting me. This is killing me.' Until you get out on the water and take the bumps and bruises from going across the water like you did this morning, there is a physical toll on you, as well as a mental toll."

Although Jamie and Tony Barnes didn't catch all the bass they wanted last weekend, they're hooked on the sport.

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