Mark Zona: The Toughest Test

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ZonaBlogNow that I’m back from the Super Bowl and thinking about the Super Bowl of bass fishing, I think this could be the toughest Bassmaster Classic we’ve seen in a long time.

Not that the fishing is going to be tough, I think the fishing isn’t going to be good. The Louisiana Delta is one of my favorite places to go; I love fishing there. It’s just that this tournament has a lot of different variables.

The first thing is the size of the fishery. The anglers can just about go hundreds of miles in any direction, and that means that just about anything can happen.
Secondly, the time of the year is different and that’s going to make a difference as well. In the past they were summer tournaments, and you could count on summer weather, summer patterns and summer heat. The weather this time of the year will bring totally different considerations.

The cold water coming down the Mississippi river could be a problem and also the cold water with the warm air could bring with it fog; which can take entire sections out of the field completely.

Water changes by the minute on the Delta. This place changes everything about what you do. How you drive, where you fish, how you fish and how you get there. The easiest way to say it is this is not going to be a normal Classic, it’s going to be a grinder tournament at its best.

Then of course people are always asking me who I think is going to win. Because of it being grind, I look for guys like Rook, Hackney, Pace, and Evers to do well, and I’m not going with KVD or Skeet because that’s too easy.

What I’m really looking forward to is getting away from the rest of the media and really talking to these guys about what they think. I read their demeanor and their body language, which helps give me a clue as to what they are thinking. This place is made for those flat liners, the guys who show no emotions and have the ability to shut down all the distractions.

I’m looking forward to the tournament starting as the television crew; this is our busiest week of the year. It’s when we get to showcase the best of what we do. It’s kind of like getting finals week out of the way first, then I get to spend the rest of the year screwing with Sanders.

See you in New Orleans.