Amazing weather all weekend long for the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the 2012 Bass Master Classic on the Red River here in Shreveport. It began Friday and ends tonight. We've had sunny skies each day with highs in the mid 60s, and clear nights with lows in the upper 30s.

The event inlcuded some 49 anglers including two-time champion Kevin VanDam. He'll be reeling for his third victory. So how does an angler handle the incredible pressure surrounding this high-stakes, pressure-cooker Bass Master Classic?

According to, Gerald Swindle " try to keep it low-key.” I've earned over the last six or eight Classics that on Thursday night, the best thing to do, for me, is to just chill, take some one-on-one time with my wife, and get my head together.”

The Warrior, Ala., pro is appearing in the Classic for the 12th time.

Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., said he will spend time reviewing possible competition scenarios. He’ll probably calculate how much time he’d have left to fish if he locks down to lower pools. He might make another trip to the boatyard if inspiration strikes.

It's his fifth Classic and first since 2009, when the Classic first was on the Red River.

Classic rookie Andrew Upshaw, the 25-year-old Carhartt College B.A.S.S. champ from Hemphill, Texas, said his evening will be spent polishing his game plan and eating a good dinner.

Fred Roumbanis, back in the Classic after a two-year absence, said he will get some motivational coaching from a childhood friend.

Why so many nerves over the Bass Master Classic? Well, it's actually more important than the Super Bowl because there's no room for failure and little opportunity to make up for a bad day.
They say that you can't win the Classic in one day but you can certainly lose it.

Another reason the Classic is more important than the Super Bowl is the money — $500,000 to the winner.

It's a career maker. And it's so much more than can be made in other B.A.S.S. events that it's the ultimate game changer.

Kevin VanDam has earned more than $5 million in 242 B.A.S.S. tournaments, but one quarter of that fortune came in the four Classics he's won.

The disparity between the winner's check and the runner-up check ($45K) is one of the big reasons anglers say there's no second place in the Classic.

Not only do few remember the "first loser," but when you're getting less than 10 percent of the winner's money, taking second is no prize.

But the check is just the beginning. A Classic champ can earn much more on the back end, in bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees.

Being the world champion is something that can never be taken away from you. You wear the title forever and it pays big dividends. You can hear live broadcasts from the Bass Master Classic on several Townsquare Media stations, am 1130, KWKH (the Home of the Legends), 99X-The Rock Station, and Today's Hit Music Channel, K94-5.