Cutting Edge Classic Coverage

Get ready for the most fascinating GEICO Bassmaster Classic coverage in the history of the sport.

It kicked off last Monday night when the Outdoor Channel launched Opening Day Countdown to get anglers revved up about the upcoming fishing season leading up to next weekend’s 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

The shows, filmed before a live audience at Bass Pro Shops, are a collaboration between Bass Pro Shops and The Bassmasterstelevision show with Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona as cohosts. I was in Springfield, Mo., filming some of the segments that have been airing each night and will continue through Sunday night.

It’s like a College Game Day format that includes discussions about the upcoming GEICO Bassmaster Classic, hot new products for 2015 and fishing tips from a variety of anglers. New topics were covered in each segment appearing at 11:30 p.m. ET.

In addition to that, B.A.S.S. will provide unprecedented live coverage of Classic competition at the Outdoor Expo and on

“Bassmaster Classic Live” will be filmed from the B.A.S.S. booth at the Expo and provide live, on-the-water coverage of five Classic anglers who will have cameramen in their boats. The raw footage will be relayed immediately back to the booth and onto, where viewers will get to see the unedited action as it happens. This means you will see history in the making the moment it occurs, whether it’s an angler changing Classic winning tactics, catching a big fish or, heaven forbid, losing a fish that might have won him the tournament.

On the first day of competition, cameras will be assigned to pre-tourney favorites. On Day 2 and 3, they will accompany the leaders.

Bassmaster Classic Live will be hosted by Dave Mercer, Sanders and Zona. They will be assisted periodically by Elite angler analysts who had success in the 2008 Classic on Lake Hartwell. Those include winner Alton Jones, Jeff Kreit (sixth place) and myself (third place). Brent Ehrler, who won a major tournament on the lake before joining the Elite Series this year, will offer his perspective as well.

I’m extremely excited about the fact we’ll get to see the action and what five guys are doing at all times.

While online viewers will get one view, those who attend the Outdoor Show and visit the B.A.S.S. booth will be able to watch the action simultaneously of all five contestants on multiple screens. That’s doesn’t mean online viewers will be denied the other four, as the streaming will switch from one angler to another as action develops.

Of course, all Classic competitors will have GoPro cameras in their boats. Pertinent footage will be incorporated in Classic Live broadcasts and ESPN2 television coverage that will air the following week.

Although I’d rather be on the water competing, I’m thrilled to be a part of this historical moment in tournament coverage.

When I’m not helping out with Bassmaster Classic Live, I’ll be at my sponsors’ booths meeting the fans.

And that’s not all. As I discussed in last week’s blog, wife Sherry and I will launch our “Fan to Fame” Challenge in which thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes will be given away at the Expo and one lucky entrant will get to accompany me backstage during the final day’s weigh-in. For more details on the Fan to Fame Challenge, visit

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

—Kevin VanDam