Bassmaster Classic 2012 Schedule: Anglers to Watch in Fishing's Biggest Event

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

It's certainly an exciting time for outdoor sports enthusiasts as their version of the Super Bowl is finally upon us in the form of the Bassmasters Classic. The event features 49 of the nation's best anglers, all of whom are vying for the biggest haul in order to take home the $500,000 grand prize.

Somebody like Kevin VanDam could advance their legend by winning yet another Bassmaster Classic, while new faces could just as easily make a name for themselves. There is plenty of unpredictability in fishing, so this sure to be a fun competition.

Here are three anglers to keep your eye on in fishing's elite contest.



Kevin VanDam

As a four-time Bassmaster Classic winner and the defending champion, Kevin VanDam is considered by many to be the best angler of all time, and certainly the best in the present day. His accomplishments in the sport truly are incredible when you consider how random the outcomes should be.

One would think that luck plays into his success a lot, but as the old saying goes, it's often better to be lucky than good. It's fair to say that VanDam has both qualities, though, and because of that the brash fisherman is the odds-on favorite to take home the crown.



Chris Lane

With three career overall victories and 15 top-10 finishes, Chris Lane is the most likely angler to score their first-career Classic win. Lane is the Southern Open's leader and has been faring quite well lately, so it's fair to say that he is the biggest obstacle standing between Kevin VanDam and a fourth Bassmaster Classic title.

The Alabama native has been on the cusp of greatness for quite some time, and if he is able to find a way to win the the Classic, then he might supplant VanDam as the best angler currently in the sport.



Keith Poche

Keith Poche is a rising star in fishing and he has a chance to complete his ascent toward the top by winning the Bassmaster Classic. Poche may not be well known like Kevin VanDam, and he may not be on a major hot streak like Chris Lane, but he is certainly a dark horse to keep an eye on.

There may not be much talk about Poche heading into the tournament, but by the time it ends, there is a good chance he could be the talk of the fishing world. It isn't easy for a fisherman to gain mainstream attention, but Poche has the skill and personality to do it.



The Bassmaster Classic can be seen on the Outdoor Channel and ESPN family of networks over the next month. The television schedule can be viewed here.