Classic Notes

If the conditions are anywhere near what they were in 2001 when Dean Rojas set the record for the heaviest winning weight in a Bassmaster event, he's not ready to admit to it.

Since the announcement that the CITGO Bassmaster Classic would return to Lake Toho and be held in February, almost every pundit has concentrated on the potential for the heavy weights to return in 2006.

One would have to believe Rojas has his fingers crossed. But when Rojas checked in after Wednesday's practice the only fingers he showed to those asking were two thumbs up, followed by a smirk and a definitive "No comment."

We'll leave that up to you to guess the meaning.

Joel St. Germain on his chances of winning the Classic:

"If the Boston Red Sox can win the World Series, I can win the Classic."

Jimmy Johnson on his victory at the Daytona 500 last week
(in actuality it was the other Jimmie Johnson):

"It's a strange coincidence huh? He's winning everything in site so I think that helps my chances and gives me an edge."

Randy Howell on Wednesday practice

"It's not really what I expected. I was expecting it to be dead on and I thought I was going to see a lot of big ones today on beds. Well, I ended up seeing a lot of small nails on the beds today and a lot of empty beds. I think the warm spell warmed up so fast that some of them real big fish came on and spawned and went back off pretty fast.

"It's gotten so hot and we've been wanting it to be hot, and still somewhere the weather is going to work right for the tournament. It seemed to pull up the fish in the areas I fished today. I still caught some good fish and could've put together a decent bag, but as far as winning this thing — it is going to take a lot."

Coble's Fantasy Lock

Jeff Coble is a favorite in this event simply because he won the most recent Bassmaster event any where near here. That was the Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship and it got Coble into the Classic.

As a competitor, he holds a great deal of respect among his peers. He's won big tournaments before, but he's gaining it a different way this week.

Almost every competitor who plays the Bassmaster Fantasy Game has Coble on his team.

"Every one I talked to says 'I'm on their team,''' Coble said. "That would be flattering if it wasn't so funny."

Coble's amusement comes in the form of how the anglers are ranked in the Fantasy Game. Each angler is worth a specific amount of points. Top names like Kevin VanDam are worth 16 or more points each. And players can only pick five anglers whose total does not exceed 50 points. That means if you pick big names, you've got to add names worth only a few points. That's where Coble comes in.

He's at the bottom on the rankings, with a 4.4 point total.

"I'd pick me to, since I'm only worth 4.4 points," Coble said.