Bassmaster Classic 2012 Schedule: Why Fans Must Tune in

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2012

For a little more than 40 years, the Bassmaster Classic has been the granddaddy of them all for professional anglers.

The Red River is usually synonymous with the rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns. However, this year 49 anglers have descended upon the river to determine who is the best in the nation.

While the event is currently underway, there's still plenty of time to catch up on the Classic's festivities.

Where: Red River, Shreveport, LA.

When: February 24-26; live weigh-in at 5:30 p.m. EST

Watch: Bassmaster website, ESPN2 and the Outdoor Channel

Fishing probably isn't something the typical sports fan would go out of his or her way to watch. The Bassmaster Classic, however, is the one time that people should tune in to professional fishing.

Fishing itself can be incredibly difficult. Those who have sat on a boat in the middle of a lake for hours on end without catching a single thing can certainly attest to that.

These anglers might not engage in the most athletic of competitions, but the task ahead of them is difficult nonetheless.

It's not as if there is a lot of sporting competition. The sports in general this weekend are just kind of lacking.

Plus, with most of the Classic's events happening early in the day, you can wake up, watch a few hours and then go on with your day.

The prize money is a whopping $500,000, so every angler is going to be trying their best to finish at the top.

It's quite different from another event this weekend, the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities, where you have multi-million dollar athletes giving hardly any effort in an exhibition game.

The anglers themselves can be very compelling as well.

For those who are simply wanting to watch something crazy happen, Mike Iaconelli is your guy. Most are familiar with his crazy antics from when he won the title back in 2003.

According to, Iaconelli is the 20th-ranked pro angler. It's doubtful that he will factor in the final result, but he can still be fun to watch.

On almost the opposite side of the spectrum, there's Kevin VanDam. He is the one of the best—if not the best—anglers in the nation. Most importantly, he is the two-time reigning champion at the Classic.

VanDam has already won the event four times and for any sports fan, it is always enjoyable to watch one of the best professionals in their respective sport.

On the other hand, there's the angle of trying to watch someone knock VanDam off the top of the mountain. Everyone likes a good Cinderella story, and this weekend can provide that, as one good day can catapult an unknown into a $500,000 prize.

That would be one heck of a fish story.