In just two very short weeks, the 2008 BASSMASTER Classic will be kicking off at South Carolina’s, Lake Hartwell. Among the 50 star studded anglers that will be competing are two from my home state of Minnesota, Derek Remitz and Brent Haimes. Remitz, who now resides in Grant, Alabama will be fishing his second Classic in two consecutive years. Remitz is a former member of the Sunrise Bassmasters, a Minnesota BASS Federation Club. After spending just a few short years at the state level, Remitz went on to try his luck at the national level, fishing in the Bassmaster Opens. From there he qualified for his first Classic and earned a spot on the Bassmaster Elite Series. At the first event of the 2007 Elite Series Tour, Derek beat the whole field on Lake Amistad to earn his first Elite Series win. From there on he rode through his highs and lows and snatched the 2007 Bassmasters Rookie of the Year title.
How one goes about getting to that level of fishing can be done in numerous ways. Never easy though. Brent Haimes, from Mazeppa, MN, qualified for the 2008 Classic by succeeding so well through the grueling BASS Federation ladder. Haimes, a member of the Zumbro Valley Bassmasters, a Minnesota BASS Federation Club, started his road to the Classic in 2005, by qualifying through is club for the 2006 BASS Federation State Championship, held on Gull Lake, MN. At Gull, Brent went on to place 11th, and the top 12 advance on to the 2007 BASS Federation Northern Regional Championship, which was held on none other than Lake Erie. At this stage, the top place angler from their own state advance. Brent took 11th overall, but was first among the Minnesota anglers, advancing him onto the 2007 BASS Federation Championship on Florida’s very own, Lake Tohopekaliga (Better known as Lake Toho). At this tournament it is all on the line. The top angler from each region goes onto fish the BASSMASTER CLASSIC! Brent worked extremely hard to take 7th overall, and 1st in his region, and qualified for his first Classic appearance!
I recently went to a seminar hosted by Brent Haimes, at one of our Minnesota BASS Federation State meetings. His topic was very interesting in the fact that he shared with us his road to the Classic and all the ups and downs he went through. For me this was a great learning experiance. It is my life long goal to one day be lucky and good enough to qualify for the Elite Series and the Classic. To see and hear how one of my fellow Minnesota tournament anglers did it, I would have to say it was motivating to say the least. I personally wish both of these fine anglers the best of luck at the Classic. I know I will be watching from home and rooting them on the whole way! Stick ‘Em Boys!!!!