Tommy Biffle: Classic Prep

Tommy Biffle is getting ready for his 18th Bassmaster Classic. Only a handful of anglers all-time – including names like Clunn, VanDam, Klein and Brauer – have qualified for more Classics than Biffle, who has six B.A.S.S. first-place finishes and 56 Top-Tens on his resume. He also has won an FLW tournament and owns 13 Top-Tens on that circuit. This year’s Bassmaster Classic offers a nice twist for Biffle, who lives in Wagoner, Oklahoma. The Classic will be held on Grand Lake, an hour north of his home. So he’s trying to take advantage.

I’ve been spending a lot of time getting ready for the Classic. Since it’s only about an hour from my house, that made it pretty convenient for me to fish right up to the cutoff day.

Like I said, I’m glad it’s close to home. It’s by far the closest I’ve ever been to a Classic. But I have to say that of all the lakes around here, it’s the one I’ve probably fished the least.

When I was growing up, Grand was known as the place with a lot of boat traffic. It wasn’t a place you’d just go idling around and fishing, at least not as much as the other lakes. And it’s still kind of that way.

Spending time on the lake before the Classic is something I always try to do, no matter where it is, and I’ve had good luck in Classics. I haven’t won one yet, but I’ve been second twice in B.A.S.S. and three times in FLW, so I have a pretty good track record.

This is an unusual year, though. Having a Classic this far north, you don’t know what you’re going to get in terms of weather. In other Classics, the weather would be about the same from before the cutoff to the time you compete. But in this one, the weather’s been really mild so far, but you never know what you’re going to get around here in February. They’re really taking a chance on the weather.

It would be nice if winter is a mild one, like it was last year. They caught the fire out of them last winter, but you just can’t count on it being that good again.

I took the weatherman, Dick Faurot from Channel 6, fishing. I usually fish with him about once a year. I told him it was his job to keep the good weather around through February. He said he’d do what he could. He texted me some sites that they look at, but I don’t know what kind of long-range forecast there is.

As far as the fishing goes, though, I probably learned some things during my practice runs. But, you know, you look, but you don’t really know what you’re looking for. I did learn some things about the lake that I didn’t know before. I went into every main cove, and I’ve got a lot of waypoints.

That’s really about all you can do, though - just look.