Patrick Bone Goes For Bass Fishing’s Grand Prize
Cleveland angler is Georgia's lone qualifier in this year's Bassmaster Classic.
Through all his tournament travels Patrick Bone has never had the opportunity to be in attendance at a Bassmaster Classic. He’ll see his first one in a few weeks from one of the best seats available.
Patrick, a native of Cleveland, Ga., will be Georgia’s lone entry in bass fishing’s biggest event when it comes to Lake Guntersville on Feb. 21-23.
Patrick, who has done well on a number of tournament trails in recent years, qualified for the Classic by virtue of winning the Bassmaster Southern Open on Douglas Lake in Tennessee last April. In addition to gaining a Classic berth, he earned the champion’s trophy, a $10,000 payday and a Triton 19XS boat rigged with a Mercury 200 Pro XS motor.
“You always dream of fishing in the Bassmaster Classic one day and all of a sudden—bam—you’re in one,” he said. “I’m thrilled and I’m honored.”
Patrick started his tournament career fishing on Lake Lanier in the HD Marine trail, and he says that was one of the toughest trails in the Southeast. He said that prepared him for bigger and better things. Patrick has found success on every level having qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup, The Everstart Championship and twice for the BFL All-American.
He insists he won’t be intimidated fishing in his first Classic or by fishing on Lake Guntersville.
“I’m have the utmost respect for those guys, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “But I’m not a star-struck kind of guy. I’ve fished with a lot of big names through the years. I’ve never met Kevin VanDam or Gary Klein but I’m looking forward to it.
“I just believe that bass don’t know who’s up there fishing for them. They are just people who have a passion for bass fishing like me.”
Patrick says he has fished on Lake Guntersville numerous times in the past for fun and once he fished in a tournament there. He said those trips weren’t in February, however, and he isn’t sure how much of a help his past experiences there will be.
“The lake has been off limits to us since New Year’s Eve,” he said. “Right now all you can do is watch the weather and see how that is going to effect the Classic. If there is going to be a warming trend, that is going to change things it is going to have to come pretty fast.
“If it stays cold like this it’s going to be very interesting.”
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