We had a chance to catch up with Seth Feider before he hit the water for practice leading up to the start of the 2019 Bassmaster Classic. Fresh off winning the Big Bass at last year’s Classic, we wanted to get his perspective on the water, the competition, and how he plans to approach this year’s tournament. Read on for his thoughts, and stay tuned for more leading up to the Classic!
With this being your second Classic appearance how does this go around differ from your first?
SF: I have a different mindset going into this one. The first one you make you’re just happy to be there. This one I am putting all my focus on trying to win.
Do you think smallmouth or largemouth are going to be a bigger factor in winning this tournament?
SF: I think they will both play. The water is kind of muddy, so the deep Smallmouth bite might be a little off, but I think those fish will get up shallow and end up being caught cranking like you’re Largemouth fishing.
Tellico or Fort Loudoun?
SF: I am going to spend most of my practice on Tellico. I came for pre-practice and there was only one area on Fort Loudoun that interested me. On the last day of practice, we have to blast out of where we will take off from in Knoxville during the Classic. I am going to use that day to look at Fort Loudoun. Other than that, I am going to spend the first few days on Tellico.
With other anglers posting on how muddy it looks, do you have any concerns with the water clarity?
SF: I actually drove around the lakes a few days ago looking at it and they both looked pretty good. Loudoun was a little bit dirtier on the main lake, but it hasn’t rained for a while and they drew the lake way down. The backs of the pockets are some of the clearest water on the lakes right now. A lot of those creeks are running crystal clear in the back. I thought it was going to be in way worse condition listening to everybody on the internet.
How do the water levels look?
SF: Right now (the day before official practice begins) the water is 3 or 4 feet low. They dropped it down hard to the point where I hope we get some rain to get a little more water in the lake. It’s supposed to rain every day while we are practicing but I don’t know if it’s going to amount to much.
What are going to be some of the challenges during the tournament?
SF: It got really cold here. It has been in the teens and low 20’s for the last 3 nights. I have been fishing on Watt’s Bar and am barely getting bit over there. I think by the time the Classic rolls around, the fish will be biting good, but I think practice is going to be tough to get a bite. At the end of the day, I think it is going to be a grind even if they are biting good. Especially if you are making a long run and then keying in on an afternoon bite. It’s going to be long days.
What types of areas do you think will play during the tournament?
SF: Tellico had some pretty clear water, so I am going to try some deep smallmouth stuff there. I don’t know if it’s going to play or not. If it doesn’t, its just going to be a bank beating tournament. I will be looking for rock transitions in the creeks because the water seems to be a little clearer and warmer back in there.