It's been well documented that the Championship for the Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will ultimately produce the first female angler to fish in the Bassmaster Classic.
But has that really sunk in to the anglers who have a shot at making history? We asked the top five in the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year standings two questions on the eve of competition, after they finished their one and only official practice day on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark.
1.) How was practice?
2.) With the Classic, the Championship and AOY on the line, are you feeling the pressure?
1.) "Practice today was tough for me. I was able to scratch out a limit, but it was small. I had a good pre-practice and I didn't hit any spot today that I feel like are my No. 1 spots, so hopefully I'll go to those spots tomorrow and the fish will be there."
2.) "I'm not feeling the pressure because the Classic is on the line. I always get a little nervous before a tournament starts, but I'm approaching this tournament like I would any other — I'm here to win. If I leave the stage on Saturday afternoon and I have enough points to qualify for the Classic, then that would be fantastic."
1.) "Practice has been slim, both today and before the cutoff."
2.) "No, I don't want to think about it. I just want to look at this like it's any other tournament and take it one day at a time. I'll deal with all that other stuff when this one's over."
1.) "It was pretty good. I didn't do a lot of fishing today, I just checked my water and checked a couple spots. I didn't want to stick anything because if you stick one, they won't bite for a couple days."
2.) "No, I'm just taking it in stride. I'm working on just this tournament right now. I really want to win Angler of the Year but I'm not going to worry about it."
1.) "So-so. I didn't try to set the hook so it's kind of hard to tell."
2.) "No. I can't do anything about that; all I can do is go fishing."
1.) "Actually, I had a pretty good practice today. Some of the girls said that weren't fishing the same areas today that they plan on fishing in practice, but I wanted to see how the fish were reacting in my main areas. I've been fishing long enough to know all the little tricks on how to shake them off, so I didn't stick anything but I got a lot of bites. I wish today would have been a tournament day."
2.) "Well, I've tallied up the points and I don't think I've got a shot at Angler of the Year — unless my math is wrong. So, I'm coming in here with the expectation of winning the tournament, but that then again, that's my expectation for every tournament."