The Hard Way

Updated: February 23, 2008, 12:48 PM ET
By Nick Gebhardt | ESPNOutdoors.com

GREENVILLE, S.C. — He will admit to it. Usually this time of year, Chris Loftus of Bloomfield, N.Y., is skiing.

Instead, Loftus and the eight others who qualified for their first Bassmaster Classic through an Open event, the Weekend Series or a Federation Nation qualifier found themselves Friday on the biggest BASS stage in the world.

"Welcome to the big show!"

With these words, emcee Keith Alan greeted angler Jay Fuller as he carried his bag of fish to the scales. Fuller ...

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