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WELCOME TO THE BASS HOG'S BLOG.  PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHING CO-ANGLER AND OUTDOOR LEGEND.  GET THE LATEST AND GREATEST NEWS AND UPDATES ABOUT FISHING.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG USING THE RSS FEED LINK IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS PAGE.  ADD THE FOLLOWING URL TO YOUR RSS FEED  http://apps.thebasshog.com/Blog/Rss FOR YAHOO, OUTLOOK, AOL, GOOGLE, HOTMAIL OR OTHER EMAIL ACCOUNT OR TABLET. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW VIA http://thebasshog.com/news.html. THANK YOU.

Posted By The Bass Hog

GREENVILLE/ANDERSON, S.C. —A star-studded field of 51 bass anglers has qualified to compete for more than $1 million in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Only one spot remains to be filled in the world championship of bass fishing. It will go to the individual winner of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship, to be held in December.

Long known as the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, the Classic will take place — for the third time — on Lake Hartwell at Anderson, S.C., March 16-18. Morning takeoffs will be from the modern Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson, and weigh-ins and the popular Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be held in Greenville on those dates.

Among the 13 former Classic champions competing for the $300,000 first prize are two who have won on Hartwell: Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., the winner in 2015, and Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, the 2008 champion. Also aiming for bass fishing’s biggest prize are defending champion Jordan Lee of Guntersville, Ala., and four-time Classic winner Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.

VanDam also owns seven Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles. 

2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Contenders 

Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C. (9) 
Josh Bertrand, Gilbert, Ariz. (3) 
Hank Cherry, Lincolnton, N.C. (4) 
Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. (6) 
Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash. (4) 
Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas (7) 
Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala. (1) 
Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn. (1) 
John Crews, Salem, Va. (11) 
John Cox, DeBary, Fla. (1) 
Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala. (1) 
Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark. (20) 
Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn. (7) 
Brent Ehrler, Newport Beach, Calif. (3) 
James Elam, Tulsa, Okla. (3) 
Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla. (17) 
Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas (16) 
Seth Feider, Bloomington, Minn. (1) 
Jacob Foutz, Charleston, Tenn. (1) 
Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga. (2) 
Marty Giddens, Eclectic, Ala. (1) 
Luke Gritter, Otsego, Mich. (1) 
Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La. (15) 
Jamie Hartman, Newport, N.Y. (1) 
Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala. (16) 
Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J. (19) 
Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas (19) 
Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala. (9) 
Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla. (11) 
Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala. (7) 
Jordan Lee, Guntersville, Ala. (4) 
Matt Lee, Guntersville, Ala. (2) 
Brandon Lester, Fayetteville, Tenn. (3) 
Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala. (19) 
Mike McClelland, Bella Vista, Ark. (11) 
Rick Morris, Lake Gaston, Va. (6) 
Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss. (7) 
Brandon Palaniuk, Hayden, Idaho (8) 
Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz. (5) 
Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Va. (4) 
Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif. (18) 
Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky. (2) 
Caleb Sumrall, New Iberia, La. (1) 
Carl Svebek, Orange, Texas (1) 
Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala. (17) 
Stanley Sypeck Jr., Sugarloaf, Pa. (1) 
Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich. (27) 
David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn. (12) 
Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn. (2) 
Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala. (2) 
Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C. (3) 

(Note: Number in parentheses indicates number of Classics qualified, including the 2018 Classic.)

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

Sept. 22, 2017--GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — For the past three years, Jacob Powroznik has qualified for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods by finishing inside the cut in the season-long Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings on the Bassmaster Elite Series.  This year, he had to work overtime to get to the Classic.  But he’ll be there just the same.

The Virginia pro caught 16 pounds, 11 ounces of bass Friday — compared to the 14-8 landed by Monroe — to earn the tournament’s automatic Classic berth.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” Powroznik said with tears in his eyes. “It’s just such a relief. It’s the most pressure I’ve ever fished under — and I mean ever.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

The Classic Bracket featured the Top 8 finishers in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings who failed to qualify for the Classic. The seeds were: 1. Kennedy, 2. Michael Iaconelli, 3. Jonathon VanDam, 4. Kelley Jaye, 5. Lefebre, 6. Monroe, 7. Adrian Avena and 8. Powroznik.

Powroznik, who spent much of the earlier rounds fishing boat docks with a spinning reel, switched to a baitcaster and a swimbait and scored early with a 3-4 largemouth on his first cast. He added a 1-2 on his second cast and steadily built a solid five-bass limit of 11-4 before an hour had passed.

He upgraded with a 3-14 largemouth around 10 a.m. and then had one of the strangest occurrences of the Elite Series season when he landed a solid bass with a yellow cull tag clipped in its mouth.

The tag had likely been placed there by an angler in a previous tournament who then somehow failed to remove it when the bass was released.

Monroe’s on-boat judge, B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart, originally ruled that the cull tag had to be removed before the fish could be weighed. But Powroznik objected.

“That’s the way it was when I caught it,” he said. “If the bass had a bluegill in its throat, I would get to weigh the bluegill. If it had a lamprey stuck to it, I would get to weigh the lamprey.”

Stewart consulted B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon, who advised him to weigh the fish both ways — with the tag and without. The weight in both situations was 3-3.

Once the sun began to break, Powroznik moved away from his largemouth areas and went looking for smallmouth. That’s when he put the tournament away with smallies that weighed 4-3 and 3-0.

“That place I started this morning, I had fished it so many times,” Powroznik said. “I knew they were there because I had been catching every time I went. This morning, I decided I was going to do something different and I started with that swimbait. It was the right move.”

Monroe’s early-morning strategy carried him into a small, picturesque canal that led into a weed-lined pond known as “Little Pokegama.” The decision proved to be a tough one, as Monroe got only two bites in the area — both of which came from northern pike.

He finally caught his first bass — a small 1-3 largemouth — at 8:53 a.m. and followed quickly with a 3-6 at 8:57. But the big bite like the 5-1 smallmouth he landed during the semifinals Thursday never came, and he wasn’t able to catch Powroznik.

Just before the final round ended, Monroe — who has long been known as one of the fiercest competitors in the sport — hooked a fish and lost it, causing him to throw his rod in frustration.

When time ran out, he cranked his outboard and motored back toward the launch in total silence.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.  (Congratulations Jacob, fished the FLW BP Series on the Potomac with you way back when!)


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Fifty-two of the world’s best bass anglers will head to Houston next week to compete for more than $1 million in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, and fans will be able to follow the action as it happens.

Classic LIVE will be broadcasting in real time from the B.A.S.S. booth at the Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“What an incredible venue we have this year being set up in the heart of Houston, Texas, and watching the action unfold live on a lake that some anglers are saying might produce multiple 10-pound-plus bass,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president of media content for JM Associates and producer of The Bassmasters TV show on ESPN2.

Cameras will be streaming live coverage of the Classic leaders on Lake Conroe back to the expo production facility, where hosts will break down the action for fans tuning in through Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN. Hosts Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona, and Davy Hite along with Dave Mercer and on-the-water reporter Robbie Floyd, will provide analysis and live updates.

This year, special guest Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings will also be onsite for the Classic LIVE show to provide some local insight. Robison played for the University of Texas and calls Lake Conroe his home lake.

Also, special guest RJ Mitte, who plays Walter White Jr. on the series “Breaking Bad,” will be joining the set at the expo.  

The 2016 version of “Classic LIVE” reached nearly 12 million minutes viewed during the three-day event.

Each day of competition will have six hours of coverage, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Watch the tournament leaders catch bass in real time on the exclusive Classic LIVE program on Bassmaster.com and simulcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Facebook Live broadcasts will be added to the coverage this year, on the B.A.S.S. Facebook page, including coverage of takeoff on Day 1, the Toyota Mid-Day Report all three days around noon, and the press conference with the Top 6 anglers after each competition day.

Also on Bassmaster.com, fans can keep up with every fish caught through BASSTrakk, a real-time leaderboard that shows each angler’s catch according to estimates of marshals assigned to each competitor’s boat. In addition, on-the-water reporters provide a running commentary on the action in the Live Blog.

“Through those features, along with videos and photo galleries, we’ll have the lake covered from top to bottom,” said Jim Sexton, B.A.S.S. VP/Digital. “And we’ll cover every inch of the Minute Maid Park weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, as well.”

The 47th world championship of bass fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will host 52 of the world’s best bass anglers competing for more than $1 million, March 24-26 in Houston, Texas. Competition and takeoff will begin each day at Lake Conroe Park (14968 TX-105, Montgomery, Texas) at 7:20 a.m. CT. Weigh-ins will be held daily March 24-26 at 3:15 p.m. in one of Major League Baseball’s Top 20 largest stadiums, the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park (501 Crawford Street, Houston, Texas).  

In conjunction, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be open daily only a block from Minute Maid Park at George R. Brown Convention Center, (1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, Texas) the largest in Classic history. Expo hours are Friday, March 24, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

HOUSTON — Will crowds at Minute Maid Park witness a double-digit bass weighed in during the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods? Considering the trophy potential of nearby Lake Conroe, where 52 of the nation’s best bass anglers will compete March 24-26, they might be treated to more than just a 10- or 11-pound bass — or two or three.

“I think we are going to see very big bass come weigh-in time in Houston, maybe a ShareLunker,” said Dave Terre, management/research chief of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). 

Established in 1986, the agency’s Toyota ShareLunker program encourages the catch and release of large fish and uses bass of 13 pounds or heavier for selective breeding, before being returned to the fishery from which they were caught. Of the 17 ShareLunkers caught at Conroe, five were taken during the month of March. The latest, a 13.14-pounder, was caught in early April 2015.

B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director Gene Gilliland added, “For years, Lake Conroe was the poster child for grass carp gone bad. Back then, the bass fishermen thought the world was coming to an end. But a solid long-term management plan that married passionate B.A.S.S. club members with the expertise of Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists, turned Conroe into a top-tier fishery.”

Seven Coves Bass Club, a B.A.S.S. Nation club, took a leadership role among those partners, and for its efforts, received a 2013 Environmental Excellence Award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “This is probably the highest recognition our conservation program has received to date,” said Tim Cook, conservation director for the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation. “Every member should be proud to be part of an organization that gives so much back to the sport we all love.”

In 2008, following a second round of grass carp introductions to control invasive hydrilla, the club was awarded a grant for about $45,000 from B.A.S.S. and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build a plant nursery on property owned by the San Jacinto River Authority. The latter and TPWD also helped finance the effort.

“With the assistance and advice of TPWD, the San Jacinto River Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, they started growing native aquatic plants to go into Lake Conroe,” said TPWD biologist Mark Webb. “More people all the time were getting excited about coming in and helping to grow ecologically appropriate native plants to provide the kind of habitat we need for fish and wildlife in Lake Conroe.”

The following summer, 150 plants grown in the nursery were placed in the lake; they were shielded from grass carp and turtles with protective cages. Many more were to follow, as Seven Coves expanded its alliances for the betterment of the fishery. In 2010, Seven Coves received an additional $20,000 from the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and Bass Pro Shops as part of the first ever Friends of Reservoirs Foundation grant.

“This project has brought a wide range of stakeholders closer together, which has been positive for the angling community,” said Ron Gunter, a club member and assistant conservation director for the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation.

Webb estimates that about 10,000 mature native plants have been added to the 21,000-acre fishery since 2008, with some, particularly water willow, now expanding on their own.

More than 500,000 Floridas were stocked annually in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, and some almost certainly have reached ShareLunker size.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Some lakes are known for how deep they are.  Some are known for the type of structure and baitfish they have.  Others are known for serving as the sites of some of the greatest moments in professional bass fishing history — and one of those from that latter column has been chosen as the home of next year’s GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

The 48th annual world championship of professional bass fishing will be held March 16-18, 2018, in Greenville and on Lake Hartwell at Anderson, S.C., it was announced today in a news conference in Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena, which will be the site of daily weigh-in ceremonies.

“The opportunity to host the Bassmaster Classic for the second time in four years solidifies the Upstate of South Carolina as a destination, nationally, for bass fishing,” said Neil Paul, executive director, Visit Anderson. “Lake Hartwell is a tremendous natural resource and continues to gain national attention as a championship fishery, and we welcome anglers from all levels to enjoy its greatness. Our Anderson County team, our partnership with Greenville, support from our regional partners and the state of South Carolina have proven vital to our overall success where we continue to experience returns in residual tourism from hosting the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.”

“GEICO is proud to continue its successful partnership with the Bassmaster Classic,” said Ted Ward, vice president of marketing for GEICO, title sponsor of the event. “The Classic offers a great platform for us to engage and connect with a growing bass fishing audience, who are some of the most passionate and loyal fans in all of sports.”

The event will mark the third time the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” will have been held here. As in previous visits in 2008 and 2015, fishing competition will take place on Lake Hartwell, a 56,000-acre impoundment on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers along the South Carolina/Georgia border.

Takeoffs will be from Green Pond Landing and Event Center, a modern, $3.1 million launch facility in Anderson, S.C., that was completed just in time for the 2015 Classic and was built to accommodate that and similarly large bass tournaments.

The fan-favorite Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will again be held in the 250,000-square-foot TD Convention Center in Greenville March 16-18.

“Bringing the Bassmaster Classic back to the Upcountry of South Carolina was an easy decision,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., which conducts the event. “Despite record-cold temperatures when we were there in February 2015, fishing fans turned out in force. Our attendance of 103,000 those three days marked a 40 percent increase over the 2008 Classic and was one of our biggest turnouts ever.

“We expect next year’s Classic to be even bigger and better — and warmer,” Akin added, noting that the fishing competition will take place almost a month later in 2018 than during 2015.

Perhaps no Classic in history has shown the strength of a fishery like that 2015 event, when temperatures made such a monumental dip. It was just 9 degrees for the opening morning of the tournament — a morning that featured the National Anthem being performed by South Carolina angler Casey Ashley — and competition was delayed with the anglers’ safety in mind.

Despite the conditions, there were still multiple five-bass limits of 20 pounds or more brought across the scales at the Bon Secours Wellness Center Arena, and Ashley needed an average of more than 16.6 pounds per day to win.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

CONROE, Texas — Kelly Jordon is not a weatherman.

He can’t say for sure what the conditions will be when 52 of the world’s best anglers descend on Lake Conroe, an hour outside of Houston, for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, March 24-26.

But as a Texas native and a 22-year veteran of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, Jordon knows the bass are likely to be in some phase of their annual spring spawn — and he says the angler who best identifies that phase is likely to be the winner of the 47th annual event.

“Most of the bass in the lake are going to be somewhere around the spawning mode, simply because of the time of year,” said Jordon, who finished 50th in the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings and barely missed qualifying for the Classic. “If I was going to guess — depending on what the weather does — I’d say we’ll be toward the final quarter of the spawn. There will still be some fish on the beds, but there will also be a lot of postspawn fish.”

A spawn/postspawn scenario could provide a lot of options, and it could certainly lead to some giant fish being brought to the scales at the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park.

Jordon said the bluegill will likely be coming up to spawn, and big bass can often be found feeding around bluegill beds. Big male bass are also likely to be guarding recently hatched fry, and big females that are hungry from the spawn could be roaming the shallows.

Though some bass are likely to still be on the beds, Jordon said he doesn’t expect sight fishing to be a dominant technique.

“Sight fishing will definitely play,” he said. “But I don’t think somebody can win on sight fishing alone. You’re likely to see several giant fish caught off beds or maybe a key 5-pounder at a time when someone really needs it. But I don’t think it’s something you’ll be able to totally hang your hat on.”

As for the type of structure that’s likely to be most popular, Jordon said anglers will have their pick.

“The water color will depend on how much rain we get and which part of the river you’re fishing,” he said. “The water way up on the upper end could be a lot more stained than the lower end. But when you get up there, you’ll find plenty of backwater stuff, some side creeks, some marinas, some residential areas with canals, big gigantic flats — a little bit of everything.”

The lower end of the lake could appeal more to dock fishing specialists.

“Once you get down there, the lower half of the lake — if not more than half — is pretty much wall-to-wall boat docks and seawalls. Whether you want to fish shallow shoreline cover or deep shoreline cover, there’s tons of it available. You can find seawalls that may have 10 feet of water around them.

The abundance of boat docks, in particular, caught the attention of Classic competitor and noted shallow-water expert Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La., during pre-practice. Before the official off-limits period began Jan. 16, he posted a blog on Bassmaster.com titled, “Docks, docks and more docks,” complete with a photo of one dock-filled bank.

Roy’s final blog from pre-practice was titled “Crushing pre-practice” and showed the Kentucky angler holding two largemouth that appeared to be in the 6- to 7-pound range. 

“I think there’ll be at least one 30-pound bag caught — if not several,” said Combs, who finished second in the 2016 AOY race. “I think there will be a 10-pounder brought to the scales every day. That’s just the way Conroe is.”

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

TULSA, Okla. — For the first two days of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, the buzz centered around local sensation Jason Christie of nearby Park Hill, Okla.

But on the final day, another of Oklahoma’s favorite sons stole the show.

Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., caught an incredible 29 pounds, 3 ounces of bass from Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees Sunday to push his three-day total weight to 60-7. The epic finish was enough to help him storm past Christie and the rest of the Classic field to earn a $300,000 payday and a spot in professional bass fishing history.

The win was Evers’ 11th with B.A.S.S., but his first time to raise the Classic trophy.

“It hasn’t quite hit me yet,” said Evers, who was fishing his 15th Classic. “I don’t know when it will. But I know 29 pounds on the last day of the Classic is big.”

Evers certainly didn’t seem like he was ready to win a Classic championship earlier in the week.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

TULSA, Okla. — It would be easy for Jason Christie to sugarcoat things.

He could say it’s just another tournament, and he’ll approach it like he has the other 40 he’s fished with B.A.S.S. He could say he’s not feeling any additional pressure as one of the hometown favorites.

But this is the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

It’s the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing, and he understands the opportunity that lies ahead.

“I can honestly say I’m feeling it a little bit,” said Christie, an Oklahoma native who lives just an hour from Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, where the 46th renewal of the iconic event will take place.

“It’s hard not to feel some pressure when you’re hearing it so much from everybody. But I’m trying to turn it into a positive thing and feed off all of the energy.”

Competition days will be Friday through Sunday with daily take-offs at 7 a.m. CT from the Hard Rock Dock at the Wolf Creek Ramp launch site in Grove and daily weigh-ins at 3:15 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa. The winning angler will earn $300,000 and a 50-pound trophy that is easily the most coveted in the sport.

The 55 competitors will find Grand Lake slightly above full pool. It’ll be quite the contrast to 2013, when the Classic was held on a drought-stricken Grand that was a couple of feet low.

The anglers can also expect warmer weather during this trip to Oklahoma, with forecasts calling for daytime temperatures in the 60s for all three competition days. The temperature at takeoff for the opening round of the 2013 event was 19 degrees — a record low for the Classic at the time.

“I think they could hold the Classic on Grand 100 years in a row and not have better weather than what we’re supposed to have this year,” said James Elam, a Tulsa resident who is also considered by many to be one of the favorites.

“We’ve had a little bit of a cold front come through lately, but it’s the first one we’ve had in a while. I don’t think you could ask for it to be any better.”

As for what to expect from the lake itself, Christie said he has no clue.

“This is a lake I’m plenty familiar with and a time of year when I really like being on that lake,” Christie said. “But to be brutally honest, I have no idea what to expect. I’ve been fishing other lakes, and the fish have just been upside down.

“The one thing I do know about Grand is that it’s slammed full of fish. They could be caught anywhere.”

Christie finished seventh the last time the Classic was held on Grand, but he was more than 11 pounds off the weight of champion Cliff Pace. He believes his knowledge of the lake may have actually hurt him in that event, and he’s taking a different approach this time.

“In that Classic, I thought I was on a good pattern,” Christie said. “Then when it didn’t go the way I expected it to go early, I started fishing ‘history.’ I started fishing places that I hadn’t fished in practice, hadn’t fished in years.

“I don’t want to do that this time. I want to go in fresh and figure out what’s going on now.”

The Classic often draws a crowd of spectator boats manned by avid fans who follow the anglers in hopes of seeing the action as it unfolds. Christie has been considered one of the favorites since Grand was announced as the Classic site last year, and he expects to have a large gallery with him wherever he goes.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Some of America’s top-ranked bass fisheries — plus a new wrinkle in tournament formats and an extra event — await the nation’s top professional bass anglers competing in the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series.

The popular Bassmaster Marshal program, which permits fishing fans to ride along and observe the Elite pros during competition, will continue in 2016.

 Following is the 2016 Classic and Elite schedule:

 Dates                 Tournament              Fishery                     Host Community/State

March 4-6           Bassmaster Classic      Grand Lake                Tulsa, Okla.

March 17-20        Elite No. 1                  St. Johns River           Palatka, Fla.

April 7-10            Elite No. 2                  Winyah Bay                Georgetown, S.C.

April 21-24          Elite No. 3                  Bull Shoals/Norfork     Mountain Home, Ark.

April 28-May 1   Elite No. 4                  Wheeler Lake              Decatur, Ala.

May 12-15          Elite No. 5                  Toledo Bend               Many, La.

June 8-12            BASSfest                   TBA                        

June 23-26          Elite No. 7                  Cayuga Lake               Union Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 11-14         Elite No. 8                  Potomac River            Charles County, Md.

Sept. 8-11           Elite No. 9                  Mississippi River         La Crosse, Wis.

Sept. 15-18        AOY Championship     TBA                         

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

TULSA, Okla. — The world championship of bass fishing — the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro — will return to one of its most popular destinations in 2016, B.A.S.S. and the event’s Oklahoma hosts announced today. And for the first time, the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” will be conducted in early March instead of February.

“The 2013 Classic was such a tremendous success, we couldn’t wait to return to Tulsa and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees with our premier event,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “With the support we’ve received from our hosts and our bass fishing fans throughout the region, we’re expecting an even better turnout next year.”

Hosts of the 2016 Classic will be Tulsa Regional Chamber, VisitTulsa, Grand Lake Association and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“We’re so excited to finally say the Bassmaster Classic is coming back to Tulsa,” said Ray Hoyt, president of VisitTulsa. “We worked our tails off in 2013 to ensure this event was a huge success because we wanted to show our partners at B.A.S.S., and other major league events, what a great place the Tulsa region is. We wanted another Classic the minute the 2013 event was over, and today we can finally say it out loud: The Classic comes back in 2016. A huge thanks to our regional partners, especially Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, for their support in making this a reality.”

Since 2006, Bassmaster Classics have all been held the third or fourth weekend in February, but the 46th championship has been moved to March 4-6, 2016, to better accommodate anglers’ and sponsors’ preseason schedules and other industry events.

“If moving the event improves odds of good fishing weather, that’s a bonus,” Akin added. “But we proved in 2013 as well as the recent Classic on Lake Hartwell, S.C., that freezing temperatures don’t hamper the anglers’ fishing success, nor do they hurt attendance.”

The Tulsa Classic in 2013 recorded the second highest attendance in history, with more than 106,850 fans visiting one or more of the Classic venues. The attendance record of 137,700 was set at another February Classic, the 2009 event in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

Hoyt said the economic impact of the first Tulsa Classic was $22.7 million.

As in the first Tulsa Classic, the BOK Center will house daily weigh-ins, and the Cox Business Center will hold the Classic Outdoors Expo. Takeoffs each day will be from Wolf Creek Ramp in Grove, Okla. As many as 5,000 fans braved freezing temperatures to watch the Classic anglers set out on competition days in 2013.

Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., won the Classic championship title that year with 54 pounds, 12 ounces of bass for three days of fishing. A total of 55 anglers will qualify for next year’s event through the Bassmaster Elite Series and other Bassmaster circuits during the coming 10 months.

Eleven Oklahoma anglers — 10 percent of the Elite Series field — will be gunning for berths in the event, including Scott Ashmore of Broken Arrow, Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Jason Christie of Park Hill, James Elam of Tulsa, Edwin Evers of Talala, Kenyon Hill of Norman, Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Kevin Ledoux of Choctaw, Jared Miller of Norman, Fred Roumbanis of Bixby and Dave Smith of Del City.

Total purse will be more than $1 million, with the winner receiving $300,000.

Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees was completed in 1940, when Pensacola Dam on the Grand River impounded 46,500 acres. Previous Elite Series events there have been won by Mike McClelland and Kevin VanDam in 2006 and 2007, respectively.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.