It all comes down to figures in the Bassmaster Classic.
The 2016 Bassmaster Classic is nearly upon us. For tournament geeks like me, this is like Christmas in March. Here’s a look at some of the numbers involved in this year’s derby.
The number of anglers that will compete for the Classic title. Qualifying for the Classic is viewed as one of the pinnacles of the sport. The defending Classic champion earns a berth. The top 29 from the previous season’s BASS Angler of the Year point are in. Win an ELITE series event and you’re in. Winners from any BASS Open tournament earn a berth, provided they fished every other tournament in that Open division.
That’s the total purse in dollars available to the field.
The winner’s share of that purse is $300,000. The winner of FLW’s Forrest Wood Cup took home $500,000 last year making it a bigger instant payout. But wearing the Classic championship crown is still considered by many to be the ultimate in fishing.
The year of the first-ever Bassmaster Classic. It was held on Lake Mead in Nevada.
Bobby Murray’s winning weight (in pounds) of that first-ever Classic.
Kevin VanDam and Rick Clunn have each won the Classic four times. Only three other anglers — Bobby Murray, Hank Parker and George Cochran — have won it twice.
The number of acres of water available on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees where the 2016 Bassmaster Classic will be held.
The number of Federation (amateur) anglers to ever win the Classic. Bryan Kerchal claimed the Classic crown in 1994. Kerchal was the only angler in the event to catch a limit on each day of competition. Kerchal died in a plane crash in July of the following year.
The year in which the first women competed in the Classic.
The last year in which the Classic was held on a “mystery lake” where the competitors had no idea what body of water they’d be fishing until arriving for launch.
That’s the most Top 5 finishes by any Classic angler. The angler is Rick Clunn.
The weight in pounds and ounces of the heaviest winning weight recorded in a Classic. Kevin VanDam tallied the weight in 2011.