The 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, Alabama will be a tournament to remember.
Just so you don’t forget, here are five things you likely didn’t know were true about this year’s event. The location, Lake Guntersville, is lining up to be one of the best chances to see all-time Bassmaster Classic records get broken thanks to a rich history of big fish and 56 of the best anglers in the world giving it everything they have to track down the lunkers.
Be sure to keep updated leading into the tournament on February 21-23, 2014, as Wide Open Spaces keeps you informed about the biggest bass fishing competition in the world.
View the slide show to learn more about the Bassmaster Classic.
1. Lake Guntersville was one of the “Mystery Classic” locations in 1976
Lake Guntersville in Birmingham, Alabama was the site of the 1976 Bassmaster Classic, in which competitors were not made aware of the destination lake until after the plane carrying them there was airborne. Rick Clunn would win his first Classic that year.
Predictions have Guntersville lining up to be a big lake. A 30-year record for biggest catch in Classic history was owned by a Guntersville lunker, and the 8-pound, 9-ounce mark stood until 2006. It’s the second-most visited lake in B.A.S.S. tournament history.
2. You can actually follow the anglers’ boats on the lake during the tournament
A popular spectator tradition since the 90s, allowing the public to follow Classic anglers during the tournament has been a polarizing move. For some, it can be a nuisance and even an interference with success, especially if someone is dumb enough to use underwater electronics or drop a line in the water themselves.
For others, the decision is welcomed and appreciated for the unique perspective it gives the viewing spectators. If you don’t have a boat or don’t want to get on the water, weigh-ins are Friday through Sunday at 3:00pm at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
3. Bassmaster = $$$$
The total earnings for first place in the Bassmaster Classic have risen from $10,000 in 1971 to $500,000 in 2006. A slightly-less $300,000 will go to this year’s champion, but still, that’s some serious cash. Endorsements, in case you haven’t noticed, are rather important to the Bassmaster Classic, presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.
From betting odds to Fantasy Fishing, the Bassmaster Classic Tournament has turned into more than just fishing. Now, it’s an event that can change an angler’s life.
4. Tim Johnston will be introduced to a rap song by his son
When Tim Johnston walks up to the stage for weigh-ins and introductions at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, the background music will consist of the rap song “My Papa’s in the Classic” written and performed by Skeeter Johnston, Tim’s son. Timis just the third person from Montana to compete in the Bassmaster Classic.
Earlier this month, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Randy Howell debuted a new intro song. The rap tune is a collaboration with DPB.
5. ESPN turned bass fishing into what it is today, then sold it a few years ago
Though Bassmaster debuted on television in 1984 as a 30-minute special on TNN, it wasn’t until ESPN bought the B.A.S.S. organization in 2001 that the attention and popularity really began to rise.
The mainstream spotlight allowed the tournament to gain notoriety and become what most consider the biggest fishing competition in the world. The sports television conglomerate has since sold B.A.S.S. to a group of investors that included Jerry McKinnis, host of “The Fishin’ Hole” which appeared on, you guessed it, ESPN.