Here's what you need to know about this prestigious event that offers up $300,000 for the winner.
The 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic takes place March 24 - 26 on Lake Conroe in Houston, Texas. During the three day event, 52 competitors will compete for bass fishing's biggest prize - a cool $300,000.
It's all on the line as these elite anglers battle it out in a quest for the coveted crown and envious title of 'Bass King.'
Here's some key info and fun facts:
- Lake Conroe is a 21,000 acre impoundment of the San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker counties noted for producing big largemouth bass.
- This is the first time the event will be held in Houston in the Classic's 47-year-history.
- Blast-off begins each day at 7:20 a.m. at Lake Conroe Park. Weigh-ins will take place at Minute Maid Park, and baseball's fourth largest Jumbotron will be showcasing all of the action. Doors open at 3 p.m.
- 52 competitors will fish the Classic. At age 20, John Garrett is the youngest.
- Anglers will compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes.
- Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma, is the reigning 2016 Bassmaster Classic champion.
- Only five anglers have won multiple Classic titles, including: Rick Clunn (4), Kevin VanDam (4), Bobby Murray (2), Hank Parker (2) and George Cochran (2). Only Clunn and VanDam won back-to-back Classics, 1976-77 and 2010-11 respectively.
- This will be Kevin VanDam's 26th Classic appearance; the most out of the 2017 field. For 11 anglers, it will be their first time qualifying.
List of competitors:
- Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C. (8)
- Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla. (1)
- Hank Cherry, Maiden, N.C. (3)
- Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. (5)
- Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas (6)
- Scott Clift, Dadeville, Mo. (1)
- Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La. (4)
- Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn. (6)
- Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala. (8)
- Brent Ehrler, Newport Beach, Calif. (2)
- James Elam, Tulsa, Okla. (2)
- Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla. (16)
- Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas (15)
- John Garrett, Union City, Tenn. (1)
- Shaw Grigsby, Gainesville, Fla. (16)
- Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La. (14)
- Skylar Hamilton, Dandridge, Tenn. (1)
- Wil Hardy, Harlem, Ga. (1)
- Charlie Hartley, Grove City, Ohio (2)
- Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala. (7)
- Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz. (5)
- Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala. (15)
- Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J. (18)
- Alton Jones Sr., Lorena, Texas (18)
- Alton Jones Jr., Lorena, Texas (1)
- Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala. (8)
- Timothy Klinger, Boulder City, Nev. (1)
- Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla. (10)
- Ryan Lavigne, Gonzales, La. (1)
- Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala. (3)
- Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa. (2)
- Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif. (6)
- Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind. (9)
- Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala. (3)
- Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala. (18)
- Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif. (10)
- Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C. (3)
- Darrell Ocamica, Fruitland, Idaho (1)
- Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas (12)
- Brandon Palaniuk, Hayden, Idaho (7)
- Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz. (4)
- Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Va. (3)
- Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif. (17)
- Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (15)
- Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky. (1)
- Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn. (2)
- Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala. (16)
- Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla. (4)
- Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich. (26)
- Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala. (1)
- Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C. (2)
- Chris Zaldain, San Jose, Calif. (3)
- *Number in parentheses represents the number of times each angler has qualified.
Here are some practice pics that the pros posted to Instagram:
Watching the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic has never been easier. ESPN, Facebook, and live streaming on Bassmaster.com will all be available to the bass fishing fanatic. For a full list of broadcast times and channels, go here.
Don't miss the excitement of the Bassmaster Classic. We can't wait to see who's crowned the victor on Sunday!
For more details on the Classic, check out www.bassmaster.com.