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By Sam Rutherford
The 51st annual Bassmaster Classic®, professional bass fishing’s world championship, is coming soon to Texas. Thousands of bass fishing fans are expected to attend the festivities in Fort Worth and on nearby Lake Ray Roberts.
The Classic is June 11-13, with fan-favorite Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo occurring at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Skeeter Boats , a Texas-born company located in the East Texas city of Kilgore, will display its latest models, including the flagship FXR™ Series of bass boats that set the standard for performance and fishabilty. Located near the Expo location is the Dickies Arena, where the 54 Classic anglers will weigh their catches.
Recent Classics held in Birmingham, Alabama and Knoxville, Tennessee. have drawn record-breaking crowds of more than 120,000 fans to Classic Week events, including the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. The Outdoors Expo has grown into the largest consumer fishing show in the country, with 200 exhibitors from around the world onsite selling a variety of merchandise for fishing, hunting, camping, and more — an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Exhibition space fills quickly for this in-demand show, so interested businesses are encouraged to get on the waiting list today at Bassmaster.com/Expo.
Skeeter Boats will be well represented in its home state with nine of the 54 qualifiers on the Skeeter Boats Pro Team. Two of the qualifiers, Cody Bird and Chris Zaldain, are from Texas and live near the Classic fishery. Bird, from Granbury, and Zaldain, from Fort Worth, will be early favorites to win the $300,000 first-place prize while also becoming part of an elite group to have won a Classic title.
“I’m trying not to claim the home-lake thing because I don’t want that home-lake curse,” said Zaldain of Fort Worth. “Now that we’re 45 minutes away, essentially, it’s my home lake, but I’m not that familiar with it. I don’t even know the names of the arms. And I want to keep it that way. I want it to be fresh.”
“The lake is only a couple of hours from my house, which means I’ll be close to home, so my family and friends can share the experience with me,” said Bird. “Although I’ve only fished one tournament on it in the last ten years, I do know it’s a good lake for the Classic, full of big bass and a pleasure to fish.”
Matt Herren, of Ashville, Alabama, is a Classic qualifier and veteran of the Skeeter team. Herren won the Toyota® Texas Bass Classic on Lake Ray Roberts in 2016. The top 15 anglers in the 2015 Bassmaster Elites Series and FLW Tour angler of the year standings were eligible to fish on Lake Ray Roberts in the TTBC, which is a benefit tournament for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. With this being his 9th career Classic appearance, this history makes him a real threat to win the Classic.
The Classic in Fort Worth will be a first for the city, with the Classic having been held in Texas only two previous times.
For more information or to find a dealer nearest you, visit www.skeeterboats.com . Find Skeeter news, team activities, happenings, and events by following us on Facebook , Twitter , YouTube , and Instagram .
This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only and are not intended to be an endorsement. Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster are registered trademarks of B.A.S.S., LLC.