Bassmaster Classic

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The Bassmaster Classic is a competition in professional bass fishing. It was first held in 1971 on Lake Mead, Nevada. Originally it was a fall event (1971-1983), but it switched to the summer in 1984 and then to the late winter in 2006. The winner of the tournament is widely considered to be the world champion of bass fishing, as is stated on the winner's trophy.

The event has turned into a three-day spectacle, complete with a theatrical presentation of the weigh-ins and hours of television coverage. ESPN purchased Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), which organizes the event, and increased coverage of the event and the Classic's profile.

In 2014, the Classic was held on Guntersville Lake in Alabama, with weigh-ins at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. The lake has hosted several Classics, most recently in 1976.

Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam have each won the event four times. Bobby Murray, Hank Parker and George Cochran have won twice each.

First-place money has grown from $10,000 in 1971 to $500,000 in 2006; it was reduced to $300,000 in 2014.[1]

Rules and procedures[edit]

The field has ranged from 24 to 61 players. In 2014, the field was 55 anglers. The 2009 competition included women for the first time. However, neither of the two women qualified within the top 20 and 2010 was the last year for women to be given a classic spot. As in previous years, they have to earn a spot in the opens.

The Bassmaster Classic takes place over three days. All fish are caught under catch-and-release rules, must measure at least 12 inches, and must be alive at the time they are presented for weigh-in or a penalty will be assessed. There is a cut after the second day, in which only the 25 top anglers, based on total weight, advance to the third day. The highest total weight after three days wins the competition.

Contestants can only fish in specified areas at the competition venue. This is usually a lake, but the 1980 Classic was held on the Saint Lawrence River out of Alexandria Bay, NY, the 2005 competition was held at Three Rivers (Allegheny River and Monongahela River which forms the Ohio River) in Pittsburgh, with some competitors using tributaries such as the Beaver River and Youghiogheny River miles from the confluence. In 2009 and 2012 the Classic used a 100-mile stretch of the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2011, the Classic was held on the Louisiana Delta.

From its inception to 1976, the Classic was held at a "mystery lake," unknown to competitors until they were aboard an aircraft bound for the site. Founder Ray Scott changed the practice for the 1977 Classic, announcing the site in advance so that fans of the sport could plan ahead to attend.

Past winners[edit]

Year Champion Weight lbs oz Boat
1971 United States Bobby Murray 43-11
1972 United States Don Butler 38-11
1973 United States Rayo Breckenridge 52-8
1974 United States Tommy Martin 33-7
1975 United States Jack Hains 45-4
1976 United States Rick Clunn 59-15
1977 United States Rick Clunn 27-7
1978 United States Bobby Murray 37-9
1979 United States Hank Parker 31
1980 United States Bo Dowden 54-10
1981 United States Stanley Mitchell 35-2
1982 United States Paul Elias 32-8
1983 United States Larry Nixon 18-1
1984 United States Rick Clunn 75-9
1985 United States Jack Chancellor 45
1986 United States Charlie Reed 23-9
1987 United States George Cochran 15-5
1988 United States Guido Hibdon 28-8
1989 United States Hank Parker 31-6
1990 United States Rick Clunn 34-5
1991 United States Ken Cook 33-2
1992 United States Robert Hamilton, Jr 59-6
1993 United States David Fritts 48-6
1994 United States Bryan Kerchal 36-7
1995 United States Mark Davis 47-14
1996 United States George Cochran 31-14
1997 United States Dion Hibdon 34-13
1998 United States Denny Brauer 46-3
1999 United States Davy Hite 55-10
2000 United States Woo Daves 27-13
2001 United States Kevin VanDam 32-5
2002 United States Jay Yelas 45-13
2003 United States Michael Iaconelli 37-14
2004 Japan Takahiro Omori 39-2
2005 United States Kevin VanDam 12-15
2006 United States Luke Clausen 56-2
2007 United States Boyd Duckett 48-10 Triton
2008 United States Alton Jones 48-7 Skeeter
2009 United States Skeet Reese 54-13 Champion
2010 United States Kevin VanDam 51-6 Nitro
2011 United States Kevin VanDam 69-11 Nitro
2012 United States Chris Lane 51-6 Legend
2013 United States Cliff Pace 54-12 Skeeter
2014 United States Randy Howell 67-8 Triton
2015 United States Casey Ashley 50-1 Triton
2016 United States Edwin Evers 60-7 [2] Nitro
2017 United States Jordan Lee 56-10 [3] Legend

Record Book[edit]

  • Largest Bass Caught: 11-10, Preston Clark, Toho, FL 2006
  • Heaviest Venue Total Weight: 1,578-14, Red River, LA 2009
  • Heaviest Total Weight: 700,000,000-15, Kooper Anderson, Red River, LA 2011
  • Heaviest Daily Weight: 32-3, Paul Mueller, Guntersville, AL 2014
  • Most Bassmaster Classic Wins: 4, Rick Clunn, 1976, 1977, 1984, 1990 / 4, Kevin VanDam, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2011
  • Most Top 5 Classic Finishes: 11, Rick Clunn
  • Most Consecutive Classic Appearances: 28, Rick Clunn, 1974-2001
  • Most Second Place Finishes: 4, Aaron Martens, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011
  • Largest Final Day Comeback: 13-14 deficit, Jordan Lee, Conroe, TX 2017

Jr. Bassmasters[edit]

The Jr. Bassmasters is a Bassmaster Classic competition for children up to 18. The national classic for the Jr. Bassmasters is achieved once an angler has won a qualifying event sponsored by the B.A.S.S association. The Jr. angler then gets to work with a professional on practice day. On the tournament day no help is provided by the pro and the Jr. Angler has to rely on his/her own knowledge and skill. The winner and 2nd and 3rd place all receive scholarships of different value.


  1. ^ 2014 Bassmaster Classic results
  2. ^ "Edwin Evers". Bassmaster. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  3. ^ "tournaments | Bassmaster". Retrieved 2017-03-27. 

External links[edit]