BY World's Editorials Writers
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 6:59 AM
The 53 competitors in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing, have been on Oklahoma's Grand Lake o' the Cherokees the past couple of days, scouting for largemouth hot spots.
But on Friday, not long after 6 a.m., they'll launch their highly specialized, high-powered boats from the Wolf Creek Boat Park and Ramp at Grove and begin competing in earnest for the $500,000 top prize and total purse of $1.2 million.
Daily fish weigh-ins for the tournament, which continues Saturday and Sunday, will be about 4:30 p.m. at Tulsa's BOK Center. Meanwhile, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expos will be going full-tilt at the Tulsa Convention Center adjacent to the BOK Center. Daily launches, weigh-ins and the expo are expected to attract 100,000 spectators.
Weather for much of the practice rounds was pretty nasty, but don't worry too much about these hardy fishermen. They've dealt with these kinds of conditions before.
And the explosive growth in bass fishing popularity over the years, and specifically the Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society's pro tour, has resulted in a bonanza of high-tech foul weather clothing and gear.
Grand Lake and northeastern Oklahoma anglers and fishing equipment manufacturers played key roles in the origins of the 500,000-member BASS organization back in the 1960s, so the location of this year's Classic is entirely appropriate.
Welcome to the Bassmaster Classic, anglers, and good fishing.