Spectator guide to 2013 Bassmaster Classic
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 4:08 AM
Bassmaster Classic coverage: From the morning launch to the evening weigh-ins, get complete Classic coverage. And find more on the event, including a Google Maps video tour of Grand Lake and maps of Tulsa’s entertainment districts and restaurants.
The big show begins about 6 a.m. Friday morning at Wolf Creek Park and Boat Ramp near Grove. Official takeoff is 7 a.m., but the process of putting the boats in the water and setting up for the takeoff is accompanied by music, angler interviews, fan interaction with the anglers and of course a ceremony with display of the colors and playing of the national anthem.
Fans gather by the thousands on shore each morning, fan and angler boats multiply in the water and the ESPN helicopter hovers overhead.
Come mindful of the weather, wear sturdy shoes and prepare to spend time outside. Parking will be available on-site and park-and-ride free shuttle service will operate from a lot just a half-mile south on U.S. 59 at the Cheapo Depo.
Vendors will be on site with hot drinks and snacks for sale, and there will be limited seating.
HOW TO GET TO THE LAUNCH
- Take I-44 East (Will Rogers Turnpike) from Tulsa
- Take Exit 320, Afton/Fairland/Grove (approximately 60 miles from East Tulsa)
- Merge right onto US 59/US 60/US 69 south toward Afton/Grove (1 mile)
- Turn left onto US 59 south (at the Buffalo Ranch - Conoco convenience store).
- Follow US 59 toward Grove (approximately 13 miles).
- Turn left onto 16th Street (boat ramp is 1/2 mile ahead)
PARKING AND WATCHING THE LAUNCH
Spectators may park in the large lot near the boat ramp or they may use a shuttle service by parking at the Cheapo Depo, located on US 59 on the west edge of Grove, about 1/2 mile south of the 16th turnoff to Wolf Creek Park and boat ramp. The boat ramp is roughly 90 miles from the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Allow at least 1 hour, 30 minutes drive time to reach the launch site. Launches are at 7 a.m. daily.
FOLLOWING THE ANGLERS
Boaters are welcome to follow anglers on the water, but they are asked to keep their distance and please respect the seriousness of the event. Grand Lake is public water, but disturbing the anglers is considered unethical behavior for an outdoorsman, as is motoring into their fishing spots and fishing behind them. Spectators are asked to turn off their motors while anglers are fishing and to turn off all sonar equipment.
GROVE BOAT SHOW
The annual Grove Boat Show has been moved up from mid-March to coincide with the Bassmaster Classic. Located downtown on Main Street in the Grove Civic Center, it will be open Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Nearly 100,000 people are expected to trip the turnstiles over three days of sales and showmanship at The Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo in the Tulsa Convention Center.
Hours are Friday noon to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Tulsa Sports Commission is shutting down Third Street between the Tulsa Convention Center and the BOK Center to provide an additional entertainment area for people making their way from the Expo across the street to the weigh-in.
It will feature live music, food and drink vendors. The Bass Bash opens at 11 a.m. daily
BASS FISHING HALL OF FAME
One event open to the public that does require advance tickets is the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame induction banquet Friday night. Inductees include Tulsa's Darrell Lowrance of fishing electronics innovation fame. Reception is at 6:30 p.m. and dinner is at 8 p.m. Keynote speaker is 2013 Classic competitor Mark Davis. The dinner and induction ceremony tickets are $100. For information go to tulsaworld.com/hoftickets or call 888-690-2277.
The BOK Center opens at 3 p.m. each day. People are advised to arrive early and get a seat. Admission is free and it is general seating, with some areas blocked off for angler families, sponsors and other VIPs.
Entertainment and activities precede the actual weighing of the fishes.
The Timberworks Lumberjack Show powered by STIHL will be there Saturday and Sunday.
Anglers arrive in front of the stage on their boats to their own theme music, overhead video and special stage effects and the competition. All 53 anglers weigh-in Friday and Saturday. The big finale is Sunday.
Early Sunday is weigh-in for the College Bass Classic between the University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma bass teams.
Then, with the pro field cut to 25, comes the final weigh-in and the crowning of the Bassmaster Classic Champion with the trophy ceremony and $500,000 top prize.
Original Print Headline: A fans' guide to the Classic
The Tulsa Sports Commission is providing free shuttle bus service between area hotels, entertainment districts, Bass Pro Shops and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The fleet includes 20 to 25 full coaches each day with six key hotel hubs servicing other local hotels on those routes.
Park-and-ride service will be available daily from Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. A main drop-off and pick-up spot for passengers is Third Street and South Frisco Ave.
TULSA AREA WEEKEND FORECAST
High: 42 Low: 20
Winds: Northwest at 5-10 mph
Chance of precipitation: 10%
High: 47 Low: 20
Winds: South at 5 mph
Chance of rain: 10%
High: 60 Low: 31
Winds: South, southeast at 10-15 mph
Chance of rain: none