Eight things to watch at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic
Are you ready for the biggest freshwater fishing event of the year?
The 2019 Bassmaster Classic will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 15-17. The fishing action will take place on the Tennessee River, including Fort Loudon and Tellico Lakes. This is the first time this venue has hosted a Classic. Along with the non-stop action on the water, there will be plenty for fans to do during the event, including the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo. Over 180 vendors will be on hand to show off the latest fishing gear and outdoor accessories. This promises to be one of the most fan-friendly events in the history of the Classic with all the major events happening within a two mile radius.
So whether you are headed to Knoxville or just watching it live at Bassmaster.com, here are eight storylines to follow at this year’s big event:
Three for Lee?
Jordan Lee has appeared in four Classics, winning two of them in 2017 and 2018. The 27-year-old became just the third angler in Bassmaster in history to win back-to-back titles (along with Rick Clunn 1976-77, and Kevin VanDam 2010-11). No angler has ever pulled off a three-peat.
This year’s field will feature 12 anglers making their first-ever appearance in the Classic. Another 11 of them have just one or two appearances, making this one of the youngest fields ever assembled. That doesn’t mean the senior members of the circuit won’t still be well represented. Eight of the anglers fishing this year’s event have 15 or more appearances at the Classic. VanDam will be making his 28th appearance at the Classic.
Home Field Advantage
Four anglers competing in this year’s field, including Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Wesley Strader of Spring City, and Brandon Lester of Fayetteville, call Tennessee home. It’s easy to forget that Tennessee is a big state – nearly 440 miles long and 120 miles wide, so that might not qualify as a true “home field” advantage. While they may not be intimately familiar with this particular stretch of the Tennessee River, they are all used to fishing similar water under similar conditions so all of them have a pretty good idea of fish behavior this time of year in that general geographic range. It’s no surprise that Lester has been the early favorite to win this year’s event.
Anchors Down. Trophies Up
Since its widespread adoption on the professional bass fishing scene, Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors have become an essential tool for anglers at the highest levels of competition. A Power-Pole equipped angler has won each of the last seven Classics and nine of the last eleven since Alton Jones became the first angler using a Power-Pole hoisted the trophy in 2008. The odds are good that the streak will continue this year as 41 of the 52 anglers in the field use a Power-Pole anchor on their boat.
The Watery Wild Card
During the last week of February, the Tennessee River experienced what the locals referred to as a “100-year flood” after it crested at over 26 feet – over nine feet above flood stage. Nearly 900 homes along the river in Knox County were affected. The river still remains several feet above flood stage and more rain is expected during the week of the tournament. Expect water clarity to be a real issue along with plenty of floating debris.
Whatever the Weather
Even if the rain holds off by the time competition starts on Friday, the weather will still play a big factor. After being hit with unseasonably cold weather over the past two weeks, temperatures are expected to drop into low to mid 30s by Saturday with even a chance of snow showers by late Sunday.
All the New Toys
Even if the weather turns sour, fans can always spend more time in the Outdoors Expo. An angler’s paradise with over 220,000 square feet of exhibitors spread across two venues, the Knoxville Convention Center and the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. Don’t forget to check out the Power-Pole exhibit in booth 3125 on the main floor of the convention center. Check out the entire line of trusted shallow water anchors or be one of the first to see the latest innovations like the CHARGE Marine Power Management Station and C-Monster GATEWAY. Visitors can even purchase official Power-Pole apparel, gear and accessories at special event pricing.
Party at Rocky Top
Weigh-ins will be held at the Thompson Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus, home of the Volunteers basketball teams. The 20,000-seat arena is slightly smaller than past venues so expect a packed house. As any UT fan can tell you, when the Boling Arena gets loud, it can be an electric atmosphere. Gates open at 3:15 on Sunday for the final weigh-in and trophy ceremony.
If you are unable to attend the event, the Power-Pole media team will have you covered with the latest updates, photos and videos live from Knoxville. Power-Pole will be in the middle of all the action both on and off the water so follow along on Facebook and Instagram or check out our live blog at power-pole.com