Elite Anglers Converge On Arkansas River


Ninety-nine of the world's most talented bass fishermen-representing 27 states (including six from Arkansas) and one foreign country-are headed to the Arkansas River near Little Rock, Ark., for one of America's premier competitions, June 9-12.

The field for the Bassmaster Elite Series "Diamond Drive" tournament includes perhaps the greatest competition angler of all time. Kevin VanDam from Kalamazoo, Mich., has more than $5 million in career earnings and is the reigning champion and a four-time winner of the prestigious Bassmaster Classic. He also is currently in 2nd place for the coveted Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, which, if he were to win, would be his fourth consecutive title.

The upcoming event at Little Rock features the following activities:

  • Toyota Kids Casting Contest and Toyota angler silkscreen T-shirt giveaway
  • Yamaha SHO demo tours
  • Evan Williams Bourbon sampling and prize giveaways
  • Mercury Power of Champions Tour
  • Demonstrations of the latest baits and techniques on the Berkley Demo Tank
  • Bass Pro Shops Kevin VanDam Prize Package Sweepstakes
  • Eukanuba Super Dock-Super Fly and Super V competition

The fishing competition is among just eight tournaments offering competitors a $100,000 top prize, a chance to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic, and a shot at the 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

Elite Series dates, fisheries, locations and winners (to date) include:

March 10-13 Harris Chain of Lakes, Tavares, Fla., Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Fla.
March 17-20 St. John's River<, Palatka, Fla., Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.
April 6-9 Pickwick Lake, Florence, Ala., Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C.
April 14-17 Toledo Bend, Many, La., Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
May 5-8 West Point Lake<, LaGrange, Ga., Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala.
May 12-15 Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C., Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C.
June 9-12 Arkansas River, Little Rock, Ark.
June 16-19 Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Ala.

At each event, fishing fans of all ages can enjoy a variety of free activities such as: daily tournament weigh-ins; Ask the Experts, where fans can pose questions to Elite Series pros; live updates from the Toyota Trucks Hooked Up! stage, the Bassmaster.com preview show that gives fans on-site and online updates from the day's tournament action; B.A.S.S. giveaways; tips and techniques from industry experts; angler autograph sessions; live music from local and regional acts; family- and youth-friendly activities; and product demos. Official B.A.S.S. merchandise will be available for purchase.

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