Pro Anglers Set to Converge on LaGrange
Ninety-nine of the most talented anglers in bass fishing-representing 27 states and one foreign country-are headed to West Point Lake near LaGrange, Ga., for one of America's premier fishing competitions, May 5-8.
The field for the Bassmaster Elite Series event 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.
The upcoming event at LaGrange features Dixie Dock Dogs, a Team Sandtastic display, Hamsters Water Balls in which people can walk, jump, roll and float on water, Kids Zone with inflatables and local food vendors, all Friday-Sunday; Chamber Business After Hours on Friday; local bands performing Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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.
May 12-15 Lake Murray, Columbia, 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.
Bassmaster Elite Series competitors by state:
Boyd Duckett, Demopolis, Ala.
Matt Herren, Trussville, Ala.
Tim Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Randy Howell, Springville, Ala.
Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala.
Kotaro Kiriyama, Moody, Ala.
Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala.
Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala.
Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala.
Keith Poche, Troy, Ala.
Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala.
Gerald Swindle, Warrior, Ala.
Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala.
John Murray, Phoenix, Ariz.
Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark.
Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark.
Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark.
Mike McClelland, Bella Vista, Ark.
Scott Rook, Little Rock, Ark.
Kevin Short, Mayflower, Ark.
Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif.
Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif.
Matt Greenblatt, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Shaw Grigsby, Gainesville, Fla.
Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla.
Bernie Schultz, Gainesville, Fla.
Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla.
Lee Sisson, Winter Haven, Fla.
Peter Thliveros, St. Augustine, Fla.
J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga.
Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho
Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind.
Morizo Shimizu, Matsugaoka, Japan
Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan.
Mark Menendez, Paducah, Ky.
Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky.
Kevin Wirth, Crestwood, Ky.
Jeff Connella, Bentley, La.
Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La.
Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La.
Dennis Tietje, Roanoke, La.
Grant Goldbeck, Gaithersburg, Md.
Ryan Said, Wixom, Mich.
Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Nate Wellman, Newaygo, Mich.
Paul Elias, Laurel, Miss.
Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss.
Pete Ponds, Madison, Miss.
Denny Brauer, Camdenton, Mo.
Rick Clunn, Ava, Mo.
Brian Snowden, Reeds Spring, Mo.
Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J.
Pat Golden, High Point, N.C.
Dustin Wilks, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Dave Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C.
Brent Broderick, Oregonia, Ohio
Charlie Hartley, Grove City, Ohio
Scott Ashmore, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla.
Terry Butcher, Talala, Okla.
Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla.
Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla.
Kenyon Hill, Norman, Okla.
Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla.
Fred Roumbanis, Bixby, Okla.
David Smith, Del City, Okla.
Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C.
Davy Hite, Ninety Six, S.C.
Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C.
Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C.
Jason Quinn, Lake Wylie, S.C.
Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C.
Jason Williamson, Aiken, S.C.
Jami Fralick, Martin, S.D.
Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn.
Ben Parker, Union City, Tenn.
David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn.
Dean Alexander, Georgetown, Texas
Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas
Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas
Chad Griffin, Cresson, Texas
Alton Jones, Waco, Texas
Kelly Jordon, Palestine, Texas
Gary Klein, Weatherford, Texas
Yusuke Miyazaki, Forney, Texas
James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas
Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas
Russell Parrish, Riesel, Texas
Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas
Clark Reehm, Lufkin, Texas
Zell Rowland, Austin, Texas
Craig Schuff, Watauga, Texas
James Stricklin, Texarkania, Texas
John Crews, Salem, Va.
Rick Morris, Virginia Beach, Va.
Travis Manson, De Pere, Wis.