There's no doubt about it: the Bassmaster Classic is the heaviest, most anticipated event in bass fishing. And this year's installment of the iconic event is posed to be particularly potent. Why? It turns out that the biggest fishing event of the year will be held in the biggest city within the biggest state. That's right, friends... Houston, Texas.
Huk is excited and proud to join the Bassmaster Classic 2017 as an official event sponsor. We’ll also have several hard-fishing Huk Pro Staff anglers there to fly the Huk flag and give the competition hell. We'll fill you in on who to keep on your radar… but first, here are some important details about this year’s event.
The Big Event – 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic
Lake Conroe, a 21,000-acre impoundment of the San Jacinto River, will serve as the playing field for the "Super Bowl of Fishing." Weigh-ins will take place at Houston's Minute Maid Park, home of the Astro's. This will be Lake Conroe's first time hosting the Bassmaster Classic, but it was the location of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic from 2009 to 2013. Although the lake isn't the largest on the tournament circuit, it's known for producing huge largemouths.
52 of the best professional anglers in the world have earned the privilege of competing in the Classic. They'll be gunning for a place on the podium along with a slice of a more than $1 million purse. The first place angler will take home a weighty $300,000 and all the bragging rights he can handle.
Huk Pro Staff Anglers
Among the illustrious ranks of this year's Classic competitors are four Huk Pro Staff Anglers: Brandon Palaniuk, Brent Ehrler, Gerald Swindle, and Kevin VanDam. Let's take a closer look at this lineup.
Although Brandon is one of the younger guys on tour, 2017 won't be his first Classic rodeo. In fact, his professional fishing career was launched when he took fourth place in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta at age 23. In 2013, Palaniuk finished second at the Classic in Oklahoma, earning him a view from a podium that very few anglers will ever see. This year will be Palaniuk's 7th Classic appearance, qualifying through his performance on the Elite Series.
As a relative newcomer to the Bassmaster series, 2017 will be Brent Ehrler's second Classic appearance. Last year, he competed in the 2016 Classic at Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in Tulsa, Oklahoma, placing 13th.
Though his Bassmaster career is just getting started, Ehrler has been competing as a pro for over 11 years. He won the 2006 FLW Forrest Wood Cup and has been in the top ten running for FLW Angler of the Year just about every year he's been on tour. His time is coming, and the 2017 Classic could be his hour.
Coming off a hot year, during which he won the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Gerald Swindle is one of the top guys to watch in this year's event. 2017 will be his 16th Classic appearance, and although he took 3rd place at the 2005 Classic in Pittsburgh, he's never claimed victory.
But this year could be different. For over 20 years, Swindle has been pounding the water as a pro. He's placed in the top 10 over 50 times, and along with 2016, he won the 2004 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Award. Now, it's time for all that work to pay off in Texas.
Catching big bass consistently isn't easy. And neither is winning the hearts of bass fans everywhere. But that's exactly what Kevin VanDam has done for the last 25 years. He's widely held as the best angler in the world, a statement which he can back up with the fact that he's the all-time money winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail.
25 Classic appearances, 4 Classic wins, and 7 Angler of the Year titles... Let's just say Kevin VanDam knows how to get around a lake in a bass boat. We can't wait to see how he'll do in this year's Classic.
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We look forward to seeing everyone at the event and cheering on our pro staff. Join us for a great time and to learn more about our innovative high performance fishing apparel!