Thousands of fishing fans are expected to gather in Dayton, Tenn., to celebrate summer during the first BASSfest June 11-15.
In addition to cheering on their favorite professional anglers competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Chickamauga Lake, BASSfest visitors will be able to enjoy an outdoors expo, where the newest boats, motors, fishing tackle, lures and other sporting goods will be on display and for sale. On Friday, June 13, Bassmaster University presented by Nationwide will be in full swing, offering more than 20 must-attend seminars taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros and B.A.S.S. staff.
Fishing fans and their families are invited to discover everything BASSfest — all free and open to the public. Following are 25 things to see and do at BASSfest in Dayton.
1. Watch the competitors blast off.On Wednesday and Thursday, June 11-12, the full field of 140 competitors will take off from the Dayton Boat Dock at Point Park at 6:15 a.m. to fish Chickamauga Lake. And, on Saturday and Sunday, the top anglers will take off from the same dock in hopes of earning the $125,000 first prize.
2. Find out who will get a second chance.On Friday, June 12, anglers who did not finish in the Top 50 on Thursday will compete on Nickajack Lake out of Riverpark at Robinson Bridge just below the Chickamauga Dam. All weights are zeroed for this one-day shootout, and the Top 10 anglers advance to Saturday’s semifinal competition.
3. Cheer on your favorite college team.Anglers from 28 universities will compete on Watts Bar Lake in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional on Thursday and Friday. The College Series weigh-in on Friday will take place on the main event stage at Dayton’s Point Park to see which team will be crowned the Eastern Regional champs.
4. Be social.Use the hashtag #bassmaster on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest or Facebook. Be sure to check out the BASSfest Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/697408700289188/for pictures and updates.
5. View the new GeoBASS film.Costa’s new show GeoBASS: The World’s Greatest Bass Fishing Adventure premieres a new episode on Saturday just prior to weigh-in at Point Park. GeoBASS chronicles the lifestyles, mishaps and camaraderie of the four expedition anglers of GeoFish fame — Thad Robison, Brian Jill, Jay Johnson and Chris Owens — in an around-the-world epic bass fishing journey. For more information, visit www.costadelmar.com/geobass.
6. Get out on the water.Find out what it’s like to cruise in a new bass boat by experiencing the free demo rides offered after takeoff Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the Skeeter Performance Boats Demo Tour, Yamaha’s 2014 Discover VMAX SHO Demo Tour, Mercury ProXS Demo Tour, the 2014 Triton Demo Tour and the Nitro Boats Demo Tour.
7. Win a trip to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.Booyah is giving away a trip to the Bassmaster Classic and a chance to win a Toyota Tundra. Visit the Booyah booth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to register.
8. Listen to live music. Prior to the weigh-in on Saturday, two recording artist from Nashville William Michael Morgan and Payton Taylor will each play a country music set on the Bassmaster Elite stage for fans to enjoy.
9. Hone your fishing skills.The Berkley Bass Tank will be at the outdoors expo with free seminars about how to use different types of lures. Shimano will have a casting-target course set up to test your skills with the new Curado reel.
10. Score lots of freebies.Minn Kota will be registering fans to win a great Minn Kota product. One lucky fan will win an Evan Williams Bourbon Cooler prize pack on Sunday. And Carhartt will offer chances to win Carhartt-branded prizes at its booth.
11. Enjoy Hooked Up!Get updates from Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders on the Toyota Hooked Up! stage on Saturday and Sunday.
12. Cast away.Test your children’s casting abilities at the CastingKids competition for ages 7-18, and see if they can win a prize! The competition will start at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and at noon on Sunday.
13. Spend time at the outdoors expo.More than 60 national and local exhibitors, including a variety of food and beverage vendors, will be on site.
14. Class is in session. Bassmaster University presented by Nationwide Insurance (www.Nationwide.com) will convene on Friday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., offering how-to seminars. Learn secrets from the Elite Series pros and Bassmaster staff to improve your skills. Topics include bait techniques, lure presentations, electronics and motors, flipping, pitching and more. New topics begin every half-hour. Visit Bassmaster.com/bassfest for Bassmaster University details, including seminar topics, locations and times.
15. Discover new gear.Plano will be showing off its latest tackle storage innovations at the outdoors expo. Also, be sure to check out the latest products from Star brite, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Rigid Industries and Mustang.
16. Master electronics.Get advice on your marine electronics from the inventors of the first sonar device available to consumers. Lowrance Electronics will have staff on-site to answer any electronics questions you may have.
17. Test your strength.Toyota’s Torque Pull Challenge enables fans to test their strength at the outdoors expo. There will also be a chance for fans to try their luck and win prizes in the Toyota Dice Roll game. Fans can also dress up in a Toyota angler’s fishing jersey to get their picture taken on the Toyota Hooked Up! stage.
18. Get your grill on.The championship barbecue team of Pitt’s and Spitt’s will be grilling on the Shell Rotella Custom Barbeque Grill which it designed for big events such as BASSfest.
19. Visit the Toyota Hiring Our Heroes Monster Tundra.Toyota partnered with Hiring Our Heroes and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer to help veterans learn how to create their own personal brand and better market themselves to civilian employers. Stop by the Hiring Our Heroes Monster Tundra booth to learn more about the Personal Branding Résumé Engine (www.ResumeEngine.org) – a free online tool that helps veterans and transitioning service members translate their military experience into a strong civilian résumé and get it in front of thousands of employers.
20. Tech talk.Stop by the Livingston Lures booth to learn about its sound-producing lure technology and to check out lures for purchase.
21. Shallow-water savvy.Power-Pole will display various models of shallow-water anchors at the outdoors expo, including the Pro Series and the Micro Anchor, which won best in show at the 2013 ICAST new product showcase.
22. Play Fantasy Fishing.Fans can choose their Top 5 Elite anglers for a chance to win a $2,500 Bass Pro Shops gift card and a grand prize (for the full season) that includes a Triton boat and Mercury motor. Visit Bassmaster.com/Fantasy to learn more.
23. Follow the competition.Fans can keep up with the tournament all during BASSfest by visiting Bassmaster.com or downloading the Bassmaster News App. Both places offer fans up-to-the-minute blog posts, photos and videos.
24. Join the High School Elite Experience. Scores of high school students will have a chance to rub shoulders with and learn fishing techniques from some of the world’s best professional anglers in the Bassmaster High School Elite Experience on Saturday. The event is free to students in grades 9 through 12.
25.Spin to win.On Saturday and Sunday at the B.A.S.S. expo booth, visitors can win prizes by taking a turn at the Spin ‘N’ Win wheel.