NEW ORLEANS -- For professional fishermen, the Bassmaster Classic is widely regarded as the be-all end-all in competitive fishing. Why? For starters it's got a $500,000 purse, winning it will give your career a degree of longevity and qualifying for it is one of the most daunting tasks in bass fishing. The only thing more difficult than qualifying for the Classic is winning it. Win or lose, first time or 29th, the Classic makes an impression on all who compete.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Riding along the Alabama River Friday, chasing competitors in the Toyota Trucks Championship Week and filing reports on the practice fishing for www.bassmaster.com, I was overwhelmed with memories of past days and events on this river.
In this article, you can read how George Cochran went against conventional wisdom to win the 1996 Bassmaster Classic at Lay Lake, Alabama.
The standings changed every day, and especially in the final round, as David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., weighed in a three-day catch of 48 pounds, 6 ounces and became the 23rd Classic champion.
Clunn has clearly been the most accomplished angler in Bassmaster Classic history. With back-to-back wins in 1976 and 1977, he established himself as the first Classic-created superstar in the sport.
Guido Hibdon tells what he used to win the 18th. Bassmaster Classic.
Incredibly, the 1987 Bassmaster Classic was won with just 15 pounds 5 ounces. And it took 14 fish to get there.
Fishing his Carolina rig Do Nothing worm along a sandbar, Chancellor caught seven-bass limits during the first hour of fishing each of the first two days.
In the toughest Classic to date, Larry Nixon outpaced a frustrated field. The Ohio River produced only five 6-bass limits over the three competition days.
These are the 31 champions in the history of the Bassmaster Classics along with additional facts of the competitions.