AFTCO to sponsor Elite event on St. Johns River

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James Overstreet
AFTCO-sponsored angler Garrett Paquette backs his boat in the water during the 2019 Elite event on St. Johns River

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — AFTCO, maker of precision tackle and performance fishing clothing, has signed on as title sponsor for the premier event of the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series season, B.A.S.S. announced today. The 2020 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River will be held Feb. 6-9 in Palatka, Fla.

“We are proud to partner with AFTCO to present the first tournament of what is sure to be an exciting 2020 season,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Both brands have a long history focused on both conservation and growing the sport of bass fishing, and our enthusiastic fans are the perfect audience for AFTCO to promote their gear and clothing.”

As part of the festivities at the Bassmaster Outdoors Expo, fans can enjoy live music, kids’ activities, Elite angler clinics, opportunities to meet their favorite pros and more prior to weigh-in.

According to AFTCO President Casey Shedd, “It is a great association for AFTCO to further partner with B.A.S.S. the same year they are celebrating the 50th Bassmaster Classic. In an industry where clothing and tackle companies are increasingly encroached upon by private equity firms looking to maximize short term profits over quality, B.A.S.S. is a heritage organization that, like AFTCO, is ultimately owned and operated by a family business that prioritizes long-term thinking. From outfitting anglers with the perfect set of cold weather clothing to their favorite sun hoodie, we look forward to being the title sponsor of first 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series event at Palatka, Florida.”

More than 9,350 fans attended last year’s tournament on the St. Johns, which was one of the most exciting in B.A.S.S. history. Legendary angler Rick Clunn weighed 34 pounds, 14 ounces — a bag that included two bass over 9 pounds — on Championship Sunday to come from behind and win with 98-14.