ESCANABA, Mich. — Bassmaster Elite Series tournament officials postponed competition in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship for the second consecutive day today because of unsafe boating conditions.
The second round of competition was postponed Friday because south winds gusting to 35 miles per hour resulted in 5-foot seas and small craft advisories for the Escanaba area of Lake Michigan.
“It’s at least as bad today, if not worse,” said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. A weather buoy offshore from Escanaba measured waves as high as 8 feet this morning, he said.
The Top 50 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers are competing this week on Big Bay de Noc and Little Bay de Noc in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the coveted title of Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and a purse of $900,000.
Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., remains the frontrunner for the Angler of the Year title, but he’s being chased by Todd Faircloth of Texas and Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala. Also at stake are berths in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic to be held on Lake Hartwell out of Greenville, S.C.
From the beginning, Saturday was planned as a day off for the anglers, many of whom are slated to participate in Bassmaster University seminars at Ludington Park in Escanaba.
The seminars are part of the Bassmaster Fan and Military Appreciation Day, which includes an outdoor expo featuring displays and activities from Bassmaster Elite Series Sponsors, as well as booths from food and other vendors from the Escanaba area.
Also on Saturday as part of its Bassmaster Fan and Military Appreciation Day, B.A.S.S. will give a special commemorative Bassmaster cap to the first 250 military service members who come to the B.A.S.S. booth with a military identification card. All 50 Elite anglers will be on hand to sign autographs as well.
The Bassmaster Elite Series Expo opens at 11 a.m. and Bassmaster University will begin at 11:30 with a welcome from Bassmaster Emcee Dave Mercer and the current AOY leader Greg Hackney. Seminars will continue throughout the day ending with a panel discussion a 4 p.m. with Mercer, Mark Zona and the Top 6 anglers in AOY points.
Fans are invited to participate in the free seminars. All times are eastern.