Bassmaster.com has asked our team of writers and staff to reflect on their favorite moment of 2016. Chris Bowes the Tournament Director for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens series.
Well, I have a couple.
What always resonates each year for me and I actually often find myself reflecting on after the event is the excitement, energy and emotion in the air as the last fish is weighed and the winner is crowned. Particularly, since the berth to the Bassmaster Classic is now potentially part of the prize package. In 2016, we had some really great young anglers win Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens. Skyler Hamilton, Jesse Wiggins, Alton Jones Jr., and Wil Hardy II all won Opens and qualify for the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. It’s fantastic to see there is a great crop of young anglers coming in and ready to compete. Several of these fine young anglers carried the momentum onto 2017 Elite Series qualifications.
But, number one in my book is Charlie Hartley’s big win at the James River Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open. Charlie has many, many fans, and I may be his biggest. Catch them or not, Charlie’s always has a smile and extremely positive attitude. That week in August, he clearly caught them. Seeing all the excitement in the social media world following his first B.A.S.S. win, it’s clear that Charlie fans will be rooting him on “big time” in Houston.