BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Sausage biscuit, anyone? Anglers are early risers, and breakfast on the go is a traditional start to a day on the water.
That’s one reason Hardee’s is a perfect fit for the Bassmaster Elite Series. Ponder Enterprises, franchisee of Hardee’s restaurants in Georgia and Florida, has become the presenting sponsor of the Elite Series season opener, the Dick Cepek Tires Bassmaster Elite at Lake Seminole presented by Hardee’s, March 13-16 out of Bainbridge, Ga.
“Hardee’s and Ponder Enterprises are excited to be the presenting sponsor for the Bassmaster Elite Series opening tournament on Lake Seminole,” said Dan Ponder of Ponder Enterprises. “It should be a great tournament showcasing Lake Seminole and the tristate area bordering the lake. We are proud to be a part of this great event.”
“We welcome Ponder Enterprises and Hardee’s to this important event of our season,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., which owns the Elite Series. “We encourage fans who attend the event — and we’re expecting a big crowd — to stop by their nearby Hardee’s and say hello.”
Fans can also visit the Hardee’s exhibit within the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo at the Earle May Boat Basin in Bainbridge. That’s also the venue for the weigh-ins, Thursday through Sunday, March 13-16, each day at 4 p.m. Before the weigh-ins, the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo, a free fishing show featuring the Elite Series sponsors’ products, will open at noon Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16.
Alongside the expo, the 11th annual Bainbridge River Town Days will take place March 14-16, at the Earle May Boat Basin. The festival offers many free kids activities, plus vendors and Flames on the Flint, a barbecue cook-off. Free concerts include performances by Chris Cagle, Michael Miller Band, Midnight Rain, Crooked Shooz and Jacob Powell.
There’s no admission charge for any Bassmaster event.
The Dick Cepek Tires Elite at Lake Seminole presented by Hardee’s will pit 108 of the world’s best professional bass anglers against one another for a first prize of $100,000. The event champion also will win an instant qualification for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing.
The Lake Seminole stop is a first for the Elite Series. The lake, spanning 37,500 acres and with 376 miles of shoreline, is expected to produce big bass and big challenges for the Elite field.
The Seminole tournament kicks off the ninth year for the Elite Series. The 2014 season includes eight events from March to August. All eight events will feature the full field. A ninth event in September, the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, will feature the Top 50 in points after eight events. They’ll compete for the coveted Angler of the Year title and $100,000.