The Bassmaster Classic’s move to June might mean less weight on the scales, but it will help all involved stay in the black.
In chess, castling is a move switching a rook with the king, and B.A.S.S. did something akin by exchanging the Pickwick Lake Elite Series event with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. The king of bass fishing events on Lake Ray Roberts and its huge expo in Fort Worth are now scheduled for June 11-13.
The move was necessary due to the continued health concerns of COVID-19, and it might create better attendance, although the catching might not be as good.
“I think as far as the fan participation goes, it will probably be better than it’s ever been,” nine-time Classic qualifier Matt Herren said. “Hopefully, we’ll be through with this COVID scare, and everybody’s life will get back to normal. Most of the kids will be out of school, so I think the attendance numbers will be great.”
The Bassmaster Classic Expo, to be held at Will Rogers Memorial Center, is a key component as fishing’s largest consumer show. With 200-plus exhibitors, the Expo boosts Classic week’s economic impact to the host community. Last year’s well-attended Expo helped create a $35.9 million windfall for Birmingham, Ala.
Herren, who won the 2016 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Ray Roberts, said the competition will be like a chess match.
“The lake’s going to fish a whole lot smaller than it would have if we fished it in March,” the Alabamian said on the last leg of a 4,600-mile loop to Oregon and back. “It will be more of an offshore summertime deal. It will be fairly warm, and it’s going to group some fish up, but it’s also going to group the fishermen up.”