GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Last week, 39 anglers qualified for the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods through the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship.
But eight more barely missed their shot at a Classic berth — and they’re getting one more chance this week with all of the action carried on Bassmaster LIVE.
The Classic Bracket at Pokegama Lake features the first eight anglers to miss Classic qualification battling it out in a head-to-head, match-style format. Every fish caught during the catch-weigh-release event will be carried live on Bassmaster.com — and when the dust settles on Friday, the final angler standing will receive an automatic berth into the Classic, which will be held on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell next March.
Competition began Monday with two three-hour sessions, with four anglers competing in the morning, followed by the remaining four anglers competing in the afternoon. All eight anglers will advance to Wednesday’s second round, with only the four match winners moving onto Thursday’s semifinals.
Only seven fish were caught before 10 a.m. during the second of three elimination rounds at the Major League Fishing Summit Cup at Michigan's Lake Hubbard, but the remainder of the day saw 60 come aboard the boats of the nine competing anglers. The competitor who led the way with a nine-fish, 29-07 haul did all of his damage between 12:42 and 3:36 p.m. His biggest fish was a 5-09 smallmouth.
Weights were much tighter than on day 1, when one angler amassed 54 pounds and no others had more than 23-07. The No. 2 qualifier on day 2 had 25-15 and No. 3 boated 22-03.
Anglers competing on day 2 were Brent Chapman, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Tim Horton, Mike Iaconelli, Alton Jones, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery and Jacob Wheeler.
The No. 4 qualifier caught a day-best 14 fish, but they averaged just 1-06. The last-place guy averaged better than 4 pounds per fish, but he only caught two.
Finesse worms fished offshore were again the predominant program. The total haul consisted of 63 smallmouths and four largemouths.
Elimination-round competition concludes Wednesday, with sudden-death set for Thursday and Friday. The championship round, which will consist of eight anglers, will take place Saturday.
Summit Cup competition will begin airing on Outdoor Channel in February 2018. Read more