Swindle’s big mo; Classic TV; Fantasy Fishing kicks off today; Dog talk and big air; Goldbeck on the move; More Bassmaster pros line up 2011 sponsors; Did you know? (about Greg Hackney)
Swindle’s big mo: In the 10 days since his first Bassmaster event victory, Gerald Swindle has been in demand. Every major Internet site has featured him, major newspapers have run pieces on him, radio interviewers are calling him. He has fielded hundreds of phone calls, voice mails and text messages from friends and fans.
Winners always get attention, but Swindle’s case is special. His Jan. 22 win at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open was his first Bassmaster win after 147 tries over 16 years.
The momentum of winning is huge for him as he heads into the Feb. 18-20 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta.
“Winning is a self-confidence boost; it’s a mental thing,” he said. “And now that it’s happened, you look back and say, ‘It wasn’t that hard; repeat it.’ Now I visualize winning instead of just trying to do well.”
Swindle’s Classic record is ripe for a win. The Louisiana event will be his 11th Classic; the first was in 1998. His record on the delta fishery is strong: 11th in 2003, when Michael Iaconelli won; and fifth in 2001, the year Kevin VanDam took his first of three Classic crowns.
Classic TV: Coverage of the 2011 Bassmaster Classic by ESPN2 will be aired Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27, and again on Sunday, March 6.
The Saturday show will recap the world championship from 10-11 a.m. On Sunday, Feb. 27, the air times will be at 5-8 a.m.; 3-5 p.m.; and 10 to midnight. The March 6 shows will air from 5-9 a.m.
The Feb. 18-20 Classic will pit 50 of the world’s best anglers against the vast Louisiana Delta for a top prize of $500,000. The action shifts to New Orleans for the daily weigh-ins.
To whet fans’ appetites for the coverage of the world championship, ESPN Classic will present a five-hour Bassmaster Classic marathon on Friday, Feb. 25, beginning at 7 p.m. The marathon will kick off with an hour each of the 2001 and 2003 Classic competitions, which, like the 2011 Classic, were on the Louisiana Delta out of New Orleans.
The third hour of the marathon will highlight the 2004 Classic on Lake Wylie out of Charlotte, N.C. The final two hours will recapture the 2007 and 2010 Classic contests, both on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Ala.
All times are Eastern.
Fantasy Fishing kicks off today: It’s time again for B.A.S.S. Fantasy Fishing presented by Toyota Trucks, with prizes of Bass Pro Shops gift cards and a grand prize that includes a trip for two to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
Registration begins today, Feb. 1, at www.bassmaster.com/fantasy. The play is free.
The first tournament of 2011 Fantasy Fishing will be the Feb. 18-20 Bassmaster Classic. The Fantasy Fishing prize will be a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
For the eight regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series events, player prizes will be $500 gift cards from Bass Pro Shops. A $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card will also be awarded to the grand prize winner, in addition to the trip to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport, La.
Dog talk and big air: B.A.S.S. and the Super Retriever Series (SRS), a competition and educational organization based out of Little Rock, Ark., have teamed up to present SRS events in conjunction with several B.A.S.S. tournaments in 2011, beginning with the Feb. 18-20 Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans.
One of the SRS events will be Bass, Duck and Dog Village presented by Eukanuba. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about duck hunting with retrievers. Another SRS event will be a competition, SRS Super Dock presented by Eukanuba, in which dogs go for big air as they leap over water from a platform. The Super Dock events will serve as qualifiers for SRS’s Super Fly and Super V Series.
After the Classic, fans can ask the experts and look for “flying” dogs at several Bassmaster Elite Series events: the April 6-9 Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake out of Florence, Ala.; the June 9-12 Diamond Drive on the Arkansas River out of Little Rock; and Toyota Tundra All-Star Week, the Bassmaster postseason in Montgomery, Ala.
More information about SRS events is available at http://www.superretrieverseries.com.
Goldbeck on the move: After living in a motor home for seven months, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Grant Goldbeck and his family are finally back in a house without wheels.
The Goldbecks — Grant, his wife, their 5 1/2-year old son and their six rescue dogs — camped out in the motor home while their house was being built on 27 acres of an old hunting ranch in Boerne, Texas. Although the house isn’t finished, just a few days ago an apartment in their barn was complete enough to be lived in.
“My wife declared she never wanted to set foot in the motor home again,” said Goldbeck, who has been an Elite Series angler since the tour’s first year, 2006.
They relocated to Texas from Gaithersburg, Md., after Goldbeck checked out the area on his way home from a 2009 Elite Series tournament on Lake Amistad. He called his wife at home and urged her to come take a look. She fell in love with the area as fast as he did, and neither of them thought twice about putting their Maryland home up for sale. An offer came through in June 2010. The deal required that they move in two weeks, so the motor home purchase was the solution.
They were lured to Boerne by the area’s school system, good fishing (Choke Canyon, Falcon, Amistad), lots of hunting opportunities, natural beauty and room for the dogs to run. The weather was a big draw, too.
“It’s tough to fish all winter in Maryland,” he said. “Now I can test baits all year long.”
He’s now testing baits for a Texas-based lure maker, Xcite, and is closer to his biggest sponsor, Knighten Industries out of Odessa, Texas. Goldbeck has been working for Knighten during the off-season, mainly in customer relations, which, of course, could entail taking clients out fishing.
Knighten, which supplies pumps to the oil industry, will continue to be Goldbeck’s boat-wrap sponsor for the 2011 season.
More Bassmaster pros line up 2011 sponsors: The Pro News pages at Bassmaster.com are filling up with the new deals signed by Bassmaster Elite Series pros. The most recent sponsor agreements include:
* Grant Goldbeck, who recently moved to Boerne, Texas (see story, above), has joined the pro staff of Xcite Baits of Highland Village, Texas, maker of soft plastics and terminal tackle.
* Four-time Bassmaster Classic champ Rick Clunn will be fishing with Wright & McGill’s Signature S-Curve and S-Glass bass rods and Victory reels.
* Second-year Elite Series pro Byron “B.J.” Haseotes picked up Rapsody Fishing of Troy, N.Y., maker of rods.
* Nate Wellman is all set for his rookie Elite Series season with a boat wrap by Trailer Equipment Inc., his family’s Grand Rapids, Mich., tractor-trailer dealership and leasing business. Other sponsors include Costa Del Mar, iRod Fishing Rods, Megabite Lures, Bass Assault Lures, Power-Pole and the Bass Pro Shops incentive program.
* Dave Wolak will be fishing his fifth Bassmaster Classic with Japanese lure maker Jackall behind him. He will also help Jackall develop products for the U.S. market. Wolak joins three other Elite Series pros sponsored by Jackall: Kotaro Kiriyama, Cliff Pace and Jared Lintner.
Did you know?: Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., got his start at the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation level in his native state of Arkansas.
He won the statewide Federation competition in 2001. At the time, the state winner was awarded an entry in a Bassmaster Open circuit. He grabbed the opportunity and selected the 2002 Bassmaster Central Open division. He went on to win one of the Central’s three events that year, wrapped up the points race and qualified for the 2003 Bassmaster Classic, his first.
Hackney is poised for his ninth Classic appearance, which, like his first, will be on the Louisiana Delta out of New Orleans. The 2011 Classic, Feb. 18-20, will be his 100th Bassmaster event.
About B.A.S.S. For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.