A Peak at the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Field Highlights the Competition’s Wide Appeal

As the first woman to qualify for bass fishing’s most visible tournament, Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., is the demographic diva of the 2009 Classic field.

Bain-Moore, 28, is one of 51 anglers in the 2009 Classic, set for Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The top prize is $500,000 and the sport’s most prestigious tournament title.

While Bain-Moore leads the list of notables, there are many more anglers who stand out statistically.

At 25, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., will be the youngest contender. Rick Clunn of Ava., Mo., 62, will be the oldest. Ashley will be making his second Classic appearance; Clunn will be logging his 32nd, more than any other angler in BASS history.

Out of his 31 appearances so far, Clunn has won four times (1976, 1977, 1984 and 1990) while no other angler has won more than twice. Clunn is also the only one who’s taken back-to-back Classic titles.

The only other angler in the 2009 field with multiple Classic victories is 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich. Making his 19th Classic appearance, VanDam will be seeking a third title to add to those taken in 2001 and 2005.

For 51-year-old Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, the Red River Classic will be his 27th. Klein, a two-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, is looking for his first Classic win.

The state represented by the most entries is Alabama; nine 2009 Classic contenders call it home.

The only entry from Louisiana is Greg Hackney of Gonzales. While Shreveport-Bossier City will be hosting its first Classic, Louisiana has been the site of three past Classics, all on the Louisiana Delta out of New Orleans. The Classic is scheduled to return to New Orleans in 2011 after stopping in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010.

THANKSGIVING IN THE BIG APPLE. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tim Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., will be spending his Thanksgiving Day taping an appearance on the TV show ‘Fox and Friends’.

Maybe I’ll be cooking a turkey, said Horton when asked what he’ll be doing on the show.

Afterward, Horton plans to check out the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with his family, who will accompany him on his first trip to the Big Apple.

BID TO FISH. Next week an online charity auction will feature a fishing trip on a private, 120-acre lake with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.

Conducted by Evers to benefit a food bank called Standing in the Gap, the winner of the Dec. 1-9 eBay auction will also receive a signed jersey, two rod-and-reel combos and a tackle pack worth $500.

Evers discusses his latest charity undertaking in his Nov. 18 blog at BASS Insider, the premium pages of Bassmaster.com. In the same blog, Evers promises an update soon on the status of his 2009 Bassmaster Classic appearance.

He’s in limbo about competing because he and his wife are expecting a baby Feb. 20, which is the first of the three Classic competition days on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

HAVE FAITH. It starts to play with your mind when you are waiting, but I just figured that we were going to live or die on that spot. Gary Woelber, part of the three-man fishing team that stuck to one fickle area to win the Grand Team Champion title at last weekend’s ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series presented Redbone Savannah Red Trout Celebrity Classic. Many Bassmaster Elite Series anglers exhibited patience during the season, primarily focusing on one spot. The event was one of six saltwater events that will become the centerpiece of new ESPN2 programming starting Sundays in April 2009.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit Bassmaster.com. Visit ESPNMediaZone.com. for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video, audio clips and more.

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