BASSCast Debuts at Bassmaster Classic
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion, Alabama's Boyd Duckett, and Skeet Reese, the reigning Bassmaster Angler of the Year, will share with ESPN Technology a unique spotlight this week at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic as the anglers take part in ESPN and BASS' launch of BASSCast, an innovative creation from ESPN Technology, at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell.
BASSCast is a one-of-a-kind technology that allows viewers to see first-hand what happens on the water during a tournament - conditions, location, casting technique, reaction, equipment and more.
Duckett and Reese will be the featured anglers Friday, Feb. 22, as the technology makes its debut for Day One of the Bassmaster Classic. BASSCast will feature different anglers for each of the other two days of Classic competition.
"The ESPN Technology Product Development team set out to create a game changing technology that will differentiate BASS from the competition," said Anthony Bailey, ESPN vice president, application development. "BASSCast will do just that through the use of cutting-edge wireless technology."
A fixed-position camera on a select angler's boat will provide video highlights each day that will be shown on www.Bassmaster.com during the Feb. 22-24 competition. The fully automated cameras send footage to production every 10 minutes throughout the day. Two-hour segments are then uploaded to www.Bassmaster.com for fans to watch online.
"This technology allows us to showcase the athleticism and intense competition that happens out on the water during BASS competition," said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager, BASS. "It has always been a challenge to provide fans with on-the-water content, considering the large playing field on which our anglers compete. Fans will have the action brought right into their homes during tournaments. This technology is a leap forward in delivering our sport to our fans."
BASS WELCOMES SECRETARY OF INTERIOR
In a special appearance Thursday at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recognized the contributions anglers make to conserving the nation's fisheries, and emphasized the importance of passing on the legacy of fishing to future generations.
Kempthorne addressed the media and the 50 Classic contenders on the eve of the Feb. 22-24 competition.
"We have the responsibility of conserving some of the most beautiful places in America," Kempthorne said. "The enthusiasm here, is contagious. If past Bassmaster Classics are any measure, we'll have a great time enjoying the competition."
Kempthorne went out later Thursday afternoon for some fishing on Lake Hartwell with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas.
Texas pros Kathy Magers and Robin Babb are the captains of Team Academy, unveiled Wednesday on the eve of the Women's Bassmaster Tour Championship.
"We're about trying to help grow professional women's bass fishing because women are the fastest growing segment of the outdoor market," said Jerry de Bin, Academy's director of outdoor marketing.
Also named to the team were reigning Toyota WBT Angler of the Year Sheri Glasgow, Juanita Robinson, Judy Wong, Tammy Richardson and Pam Martin-Wells, who are competing in the Feb. 21-23 WBT Championship on Lake Keowee. Other Team Academy members include WBT pros Debra Hengst, Jan Heavener, Susan Gregory and Jo Dee Lake.
Academy is a family-owned sporting goods chain based in Katy, Texas, with 105 stores in 11 states, including a new location in Spartanburg, S.C.
HALL OF FAME INDUCTS ANGLERS
A five-time Bassmaster Classic contender, Charlie Campbell of Forsythe, Mo., is one of four men who were inducted Thursday into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Campbell competed in 229 Bassmaster events from 1971 to 2002. He scored 27 top-20 finishes, including fifth place in the 1974 Classic. He's also known for creating the Charlie Campbell CC Spinner Bait and contributing to the design of the first Bass Tracker Boats.
Three other pioneers of the sport will be inducted posthumously, including Nick Creme, who with his brother invented the first soft-plastic worm and founded Creme Lure Co. in Texas. Lure inventor and TV show host Virgil Ward of Missouri also will be inducted, as will Elwood Lake "Buck" Perry, the North Carolina angler widely acclaimed as being "the father of structure fishing."
The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization based in Hot Springs, Ark.
MIKE & MIKE HOSTS TEST HARTWELL
To prep for their ESPN Radio broadcast 6 a.m.-10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, from Lake Hartwell, Mike Golic and Erik Kuselias of Mike & Mike in the Morning went fishing Thursday afternoon with Bassmaster Elite pros Jason Quinn and Davy Hite.
Golic and co-host Kuselias will broadcast Mike & Mike in the Morning from Hartwell's Portman Marina, where the 50 contenders will launch at 7:15 a.m. to start the three-day Bassmaster Classic competition, which boasts a first-place prize of $500,000.
As Golic was headed to Hartwell, rain showers were predicted and the temperature was 42 degrees. "I'm not looking forward to that part of it," he said. "But I grew up fishing, so I've done this a lot and I'm looking forward to the trip."
He was confident about his chances of landing a bass. "I will catch them, but Erik Kuselias will not," Golic joked. "He couldn't put a lure on a line if you paid him."
HORTON CUTS HIS HAIR
Tim Horton shed his 10-inch locks Thursday in front of hundreds of witnesses at the Bassmaster Classic's media day.
A Classic contender and Bassmaster Elite pro from Muscle Shoals, Ala., Horton began growing his hair about 10 months ago so he could donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients.
"My wife and I thought it would be a good idea to cut it today to get more publicity for Locks of Love," Horton said. "It feels weird to have short hair again, but it feels good."
Kimberlee Striker, a WBT pro from Cullman, Ala., who's also a hairdresser, sectioned Horton's hair into about 20 ponytails before carefully snipping each hank. The entire haircut was recorded by Hooked Up, the www.bassmaster.com Webcast that's providing live coverage of Classic events.