B.A.S.S. announced today a new fan-friendly program that will run in conjunction with each Elite Series event in 2014.
The Elite Experience will offer fans an opportunity to learn from and fish with Elite Series anglers in a tournament setting. Most Elite Experience sessions will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during Elite Series events.
Seminars and workshops conducted by pro anglers will take place on Saturday with a pro-am tournament to follow on Sunday as two Elite Experience participants will be paired with a pro to form a three-angler team. The pro-am event will take place at a body of water near the Elite Series venue. Each team can weigh in five bass with the heaviest bag determining the winner.
Prizes will be awarded, with payouts based on the number of entries. In addition, the one angler with the largest bass will win a prize.
“The Elite Series Marshal program has been so successful, we decided to expand on the opportunities for fan-pro interaction,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., owner of the Elite Series. “Intense instruction followed by applying what was learned can only add up to a well-spent – and fun – weekend.”
As the B.A.S.S. tournament director, Trip Weldon has steered the Marshal program, which pairs a fan with a pro as the official observer during competition. He’s heard firsthand the stories about how much marshals learn when riding along with the pros.
“But in the boat, actually fishing alongside an Elite pro, Elite Experience participants are going to come away with a lot more of those stories to tell their families and friends,” Weldon said. “Elite pros are excited about this opportunity. We’ve had excellent buy-in from them on this new idea.”
Six Elite Experience sessions are planned for 2014. They are:
Saturday, March 8 – Lay Lake, Alabama (tournament only)
Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23 – Rodman Reservoir, Florida
Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6 – Bull Shoals, Arkansas
Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18 – Piney Creek, Arkansas
Saturday and Sunday, June 14-15 – Nickajack Lake, Tennessee
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24 – Onondaga Lake, New York
For more information about the program, or to register after Feb. 3, contact the B.A.S.S. tournament department at (205) 313-0900.