The reality fishing show “World Series of Bass, The Dream” makes its debut Thursday, Oct. 11 at 10:30 a.m. EST on NBC Sports Network, kicking off a 13-week run for the show that will serve as a lead in to a series of tournaments next year that will culminate in a no-entry fee championship called the Main Event in October 2013.
The dates and locations of the three regional qualifier tournaments in 2013 will also be announced tomorrow in conjunction with the debut of the reality show.
Each week's episode will provide a different look at how tournament bass anglers think, prepare and react to the constantly changing conditions they encounter during pursuit of their favorite activity. Included in the program are a behind-the-scenes look at tournament bass fishing in general, a series of fishing skill challenges, and a peek into the planning for next year's World Series of Bass tournaments.
Among the show's participants are some of the country's top pro bass anglers, including Elite Series pros Mike McClelland, James Niggemeyer, Jared Lintner and Brandon Card. The show also involves anglers from other pro levels and collegiate and amateur fishing programs who are following their dreams to make it big in professional bass fishing.
"Right from the start with episode one, viewers get a look into the minds of those who are already successful in competitive fishing - guys like McClelland and Niggemeyer," said Joe Habib, WSOBASS founder. "These anglers leave no doubt as to their skills, passion and competitive spirit when on the water. Five episodes later, we start showing a different group of fishermen, those who are working hard to climb to that next level of competition. Each show is a program in itself, where emotions are worn on sleeves, and everyone has the same common goal of winning The Dream."
The eight anglers participating in the latter episodes were selected through a national video application and selection process. The anglers chosen were James Biggs, Brandon Dickenson, and Allison Shaw of Texas; Ken Mah and Travis Moran from California; Kentucky's Tyler Moberly; Matt Pangrac of Oklahoma; and Alabama's Ryan Salzman.
"It's hard to describe the passion that fuels the love for bass fishing, but each of our eight qualifiers did an amazing job in their application videos and also on The Dream. You can watch their videos on our World Series of Bass web site, but you have to watch our show to see how it all unfolds as Mike McClelland and James Biggs secure the first two entries into the WSOBASS tourneys for next year," Habib added.
Habib and Sondra Rankin host the new weekly TV program. Rankin, from Paducah, Ky., has experience as both a professional bass angler and television host. She and Habib bring a refreshing perspective to competitive bass fishing that really is more about living the dream than it is having a lucrative career.
"As in any sport, only a select few ever hit it big at highest level, but our World Series of Bass program allows anglers of all skill levels to compete on a level playing field," Habib said. "One pro and one amateur will advance from our television series with a free entry worth $10,000 to compete in our WSOBASS qualifiers. The individual who ultimately wins our championship tournament will indeed have the kind of payday that would allow him or her to pursue the pro fishing dream."
WSOBASS has three regional qualifying events planned for 2013, each with more than 100 openings for anglers and requiring a $10,000 entry fee. The top 35 anglers from each full-field tournament will make the money cut, earning $15,000 and an invitation to compete in the no-entry-fee WSOBASS Main Event.
The Main Event is a televised championship in which the 105 anglers who advance from the qualifiers come together and compete for a total purse of $3 million and its payouts of $600,000 for first place, $150,000 for second and $100,000 for third. The cash prize amounts are based on 100 percent payback from the three qualifiers having full-field participation of 100 anglers each.
All three regional qualifying events and the Main Event will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network, The Pursuit Channel and Time Warner's Texas Channel. "The Dream" reality show also will air on Time Warner's Texas Channel beginning next week. The show will run again on the Texas Channel and the Pursuit Channel in the first and second quarters of 2013.
For more information on the reality show, the anglers participating and WSOBASS tournaments, click here.