Womens Classic touted by Lt. Governor & Bass Life
Louisiana Lt. Governor Kathleen Blanco recently announced that the state of Louisiana would host the 2003 Classic World Championship of womens bass fishing. Working with the Women's Bass Fishing Association, the state will welcome the top 34 professional women bass anglers from 12 different states during the Classic Week of August 17 - 23, 2003.
Lt. Governor said at the special press conference, "We are excited to have these outstanding bass fishermen come to Shreveport and hold their Classic World Championship on our Red River. They will be representing 12 different states. We are proud they chose Louisiana to do something they are obviously good at and enjoy."
The women anglers have fished 5 different 2003 WBFA season tournaments placing themselves as the winners or on the leader boards to earn points to qualify for the event.
All fishing activities will be held out of the Stoner Avenue Boat Landing in Shreveport. The Quality Inn Suites/Microtel Inn Suites will be the Classic housing headquarters.
On Tuesday evening of Classic Week, the ladies will attend a banquet honoring the WBFA Tour Angler of the Year (sponsored by Triton Boats and Mercury Marine), Rookie of the Year (sponsored by Mercury Marine), and Amateur of the Year (sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits).
The Classic qualifiers will start the week by hosing a CAST for Kids event on Sunday morning. Working with the local Shriners, all the ladies will adopt a needy child and take them fishing for the morning. Each kid will be presented a rod and reel, tackle box, T-shirt, and a plaque boasting a picture of them and their Pro-for-the-Day.
On Wednesday, the Pros will be paired with VIPs from Shreveport and from across the State to compete in a VIP Charity Bass Tournament sponsored by Harrahs Casino. The Pro/VIP teams will be fishing for $1,000, which will be donated to the VIPs chosen Louisiana charity. The event is proving to be a very exciting and well-participated event.
The weigh-in for the VIP tournament will be held at noon at the Stoner Avenue launch. The VIP's and their professional bass fishermen will bring their live catch to the stage to be weighed-in and then released back into the Red River. The public is invited. It is not only an interesting, but also an entertaining event.
All bass caught will be released alive. Louisiana Bass Life Association will provide a live release boat, which will transport the bass from the weigh-in site back to the Red River. BLA spokesman Dudley Beene said, "Bass Life is happy to work closely with Lt. Governor Blanco and the WBFA Tour, to see that all the fish caught during this tournament are returned to their natural habitat. After each anglers catch is weighed, her fish will be placed in specially treated and cooled water. When the weigh-in is over all of that days catch will then be returned to the Red River, and released in various locations. This will insure the protection of our great fishery and help preserve this natural resource for the future.
Lt. Governor Blanco echoed his dedication and concern for the fisheries in the Red River. She said, "The fact that these anglers take the extra effort and expense to make sure the bass are released alive lends credit to all bass fishermen. Their catch and release program has spearheaded many like programs for other types of fish. We appreciate the effort to protect Louisianas natural resources. I am fully committed to protect and develop these natural resources so that our state will attract such events at this one, and continue to grow as a family vacation destination for years to come.
Leonard Kleinpeter, assistant to Lt. Governor Blanco, comments, Louisiana is truly the Sportsmans Paradise and the fact that the WBFA Tour, and other organizations like it, are attracted to hold their championship events here further enhances and promotes that motto. We are committed to the promotion and development of our great fisheries, natural resources and recreation opportunities all across this great State.
Tournament competition will start at safe daylight on Thursday morning. After a prayer, salute to veterans and the USA, along with a fireworks enhanced National Anthem, the 34 Pros will launch on the Red River in quest of the title World Champion.
Competition will continue through Saturday. Each of the competition afternoons, the Pros will return to the Stoner Avenue Landing for weigh-in at 3:00pm. Each day, the weigh-ins will be guest-emceed by the Singing Cherokee, Chief George Braswell. Spectators will be kept informed of each Pros status and the insights into the tournament.
On Saturday, the weigh-in will take on a more gala atmosphere. The Worlds Greatest Fishing Band will present a free-to-the-public concert at 1:45pm. They also performed at the final weigh-in of the 2002 BASSMASTERS Classic.
The scales will open at 3:00pm for the final and always suspenseful weigh-in. There will be free rod and reels for the first 50 kids and fishing tackle will be tossed to the crowd throughout the weigh-in. There will be 200 4-CD sets of the Worlds Greatest Fishing Band handed out to the early arrivals to the concert and weigh-in as well. At the conclusion of the weigh-in, one of the women Pros will be presented the title of World Champion and handed the keys to a fully rigged Triton bass boat.
The Champion banquet will be held on Saturday evening at Harrah's with a welcoming reception hosted by Bass Pro Shops.
The WBFA Tour is the only professional bass tournament trail
for women bass anglers. Major sponsors include Triton Boats, Mercury Marine,
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, FlowMaster, DEKA batteries, MinnKota, and Eidolon
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