HOUSTON — The 47th world championship of bass fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods is less than a week away. With larger venues and expected turnouts, new this year, B.A.S.S. has partnered with local organizations in Houston to bring a unique activity for kids to the event.
The Shell Bassmaster Get Hooked on Fishing presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will be held outside at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will host nearly 1,000 students from the Houston Independent School District and will feature activities and experiences supported by several local companies and organizations, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Conservation Association, Shell, Academy Sports + Outdoors and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority.
B.A.S.S. has been working with the HCHSA for over a year to bring this program to life and take advantage of Houston’s size and amazing diversity. It is a great opportunity to reach out to a culturally diverse group of young people who may not get the chance to fish because of their location or lack of exposure to the sport.
“After taking our Casting Kids program to Central Park in New York City a few years ago and seeing the reaction of urban youth to fishing, we recognized that this would be a unique opportunity for kids in the Houston area,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin.
“We appreciate our local supporters who stepped up to sponsor buses to bring these school kids down to the GRB on Friday and look forward to more youth from the Houston area coming out over the weekend. We believe if young people can have a positive encounter with fishing in their youth, they are more likely to become good stewards of our fisheries and aquatic resources as adults.”
Activities at the event will include kids casting instruction, the dogs on the dock jumping dogs, and a kids fishing pond. The TPWD, with support from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, will also feature its Take Me Fishing/Vamos A Pescar Interpretive Trailer and Challenge, where students will learn about common Texas fish species and how to be a safe and ethical angler. The challenge is a small group activity requiring kids to answer basic fish and wildlife questions by seeking out the answers in and around the trailer. The challenge is offered in both English and Spanish, and encourages teamwork and exploration. TPWD will also promote their Fishing Tackle Loaner program that allows students to checkout rods and reels, much like a library book, removing one of the most common barriers to fishing participation.
“A Houstonian’s civic pride is a badge they wear with honor, but to see it in action is truly what it’s all about,” said Chris Massey, HCHSA director of events. “We saw just that as we encouraged our city to support the Get Hooked On Fishing initiative through community partnerships, and boy did they step up in a big way. Through their financial contributions we are able to sponsor 900 Houston Independent School District students to come out and get hooked on fishing!”
Additionally, Shell and the Coastal Conservation Association will be partnering on-site to promote conservation ethics and education among young anglers through the award-winning CCA Rising Tide youth outreach and education program.
Other activities include Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jacob Wheeler on-site signing autographs and special giveaways from Academy Sports + Outdoors for the first 1,000 children each day.
Akin also credited Bruce D. Oakley, Danilo Juvane, Laqrence Catuzzi, Callier & Garza, LLP, J. Kent Friedman, Hilltop Securities, Inc., Timber Creek Environmental, LLP and Manson B. Johnson for their help in making the Get Hooked On Fishing experience possible for so many Houston area students.
More information on the event and a full list of activities can be found on Bassmaster.com.
2017 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO
2017 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2017 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2017 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: Shell Rotella, Yamaha, Berkley, Power-Pole, Huk, Triton Boats, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats
2017 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2017 Bassmaster Classic Local Sponsors: Shipley Donuts, Academy Sports + Outdoors
About the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
The 47th world championship of bass fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will host 52 of the world’s best bass anglers competing for more than $1 million, March 24-26 in Houston, Texas. Competition and takeoff will begin each day at Lake Conroe Park (14968 TX-105, Montgomery, Texas) at 7:20 a.m. CT. Weigh-ins will be held daily March 24-26 at 3:15 p.m. in one of Major League Baseball’s Top 20 largest stadiums, the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park (501 Crawford Street, Houston, Texas).
In conjunction, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be open daily only a block from Minute Maid Park at George R. Brown Convention Center, (1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, Texas) the largest in Classic history. Expo hours are Friday, March 24, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.