ESCANABA, Mich. â Bassmaster Elite Series tournament officials postponed competition in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship today after building winds created unsafe boating conditions.
âIn the interest of safety, todayâs fishing has been canceled,â said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. Winds from the south, including gusts to 35 miles, and 5-foot seas were predicted for today, and a small craft advisory was in effect. âWe will err on the side of caution and the safety of our anglers and their marshals,â he added.
The Top 50 Elite Series bass anglers are competing this week on Big Bay de Noc and Little Bay de Noc here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Catches were outstanding in the first competition round Thursday, which was led by Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz., with five bass weighing a total of 24 pounds, 6 ounces. Winds were light and weather conditions favorable for fishing the waters just off Lake Michigan on Thursday.
But the Bays de Noc are exposed to a south wind, which has virtually all of Lake Michigan to build. Having seen the waters at their worst during practice for the event, several of the competitors endorsed the decision.
Weldon said he and other officials plan for competition to continue on Saturday, weather permitting. âWe will make that call in the morning,â he said. Current weather forecasts show some improvement by Saturday.
The event is built around three days of competition as Elite anglers battle for the coveted title of Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, as well as berths in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Saturday was originally planned as a day off for the anglers, many of whom are slated to participate in Bassmaster University seminars during the afternoon at Ludington Park in Escanaba.
The seminars are part of the Bassmaster Fan and Military Appreciation Day, which includes an outdoor expo featuring displays and activities from Bassmaster Elite Series Sponsors, as well as booths from food and other vendors from the Escanaba area. Shifting competition to Saturday would affect the Bassmaster University sessions, but the Fan and Military Appreciation Day will continue as planned. Fans who wish to attend should visit Bassmaster.com for up-to-date scheduling advisories.
2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organizationâs fully integrated media platforms include the industryâs 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 presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series,Â Bassmaster High School Series presented by Carhartt, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.