Fishing & Boating News

Youngsters, Families A Focus During Classic Week

There Will Be Plenty for Families to Do and See in Charlotte

(Jul. 22, 2004 - CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Classic Week, professional bass fishing's annual week-long celebration, centers around the 53 pros competing for the $200,000 prize and world championship title, but as usual there will be plenty for families to see and do in Charlotte, N.C.

In fact, the 34th CITGO Bassmaster Classic will offer more activities of interest to youngsters and entire families than ever, ranging from the inaugural Junior Bassmaster World Championship to the Bassmaster Family Fest.

There is also plenty of stuff in between.

"ESPN and BASS are family-oriented organizations and that shows during Classic Week," said Stacy Twiggs, BASS National Youth Manager. "We've planned a lot of great things for youngsters and families to do and enjoy in Charlotte this year."

Here is a list of activities that families will enjoy during Classic Week:

  • The kick-off to Classic XXXIV will be the inaugural Junior Bassmaster World Championship on Lake Norman July 26. The participants in the event's two age divisions (11-14 and 15-17) have survived a qualifying process to get to Charlotte. The Junior Bassmaster World Championship begins with a Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament during practice day on July 25th in which the young anglers will be paired with a Classic competitor.

    The Junior Bassmaster World Championship will be held the following day. The anglers will be allowed to weigh in five bass in the one-day tournament that will award $27,000 in scholarship money. Classic pros will serve as boat drivers and observers. Weigh-in is at Blythe Landing on Lake Norman at noon.

  • Formerly called the Kids Classic, the Bassmaster Family Fest will be Thursday, July 28 from 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in Freedom Park. Included will be a kids-only fun fishing derby where each child will receive a free Zebco rod and reel, along with a T-shirt and cap courtesy of the Classic sponsors. The event is limited to the first 1,000 entrants and will be conducted in two flights of 500 youngsters. Adult supervision will be provided during the derby, which is designed to help children learn to fish.

In addition, the Classic contenders will be available to sign autographs and pose for photos with fishing fans. Inflatable games, sponsor giveaways and wandering entertainers will also contribute to the festival atmosphere.

Registration is available at the Bassmaster website for a limited time, on-site registration will be limited to availability and on a first come, first served basis.

  • Bassmaster Classic competition begins on Friday, and families can watch as their fishing heroes launch their boats each morning at the Buster Boyd Access Area on Highway 49 at Lake Wylie.
  • Families can enjoy all of the festivities associated with the daily weigh-ins, free of charge, beginning at 2:45 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Charlotte Coliseum. Seating is first come, first served.
  • Another family favorite is the annual Classic ESPN Outdoors Expo. The giant product and activities festival, which attracted nearly 53,000 visitors in 2003, will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center and will feature the latest products for both hunting and fishing enthusiasts. In addition, there will be plenty of interactive activities for youngsters and families to enjoy.

The Classic ESPN Outdoors Expo hours are Friday, July 30 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

  • One of the annual highlights of Classic Week is the Bassmaster CastingKids Championship presented by CITGO on Saturday. The contestants have survived a national series of casting competitions to get to Charlotte, where they will be casting for scholarship money. The preliminary competition will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center and the top two seeds in each age group will advance to the "Head-to-Head" final round during Saturday‚s pre-weigh-in show at the Charlotte Coliseum.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer, which includes the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 series, is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.

Local Sponsors include the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission, Visit Charlotte, the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority, the Rock Hill Sports and Tourism Council and Time Warner Cable.