Fishing & Boating News

Abundant Activities Await Bass Fishing Fans At GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Meeting Bassmaster Elite Series pros is just one of the many things bass fishing fans can look forward to at this summer's GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest out of Durant, Okla.
Photo by Darren Jacobson/Bassmaster
(May 27, 2016 - Durant, OK)  Thousands of fishing fans are expected to gather in Durant, Okla., to celebrate summer during the third annual GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino Resort June 8-12.
 
In addition to cheering on their favorite professional anglers competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Lake Texoma, BASSfest visitors will be able to enjoy an outdoors expo, where the newest boats, motors, fishing tackle, lures and other sporting goods will be on display and for sale. On Saturday, June 11, Bassmaster University will be in full swing, offering more than 20 must-attend seminars taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros and B.A.S.S. staff.
 
Fishing fans and their families are invited to discover everything BASSfest — all free and open to the public. Following are 30 things to see and do at BASSfest in Oklahoma.
 
1. Watch the competitors take off. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 8-9, the full field of 108 competitors will take off from Burns Run East Campground at 6:15 a.m. to fish Lake Texoma. The field will be cut to the Top 50 anglers on Friday, and on Sunday, the Top 12 anglers will take off from the same dock in hopes of earning the $100,000 first prize.

2. Cheer on your favorite college team. Anglers from more than 40 universities will compete on Lake Murray in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Wild Card presented by Bass Pro Shops on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The College Series weigh-in on Saturday will take place on the main event stage at Choctaw Casino Resort and will determine which teams will earn a berth in the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

3. Be social. Tell us you’re here! Use the hashtag #BassElite on Twitter, Instagram and Vine to share your photos and videos, and on Facebook join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/bass/. On Saturday, take a photo with our Snapchat filter and share it with BASS_Nation. We’ll share the photos on Bassmaster.com!

4. Get out on the water. Find out what it’s like to cruise in a new bass boat by experiencing the free demo rides offered after takeoff Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the Skeeter Performance Boats Demo Tour, Yamaha’s Demo Tour, Mercury ProXS Demo Tour, the Triton Demo Tour and the Nitro Boats Demo Tour. Free shuttles will be available from the Choctaw Casino.
 
5. Win a chance to fish with Randy Howell. Enter for a chance to fish with 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion Randy Howell! The trip includes a fishing trip with Howell, hotel, rental car, airfare for one, plus $500 cash. The winner will also take home a Triton 17TX bass boat with Mercury 60HP 4-Stroke engine and some of Howell’s gear, including items from companies such as Lowrance, Power-Pole, Gamma lines, Daiwa and Bass Pro Shops! The prize is worth approximately $30,000! Enter at the B.A.S.S. booth or online at Bassmaster.com.
 
6. Hone your fishing skills. The Berkley Bass Tank will be at the outdoors expo with free seminars about how to use different types of lures, including Berkley’s new David Fritts-designed crankbaits. Also, be sure to check out the Berkley Experience trailer for interactive skill challenges, knot-tying competitions and Berkley bait demonstrations.
 
7. Honor our military. Friday is Military Appreciation Day at the outdoors expo. Show your military ID at the B.A.S.S. booth for a free, limited edition hat. GEICO will also be giving away special sunglasses; Berkley and Academy Sports + Outdoors will also have a free gift for active military and veterans; and A.R.E. Accessories will be offering an additional $25 coupon to all military members with their IDs. All while supplies last.

8. Score lots of freebies. Make your way through the expo, as many booths will offer free giveaways. Minn Kota will be registering fans to win a great Minn Kota product. And, Carhartt will offer chances to win Carhartt-branded prizes at its booth.
 
9. Enjoy Bassmaster LIVE! Get updates from Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders on the Jumbotron, as well as live shots from the expo with Dave Mercer on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
 
10. Spend time at the outdoors expo. More than 40 national and local exhibitors, including a variety of food and beverage vendors, will be on site. Children can also enjoy inflatables, canvas art and appearances by "Frozen" and "Star Wars" characters at the Choctaw Event Center.
 
11. Class is in session. Bassmaster University will convene on Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., offering how-to seminars. Learn secrets from the Elite Series pros and Bassmaster staff to improve your skills. Topics include bait techniques, lure presentations, electronics and motors, flipping, pitching and more. New topics begin every half-hour. Visit Bassmaster.com/Bassfest for Bassmaster University details, including seminar topics, locations and times.

12. Build your own bait. Sign up at the Toyota booth to build your own bass lure. You can also play the Toyota puzzle challenge for a chance to win a Bass Pro Shops gift card. While you’re there, check out all of the options on the newest Tundras, Tacomas and Camrys.
 
13. Try your hand at bean bag toss. The Academy Sports + Outdoors tent will house promotional giveaways, a ‘Text to Win’ contest for great prizes including a $500 Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card and a spot to test your bean bag toss skills.
 
14. Tech talk. Stop by the Livingston Lures booth to learn about its sound-producing lure technology and to check out lures for purchase.
 
15. Test your luck. Play the Guess the Gecko dice game at the GEICO booth for a chance to win a $200 gas card. And, be sure to meet all of the GEICO pros available for autographs Saturday!
 
16. Shallow-water savvy. Power-Pole will display various models of shallow-water anchors at the outdoors expo, including the Pro Series and the Micro.

17. Play Fantasy Fishing. Fans can choose their Top 5 Elite anglers for a chance to win the first-place event prize of a $2,500 Bass Pro Shops gift card, second-place event prize of a GoPro Hero 4 Black camera, or the grand prize (for the full season) that includes a Triton boat and Yamaha motor. Visit Bassmaster.com/Fantasy to learn more.

18. Follow the competition. Fans can keep up with the tournament all during BASSfest by visiting Bassmaster.com, downloading the Bassmaster News App or keeping up with BASSTrakk. All platforms offer fans up-to-the-minute information.

19. Cheer on the 2016 class of Bassmaster High School All-Americans. The Bassmaster All-American Fishing Team has been invited to participate in a special tournament Saturday on Lake McGee. Each All-American angler will be paired with an Elite Series pro for the one-day derby with weigh-in at Choctaw Casino Resort.

20. Spin to win. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the B.A.S.S. expo booth, visitors can win Bassmaster branded prizes by taking a turn at the Spin ‘N’ Win wheel.
 
21. Get some new swag. Stop by the HUK Performance Fishing trailer to buy official Bassmaster branded clothing, as well as your summer fishing attire. Check out the latest line of fishing wear from Huk Performance Fishing that includes UV protection for those sunny days, moisture wicking capabilities to keep you comfortable and anti-microbial technology to keep you from smelling like your catch. Also on display will be Huk rain gear, headwear and its newly released women’s clothing line.
 
22. Celebrate Father’s Day early. Visit the Shimano trailer to sign up for a special Father’s Day contest where the grand prize includes an interview with Dave Mercer on the Elite Series stage before the final day’s weigh-in. Dads can also have their favorite Shimano reels serviced free.
 
23. Upgrade your truck. Stop by the A.R.E. Accessories booth to see what a new truck cap can offer you. After that, head over to Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels to enter for a chance to win a free set of Dick Cepek tires.
 
24. Keep your Bassmaster Magazines coming. Stop by the B.A.S.S. Membership booth to become a B.A.S.S. member or renew to get a selection of all types of free gifts.
 
25. Prepare for camping season. Head over to Go RVing to check out various options for your next camper. You can also get your picture on a cover of Bassmaster Magazine and enter to win a free cooler.
 
26. Fill your autograph book. Celebrity bass pros will be on hand for autograph sessions, courtesy of the expo exhibitors.
 
27. Get into the drama of Elite Series weigh-ins. Cheer on your favorite anglers in person as they weigh in their day’s catch beginning Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Find a seat, then sit back, relax and enjoy!
 
28. Fan Frenzy. Get a seat close to the stage and you may catch some freebies thrown out by GEICO right before the weigh-in starts on Sunday.
 
29. Make your wish list. Head over to the Nitro, Triton and Skeeter tents to see the latest models of bass fishing boats. Stop by the Costa booth to try on the latest eyewear from Costa Del Mar sunglasses.
 
30. Watch the champion crowned. Come to the final weigh-in Sunday to see who will earn the trophy and a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic.

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota
2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano, Academy Sports + Outdoors, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats

About B.A.S.S.
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, B.A.S.S. Nation, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.