Like other professional sports, bass fishing has an all-star competition to showcase its top performers.
Unlike some sports, though, in which the honored athletes hold back in their competitive play, the bass anglers will be going full tilt in their all-star week competition.
In its fifth year of existence, the Toyota All-Star week and the Evan Williams Bourbon Championship are elite series post-season competitions that feature the top performers from the 2013 tour along with four pros voted into the championship week by the fans.
The 2013 All-Star Week will take place on Muskegon and White Lakes in Michigan on Sept. 23-29, and the anglers will vie for $100,000 in prize money.
Fourteen pros will compete in the fifth Elite Series post-season. Those anglers include Cliff Pace of Metal, Mississippi who won the 2013 Bassmaster Classic and Hank Cherry of Maiden, North Carolina who qualified as the 2013 Rookie of the Year.
The top eight finishers in the Angler of the Year race will also participate, and those anglers are Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala.; Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.; Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla.; Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas; Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas; John Crews of Salem, Va.; and Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif.
The four Fan Favorites qualifying for All-Star Week are Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho; Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J.; Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala.; and Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif.
BASS FAN FAVORITES
Brandon Palaniuk, winner of the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the St. Lawrence River at Waddington last month, earned the most votes in the Fan Favorite category.
Regarding that recognition by the fans, the 25-year-old Palaniuk said, Its kind of humbling, and I feel honored. I think being voted in to All-Star as the top guy is the biggest honor you can receive from the fans. Without the fans, we have nothing no sponsors, no sport. The fans are everything to bass fishing in that respect.
Mike Iaconelli, 2003 Bassmaster Classic winner and 2006 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, will be at All-Star Week for the fourth time in five years. Despite finishing 45th in points this year, the angler who has won more than two million dollars in BASS prize money maintains his popularity among the fans.
Gerald Swindle, the 2004 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, will also be fishing in his fourth All-Star Week.
The 43-year-old pro, 14-time qualifier for the Classic, said This is two years in a row Ive been voted in, and I appreciate that. I dont ever want to outgrow the fans. Im out here today fishing three in a boat on Lake Guntersville because I love bass fishing, and I love the fans of bass fishing.
Skeet Reese, 2007 Angler of the Year and 2009 Bassmaster Classic champion, will be fishing his fifth post-season event.
I want to say thanks to the fans for pulling me through, Reese said. Im stoked that the support was there. This is more of a fun event with extra entertainment for the fans. It gets them interactive with fan favorites and with the top guys in points as we battle it out for All-Star.
I have yet to see a printed copy of the official regulations for the 2013-14 waterfowl seasons, but those regulations are available on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov.
The Youth Waterfowl Hunt in the Northeast Zone will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22, while the first portion of the Waterfowl Season in the Northeast Zone runs from Saturday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 13.
WRITERS IN PLACID
Outdoor communicators and industry supporters from across the country are in Lake Placid this weekend for the 86th annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA).
Members of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association will also be participating in the conference that will showcase the natural beauty and abundant outdoor opportunities of the Adirondacks.
Like the recent Bassmaster Elite Series on the St. Lawrence River at Waddington, the OWAA conference will bring national attention to New York State.
Friday: Ruffed Grouse Season opens.
Friday: Inaugural banquet of North Country Chapter of Ruffed Grouse Society (518-521-4559).
Friday-Saturday: Bowhunter Education Course at Duffanys Body Shop, Watertown (Pre-register at 788-2161).
Friday-Saturday: Bowhunter Education Course at Fishers Landing Fire Hall (In-person registration at Clayton Library).
Saturday-Sunday: Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days.
Saturday-Sunday:13th Annual Fall Gun Show at Parishville Fire Hall, Rutmen Road (261-4596 or 265-2922).
Sept. 22-23: Hunter Education Course at Massena R&G Club (In-person registration with Massena Town Clerk).
Sept. 24: Waterfowl ID Course at Dulles State Office Building, Watertown (Pre-register at 785-2533).
Sept. 27: Early Bowhunting Season opens.
Sept. 28: National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Sept. 28-29: Youth Pheasant Hunt Days.
Sept. 28-29: Hunter Education Course at Star Lake Community Center (Pre-register at 848-3490).
Sept. 30: Frog Season closes.
Oct. 1: New License Year begins.