Champions Tour Anglers Prepare to Make Their First Cast on Mighty Mille Lacs
Excitement is beginning to build for the first ever Classic Bass Champions Tour event presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards. It just so happens that the first tournament will be taking place on one of the most talked about bass fisheries on the planet right now, and during one of the most action-packed times of the year.
The giant smallmouth of Lake Mille Lacs will be greeted by 24 Champions Tour anglers on Saturday, June 10th. Takeoff will be at 7:00 am out of Rocky Reef Resort and competitors will fish from 7 am to 11 am for the first round, and then be idle for a mid-day break. Round two will allow anglers to fish from 12 pm to 4 pm. The concluding ceremony and awards will complete the day, again at beautiful Rocky Reef Resort.
“Mille Lacs is unquestionably one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in North America. To win this opening Champions Tour event you’re going to need to catch a lot of fish, my estimate is 25-30 bass averaging 3 lb’s another words 75- 90 lb s cumulatively,” stated Champions Tour Angler James Lindner.
The unique format of the Classic Bass Champions Tour will make for some interesting planning and strategies on the water. The only stipulation that anglers will face is a 12” minimum. Beyond that, every bass caught will be weighed on the spot by an onboard boat official, recorded and then immediately released. Big fish are of course still a huge benefit, but this format puts more importance on catching numbers of fish as well. Dozens of 2 and 3-pound bass are going to beat just a handful of Mille Lacs big guns.
Champions Tour Boat Officials will be staffed by Minnesota Bass Nation High School anglers, who will ensure all of the Champions Tour rules are followed and aid in the immediate release of the bass following scoring back into the waters of Mille Lacs.
We expect that Champions Tour competitors shouldn’t have a problem catching quantity and quality bass. After a stretch of less than ideal weather, the next week is shaping up to put the bass fishing into high gear. Warming temperatures should have the majority of fish being caught in 10 feet of water or less. But the wildcard on Mille Lacs is always the wind and weather. Many anglers will most likely have to adjust their plans according to wind direction and even the light level for the day. Cloudy, windy conditions certainly won’t help the shallow water bite, but if the Champions Tour is met with calm seas and light winds, get ready for some incredible weights and fish tallies.
“For a lot these anglers this will be their first tournament that is in this format, in which you here what other anglers are doing on the water in real time, this throws a real curve ball,” said Lindner.
The top six finishers from Mille Lacs will immediately be qualified to fish in the year-end championship where anglers will compete for a Skeeter Boat with trailer and Yamaha Outboard. The winning angler at Mille Lacs will take home $4,000.
The 24 Classic Bass Champions Tour participants that will be taking on Mille Lacs next Saturday include:
- Andy Nitchals
- Andy Walls
- Bob Perkins
- Brian Wood
- Corey Brant
- Dan Larson
- David Skallet
- Dean Capra
- Dustin Byfuglien
- James Lindner
- Lanny Isensee
- Mark Courts
- Mark Fisher
- Matt Peters
- Nathan Whiting
- Pat Martin
- Rich Lindgren
- Rick Pelletier
- Shane Raveling
- Steve Quinn
- Tadd Johnson
- Tom Whitehead
- Trevor Lo
- Will Pappa
Classic Bass would like to thank the following sponsors who have shown their support in the inaugural season of the Champions Tour. Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Kruger Farms, Skeeter Boat Center, Rapala, All-Terrain Tackle, Stowmaster, TEAM503, Formula Propeller, Rocky Reef Resort, Quarterdeck Resort and Grand Casino. We look forward to a thrilling year as we watch the best anglers in the Midwest take on 5 of the top lakes in Minnesota.
Be sure to stay tuned to ClassicBass.com for the live scoring feed, so you can follow along as the angler’s catches are recorded. The Classic Bass Facebook page will be populated with video and photo updates direct from Mille Lacs.SHARE THIS CONTENT ON: