Byron Velvick will be captain of the U.S. selection team for the second year in a row. This is a team where we can find some of the best specialists in the world, uniting the experience of bass legends such as Shaw Grigsby and Ken Cook together with new talents like B.A.S.S. Rookie of the Year, Steve Kennedy or Brent Ehrler, winner of the last edition of the F.L.W. Championship.
In only two years, the Eurobass Cup has turned into the most important competition in Europe, as the quality of its participants guarantee this. The objective of this event is no other than to promote and spread among European amateurs a type of fishing that each year has a greater number of followers. The U.S. team has accumulated cash earnings of more than eight million dollars in the B.A.S.S. and F.L.W. circuit tournaments.
Captain Byron Velvick is one of the most publicly renowned professionals in the United States who has a full handle on the Eurobass Cup considering he has participated in several competitions since the year 2002. After last year's Eurobass Cup he stated that "the level of the European anglers is very good and either of the two teams can win the 2006 edition". In his opinion, during the last five years the European anglers "have done their homework as far as the variety of fishing techniques and patterns are concerned; now they are more versatile and competitive".
Lee Bailey Jr. has competed in more than a hundred tournaments throughout his professional career, including two editions of the Bassmaster Classic. Among his most recent results, his 12th place classification in the Bassmaster American stands out which took place on 27 - 30 July in Charlotte.
Ken Cook's professional career includes 14 participations in the Bassmaster Classic, coming out champion in the year 1991. Throughout his sporting career he has competed in 266 tournaments; he has achieved six titles; took second place on one occasion; he has obtained 3 third place finishes; he finished among the top ten on 34 other occasions and 139 times was among the top 50 classified.
Danny Correia will also return to the Reservoir of Ricobayo. The champion of the individual classification of the Eurobass Cup in 2005 will try to repeat his success from last year. Correia holds 23rd place in the classification of Best Angler of the Year in the FLW circuit. After fishing with European sportsmen in Ricobayo last year, Correia was "impressed by the mechanics of the European anglers, how they placed their boats, the presentation of the lures, the casting... I think they have what it takes to advance in this sport".
John Crews is another angler who will repeat his experience on the U.S. team. This year he fills 9th position in the classifications for B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year. In his four years as professional he has competed in two Bassmaster Classics and in another two FLW Championships.
In turn, Brent Ehrler, will be at the Eurobass for the first time. Ehrler, who has only been fishing for one year as a professional angler, won the F.L.W. Championship with a prize of half a million dollars and holds two championships in his career and seven classifications among the top ten in this circuit. His total cash earnings rise above $600,000.
The team from the United States will be strengthened with the presence of F.L.W. Angler of the Year, Anthony Gagliardi, winner of two competitions, one of which he competed in February of 2006, was fifth in the world ranking, tenth in the Championship and currently has excellent results this season.
Shaw Grigsby, one of the legends of bass fishing, confirmed his presence in the Eurobass Cup 2006 several months ago. Grigsby forms part of the select group of anglers with earning surpassing a million dollars. In his extensive professional career he has competed in 266 tournaments, in which 131 earned cash prizes, he has achieved eight championships and has participated ten times in the Bassmaster Classic.
Mike Iaconelli will return to the Eurobass Cup in September, of which he was the winner of the individual classification in 2004. He is the brilliant leader of the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year classifications, and like Grigsby, also forms part of the "million dollar club". In his career he holds five championships, one of which being the Bassmaster Classic of 2003, three second place finishes and two third place finishes.
Classified second for B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, Steve Kennedy will also form part of the U.S. team. In addition, Kennedy will be chosen for Best Rookie of the Year given the excellent results that he has achieved this season. He has also accomplished seventh place in the last Championship.
Aaron Martens also confirmed his attendance to the Eurobass Cup a few months ago. His professional history shows his designation as B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year in 2005 (this year holding fifth place) and the achievement of three second place finishes in the Bassmaster Classic in a period of four years, in particular 2002, 2004 and 2005. His earnings in the B.A.S.S. and F.L.W. circuits also surpass one million dollars.
Lastly, the U.S. team is completed with Fred Roumbanis, a 28 year-old angler who holds 68th in the B.A.S.S. rankings and has achieved two second place finishes in his professional career, the last of them in February 2006 at the Bassmaster Elite celebrated at Amistad Lake, as well as an F.L.W. tournament last year. These sportsmen will face the European selection team, made up of anglers from Spain, Portugal and France, on 26 and 27 September.
For Spain, David Espax has been selected as captain, along with Sergio Longas, Jos