Professional anglers from both the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer and the In Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail have been paired up to take on the Madison chain of lakes. They will be going out in search of both bass and walleye, two of the most popular freshwater sport fish in the country.
Two-time gold medalist Shaw Grigsby, who is paired up with Wisconsin walleye pro Gary Parsons, is particularly excited about this competition as it will be his first competitive event since having triple-bypass heart surgery last April.
"This is going to be very interesting," Grigsby said. "I haven't done any fishing since my surgery and this will be the first time back on the water. I'm really excited about it and have been really missing it a lot.
"Fishing in a team competition is really fun and I think fishing in a team competition with mixed species is going to be really fun. I'm not an expert walleye fisherman by any means, but I know I'm going to be fishing with one of the best walleye fishermen out there and I'm really looking forward to it."
Parsons, a two-time Professional Walleye Trail Angler of the Year, is just as happy fishing with Grigsby. He feels like they have a good chance on the Madison lakes.
"I've known Shaw for a long time and I was really happy when I found out that I was going to be able to fish with him," Parsons said. "I know how accomplished an angler he is and I know, even if we don't catch them, we're going to have a good time.
"This is unprecedented to have an event like this. I think it's great. We could find that we're catching walleye 40 feet deep on a crankbait and beating the banks to get the bass. It's going to be really something."
The competition will include another five bass/walleye angler teams, including Gary Klein and Perry Good, Mike Iaconelli and Bill Ortiz, Denny Brauer and Mike Gofron, Rick Clunn and Ron Seelhoff, Gerald Swindle and Dan Plautz.
The anglers will take to the water beginning July 9 and 10 with weigh-ins starting at 5:00 p.m.
Admission to the Great Outdoor Games is free. The Games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC from July 14 through July 19.
Top outdoor athletes from around the world compete for entry into the ESPN Great Outdoor Games, held in Madison, Wis. July 8-11. The ultimate championship of outdoor sports features one-of-a-kind, head-to-head competition in timber and target events, sporting dogs, and fishing. While entertaining large crowds on site, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games also draws a worldwide television audience airing on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.
The Games are sponsored by Dodge, Miller Brewing Co., Stihl Inc., Valvoline Durablend, CITGO, Eukanuba, Johnsonville Brats, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Tinactin, and Beretta USA Corp.
For additional information, contact ESPN Outdoors Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.espnoutdoorsmedia.com.