BASS Celebrates 40th Anniversary With ‘Gear Up Giveaway’ in June

Throughout June, fishing fans can win one of more than 325 prizes in the BASS 40th Anniversary Gear Up Giveaway.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. June 1, fans can enter daily to win at Bassmaster.com/anniversary. Every entry automatically doubles as a chance to win the grand prize, a Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Tundra wrapped boat. The Triton Tr-21X2 is powered by a Mercury 250 Pro XS. The trolling motor is a MotorGuide TR109. The rig’s electronics include a Lowrance LCX-25C and LMS-332C GPS/sonar units. The trailer, which has aluminum fenders and wheels, is wrapped to match the boat.

A prize calendar is already up on Bassmaster.com/anniversary so fans can preview the goods. The awards include fishing tackle, such as an Abu Garcia Revo S reel. Among the other cool prizes are an Exmark Quest Zero-Turn riding lawnmower and a 30-minute coaching session by phone with a 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series pro.

The calendar and contest details also are in the June issue of Bassmaster Magazine. The issue is a collector’s edition that celebrates the organization’s 40 years of serving anglers, spearheading conservation initiatives and providing tournament opportunities for anglers at every level of competition.

JUANITA SAVES THE DAY. On fire this year in the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors, pro Juanita Robinson of Highlands, Texas, literally put out a fire during last week’s competition on Alabama’s Neely Henry Lake.

During the second day of competition, Robinson and her co-angler for the day, Linda Owens of Brandon, Miss., spotted flames on a pier. Robinson, putting aside the fact that she was in contention for the win, stopped fishing and pulled her boat closer to investigate.

“The flames were a foot high, and I saw two bottles of lighter fluid within a few feet of a barbecue grill,” Robinson said. “While she (Owens) held on to the pier, I got a bucket out of a compartment, dipped water and threw it on the fire.

“We kept banging on the pier because on the pier was a boathouse with living quarters, and we were afraid somebody was in there asleep. I could see a house way up high on a hill, but I thought no one could have seen the fire from there. No one came out, so I scooped up more water, got up on the pier and kept throwing water until the fire was out. It had burned a big hole in the pier.”

“I called Deb (tournament director Deb Wilkinson) and told her what I was doing. I was out of the boat, and didn’t want anyone to think I was up there trying to land a fish,” she said, referring to the tournament rule that bars contenders from leaving their boats for anything other than an emergency situation.

“Deb called the local officials, and they called me and asked where I was. I gave them my GPS coordinates. We waited — we fished the nearby bank — then I went back to check that the fire was good and out before we left.”

Despite her lost fishing time, Robinson, who won a 2007 WBT tournament, was in second place on Day 2 at the Neely Henry event. She went on to finish in a tie with Lucy Mize of Ben Lomond, Ark., for second place.

With her high finish, Robinson pulled herself into a fifth-place standing in the 2008 Toyota WBT Angler of the Year points race.

“This has been a dream come true for me to get to fish the WBT and have a chance at going to the Classic,” Robinson said.

She was referring to one of two big prizes on the line in the points race: a berth in the 2009 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. Kim Bain of Alabaster, Ala., leads the AOY points race. The winner will also get a 2009 Toyota Tundra.

Fans can check out the complete AOY standings at Bassmaster.com.

THREE FOR JUNE. The Bassmaster Elite Series shifts into high gear in June with three events that will put Elite pros to the test in markedly different fisheries in Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa.

The three June tournaments also are likely to shake out the field in the 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Arkansas pro Mike McClelland now leads Texas’ Todd Faircloth by just 10 points. McClelland has a lot of other challengers – within the top 10, the spread is just 146 points.

The first of the three contests next month will be the June 5-8 Southern Challenge presented by Advance Auto Parts on Wheeler Lake out of Decatur, Ala.

Then it’s on to the Bluegrass Brawl presented by Diehard Platinum Marine Batteries, June 12-15, on Kentucky Lake out of Gilbertsville, Ky.

Elite anglers will wrap up their June schedule with a swing up to Fort Madison, Iowa, for the River Rumble presented by Longhorn. The June 26-29 event will be on the challenging Mississippi River.

Complete details of each event and the many activities planned for fans are available at Bassmaster.com.

MIZE VS. MIZE-HOOPER. Arkansas’ Lucy Mize and her daughter, Melinda Mize-Hooper, are competing against each other in the 2008 Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors.

In last week’s event in Alabama on Neely Henry Lake, Mize-Hooper finished seventh, while Mize tied for second place.

“We’re the biggest rivals — and I’m her biggest fan,” Mize-Hooper said of her mom during her walk across the weigh-in stage on the final day.

When it was Mize’s turn at the scales, she responded: “She is a rival of mine. One of these days, she’ll pull ahead of me, but that’ll be all right.”

GET MAD, GET AHEAD. “This is a sweet victory. I just finished the (Bassmaster) Southern Open at Santee Cooper, and I didn’t do worth a darn, which was very disappointing — I think I finished 115th or 125th, way down there. I was disappointed and down on myself. I said, ‘Man, have I forgotten how to fish?’ So I came here for revenge. I got a little mad, I vowed I’d figure out the fish.” — Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., who took her third BASS career victory last week in the Alabama event of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors

About BASS

For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women's Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 525,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.