This year’s Bassmaster Classic field will feature five ZOOM pros, all of them veterans in their own right with a good chance of emerging from three days of competition at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake with the sport’s most coveted trophy.
As the winner of the 2015 Classic on Lake Hartwell, 32 year old Casey Ashley will lead the field out on Day One. Hartwell might be his home lake, but Ashley has shown an ability to win anywhere, at any time, with four career B.A.S.S. victories and well over $1 million in earnings to his credit. This will be his seventh Bassmaster Classic appearance, and he’s definitively demonstrated that if Tulsa is cold like it was for the 2013 Championship he’ll be a man to watch.
Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers is a man on a mission, ready to treat his home state crowd to a victory party like none they’ve ever experienced before. He has 10 career Bassmaster first place trophies on his mantle, and nearly $2.5 million in winnings. His most recent victories occurred in back-to-back Elite Series events in 2015 – first on Kentucky Lake, then on the St. Lawrence River. This will be his 15th Classic appearance, and he has four top ten finishes.
Billy McCaghren may be an Arkansas River rat, but he has plenty of experience on Grand Lake, as it’s just a few hours away from his home. This will be his first Classic since 2010, and he’s eager to show how much he’s improved since then, which is a tall order since he blazed onto the national tournament scene by winning the prestigious Rookie of the Year award in 2009. With Grand high from recent heavy rains, expect him to find a dirty water bite and exploit it to the max.
Brandon McMillan is a dominant force on Florida waters, but that means he’s no stranger to full livewells and big bags of fish. He earned his slot in the Classic by beating outlasting fellow Zoom pro Randall Tharp at Seminole, and if this tournament has a flipping bite or otherwise turns into a slugfest, expect him to be near the top of the charts.
South Carolina pro Marty Robinson is rapidly becoming a feared veteran, a constant presence in the check line and a threat to win any event he fishes. This will be his third Bassmaster Classic, and he previously fished the 2013 event on Grand, finishing 20th. Building upon that knowledge, he should be a dark horse on Days One and Two, but a pack leader on Day Three.
Competition begins on Friday, March 4th, and continues through Sunday, March 6th. Stay tuned for updates and expect to see a ZOOM Pro and ZOOM Baits in the Winner’s Circle.
Speaking of “competition” … jump over to our Contests & Giveaways Page to sign up for a chance to win one of five prize packs we’re giving away for the Classic. Contest entry ends Thursday, March 3rd at midnight!