A Fan’s Guide to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic

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The 2012 Bassmaster Classic will be held on the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier, Feb. 24-26. The event, which is regarded as “the Super Bowl of bass fishing,” was attended by record-breaking crowds totaling 137,700 when it was last held in Shreveport-Bossier in 2009. The three main components of the Bassmaster Classic are: daily boat launches beginning at 6 a.m. at Red River South Marina and Resort, daily weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. each day at CenturyLink Center, and the Bassmaster Classic Expo at Shreveport Convention Center. All of these events are free to attend and open to the public. The hours of operation for the Bassmaster Classic Expo are: 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26.

Anglers compete for big bucks and big bass in 2012 Bassmaster Classic.

For a directory of local resources, including a listing of area hotels and maps to key Bassmaster Classic locations, visit www.bassmasterclassic2012.com.

The 2012 Bassmaster Classic will be held on the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier, Feb. 24-26. The event, which is regarded as “the Super Bowl of bass fishing,” was attended by record-breaking crowds totaling 137,700 when it was last held in Shreveport-Bossier in 2009. The three main components of the Bassmaster Classic are: daily boat launches beginning at 6 a.m. at Red River South Marina and Resort, daily weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. each day at CenturyLink Center, and the Bassmaster Classic Expo at Shreveport Convention Center. All of these events are free to attend and open to the public. The hours of operation for the Bassmaster Classic Expo are: 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26.

PARKING AND SHUTTLES

Due to limited parking availability and expectations of high attendance at this year’s events, organizers have made free shuttles available for fans. Shuttles will circulate on a continuous loop between CenturyLink Center and Red River South Marina and Resort each day, 5:30-9 a.m., and between CenturyLink Center and Shreveport Convention Center, Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Shuttles will pick-up and drop-off at CenturyLink Center’s Lot B, the north-easternmost lot at the center. Fans are especially encouraged to take the shuttle to view angler launches each morning at Red River South Marina and Resort.

For the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo, garage parking at the Shreveport Convention Center will be available at a cost of $10 per car. Surface lot parking at the Shreveport Convention Center, in the Caddo/Spring Street lot located north of the parking garage, will be available for $5.

BASSMASTER CLASSIC BOAT LAUNCH

The boat launch is set for 7:00am, each morning, from Red River South Marina & Resort. To view the pro-anglers launching their boats, it is suggested that you arrive at the Marina by 6:00 a.m. Concessions will be available on site.

WATER SPECTATOR DIRECTIONS

All spectators viewing the Bassmaster Classic anglers from their own personal boats, must avoid using the locks during this event. Contestants are on a strict lock schedule, and providing a streamlined lock procedure will ensure these anglers valuable fishing time on the water. Be courteous to the anglers and give them plenty of room to fish. If an angler holds two hands above his head (touchdown signal) this is a signal to inform spectators to give them more space and move away from the direction that the Classic angler's boat is heading. Spectator boats should launch in the Pool in which they want to view their favorite anglers. There are two public ramps in Pool 4, Coushatta and Red Oak Lake, which are located in close proximity to productive fishing areas that the pros will be fishing. In Pool 5, River Bend Marina and four public ramps are available for launching. No private boats will be allowed to launch at Red River South Marina for the duration of this event. Pool 3 also has several public launches, for those wishing to make the drive. Directions to all public ramps can be found at redriverwaterway.com/rec-areas.asp.

BASSMASTER CLASSIC EXPO

The Bassmaster Classic Expo, one of the nation’s largest annual outdoors and sporting goods shows, will feature nearly 170 exhibitors on two levels at the Shreveport Convention Center. Shuttle buses circulating between CenturyLink Center and the expo will pick-up and drop-off in the bus lane on the south side of Shreveport Convention Center. Fans can expect demonstrations of new products, giveaways by B.A.S.S. sponsors, fishing seminars, angler appearances, and more. Fans who want to attend the expo without losing track of the action taking place on the Red River may do so by visiting BASSTrakk in the B.A.S.S. booth, featuring live updates from the water. A full list of expo exhibitors and a floor layout featuring booth locations can be found at http://www.bassmaster.com/expo.    

ENTERTAINMENT        

In addition to the excitement of daily launches, weigh-ins, and the outdoor expo, the Bassmaster Classic includes two live music performances. RCA Nashville recording artists Bush Hawg will perform live at CenturyLink Center at 3:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25. The band blends country and southern rock in a high-energy performance. Brian Schram, who music fans may recognize as a former member of Uncle Kracker’s band, will perform at CenturyLink Center at 3:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26. Schram is now the lead singer and songwriter of his own band, and is the creator of “Rockin’ Fishing Tales.”

FOLLOW THE BASSMASTER CLASSIC ON TWITTER

Social media will play an unprecedented role in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, giving fans and anglers more ways to connect than ever before. The first-ever Bassmaster Classic Tweet-Up will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 25 at Shreveport Convention Center. Follow http://www.twitter.com/BASS_Nation for more details. During this event, B.A.S.S. personalities will be on-hand to meet bass fishing fans who use the social media service Twitter. Fishing fans who use Twitter may also want to follow Bassmaster Classic competitor Randy Howell, who will be live-Tweeting from the water at http://www.twitter.com/TheRandyHowell.    

Visit the official website of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic at http://www.bassmaster.com/classic. For a directory of local resources, including a listing of area hotels and maps to key Bassmaster Classic locations, visit http://www.bassmasterclassic2012.com. Great hotel rooms are still available in Shreveport-Bossier for the weekend of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, February 24-26. Hotels will fill up so book early.

NOTE TO MEDIA: High-resolution promotional images of past Bassmaster Classic events are available. To request images, contact Chris Jay at (318) 429-0658 or cjay(at)sbctb(dot)org.

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Chris Jay, cjay@sbctb.org