Anglers Qualify For 2001 BASS Masters Classic

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ­ (March 22, 2001) ­ B.A.S.S. legend Roland Martin heads
a
list of fishing¹s elite earning berths as the first five qualifiers for
this
summer¹s BASS Masters Classic' in New Orleans, La.

Joining Martin, who will be fishing his 23rd Classic, in the field will be
Mark Menendez fishing his second Classic, Rufus Johnson, Dwayne Horton and
Gerry Williams.

This summer¹s 31st BASS Masters Classic will be held August 2-4, and for
the
first time ever, the first two day¹s weigh-ins will be held in conjunction
with the BASS Masters Classic Outdoor show at Ernest N. Morial Convention
Center. The final weigh-in will take place in the Louisiana Superdome, as
it
did for the 1999 Classic.

"It¹s great to be going back to the Classic," said the legendary Martin,
who
won the BASSMASTER Eastern Division to earn his Classic berth. "The
Louisiana Delta is one of my favorite areas to fish, and I¹m looking
forward
to going back down there."

The significance of the Eastern Division Championship is not lost on the
nine-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year.

"The division championship is like a mini angler of the year title
because
you still have to compete against some of the best fisherman in the sport.
Winning it is also important because it means money from Mercury Motors
for
entry fees into next season¹s events," explained Martin of Clewiston, Fla.

Making his second appearance in the Super Bowl of fishing will be Menendez
of Paducah, Ky. Menendez qualified for the 1997 BASS Masters Classic held
at
Lake Logan Martin in Alabama.

"It¹s a great feeling to get to go back to the Classic," said Menendez. "I
love fishing in Louisiana and it should make for an exciting Classic.
Anytime you get a group of Cajuns that like the outdoors and having a good
time, then combine it with the BASS Masters Classic, I don¹t think you
could
ask for a better setting."

Martin and Menendez are joined by three anglers making their first
appearance in the event.

Rufus Johnson of Knoxville, Tenn., ended the season in second place in the
Eastern Division and qualifies for his first Classic in his first full
season on the BASSMASTER Tour. Johnson only fished one BASSMASTER event
during the 1999-2000 season, which he won at Lake Martin.

"Making the Classic feels great," said Johnson.  "It means a lot to my
career to do this. It has been hard to have enough time and money to
pre-fish for these tournaments while holding down a full-time job, but
making the Classic really makes your stock a lot higher in sponsors¹
eyes."

Ending the season in third was another Knoxville resident, Dwayne Horton.

"I¹m thrilled to be going to the Classic," said Horton.  "This really
means
a lot because of the bonuses my sponsors, particularly Ranger Boats and
Mercury Motors, give for qualifying for the BASS Masters Classic. I first
thought I might qualify after the second tournament of the season, but I
also knew I needed a good finish at the last tournament, it¹s great to
have
made it."

These first five qualifiers join 2000 BASS Masters Classic Champion Woo
Daves in the field of 45. The remainder of the field will consist of the
top
5 anglers in the Central Division, the top 4 from the Western Division,
the
top 25 from the Top 150 division and the top 5 amateurs from the B.A.S.S.
Federation.

National Sponsors of the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail include: Ranger®
Boats,
RangerTrail® Trailers, Mercury® Outboard, Chevy Trucks, ACDelco®
Batteries,
Worldwaters.com, Humminbird® Electronics, Zercom® Marine, Pennzoil®
Marine,
Flowmaster® Exhaust Systems, B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa®/First USA,
MotorGuide®
Trolling Motors, Gore-Tex® Outerwear, GMAC Insurance Kumho® Tires, and
Long
John Silver¹s®.

Local sponsors of the BASS Masters Classic are the State of Louisiana,
Jefferson Parish and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

For more information contact:

B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530