ANGLERS HEAD BASS Masters Classic FIELD
Martin Ride Illustrious Resumes Into Event
ORLEANS, La. (July 2, 2001) — They are the legends of professional bass
fishing, two pros who have accomplished just about everything significant that
the sport has to offer. Between them, they own four BASS Masters Classic
championships, ten B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles, 32 victories and 51
at the age of 55 and 61 respectively, Rick Clunn and Roland Martin are still at
the top of their game, as evidenced by their qualification for the 31st BASS
Masters Classic. And the star-studded duo are once again among the favorites.
and fishing’s main event have become synonymous over the years, which is
understandable when you consider that the Missouri pro has qualified every year
since turning pro in 1973 — winning the Classic a record four times. This
year, Clunn will be competing for a record 28th consecutive time.
expects to qualify for the Classic each year. “I don't think about not making
it, to be honest, except for some of those years when there’s been two
tournaments left and I’m going, ‘Whoa, wait a minute,” he said. “This
isn’t exactly where I want to be. Fortunately, this wasn’t one of those
who finished third in the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year race behind Mark Davis and
Kevin VanDam, was asked if he understood the magnitude of his Classic
accomplishment. “I really didn’t until Tim Horton said something a year ago
when he won Angler of the Year,” he replied. “He put it in a context beyond
what I had even been thinking. He said it may be one of the greatest feats in
all of athletics, not just bass fishing. That kind of hit me when he said that.
I really had not considered it up until that point.
was comparing it to Cal Ripken and some of those guys that have been playing at
a high level for a long period of time.”
usual, Clunn will be among the pros to watch as Classic XXXI unfolds in the
tidal waters of the Louisiana Delta.
oldest man in the Classic field, Roland Martin served notice this year that his
competitive fires had not waned by winning the points title in the Eastern
Invitational division. That earned him a 23rd Classic invitation (second only to
Clunn) and his first return since 1998.
been damn hard work. It’s tough to make the Classic,” Martin said.
used to be easy to make the Classic, but it kept getting harder. The last couple
of years, I’ve missed by just a few points. There’s been five or six years
where I was real close to making it and didn’t make it. So it’s getting
harder and harder.
went from a point that making the Classic was like falling off a log for me. I
remember quoting myself 20 years ago saying I’ll always make the Classic. Now,
I’m lucky and relieved to make it period.”
to the Classic at age 61 is special for Martin, since it is the one title that
has eluded him over the years.
just as driven as ever to win the Classic,” said Martin. “It would be
terrific right now at this stage of my career to win it. It’s the only thing
missing from my career.”
who owns B.A.S.S. records for tournament victories (19) and Angler of the Year
titles (nine), is a true pioneer of this sport, who has grown up with B.A.S.S.
In fact, he is the only angler in the 2001 Classic that participated in the
first BASS Masters Classic in 1971.
been a great ride and I’m proud of what this sport and B.A.S.S. has become,”
he said. “I’ve always believed in B.A.S.S. from the start.”
the sport’s elder statesmen in this Classic field will be 56-year-old Harold
Allen of Texas, who will be making his 13th Classic appearance. “It’s great
to be going back to the Classic,” said Allen, the Classic runner-up in 1981.
“I’m tickled to death to be fishing another Classic.”
45 Classic contenders will be fishing for a $100,000 top prize and
most important title in the sport. Winning
the Classic is the
mark in professional fishing and an accomplishment that has
past winners with as much as $1 million in residual earnings.
is the championship event of the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail.
sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the
largest fishing organization. The BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the
and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It
to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and
after more than three decades. B.A.S.S.
is a wholly owned
BASS Masters Classic is a week-long celebration for those who love
sport of bass fishing. Notable activities during the 2001 Classic Week
New Orleans include the Kids Klassic which takes place on Wednesday,
1st at Lafreniere Park. The event
is highlighted by a Meet the Pros
session from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The
Kids Klassic takes place from
a.m. to noon.
of the 2001 BASS Masters Classic include: Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine,
Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Pennzoil
Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway Batteries, Kumho Tires, Long John
Silvers, Gore-Tex Outwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong
Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC Vehicle & Boat Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum
First USA Visa Card.
Sponsors include: Bass Cat Boats, G3 Boats
2001 BASS Masters Classic is presented locally in conjunction with:
of Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Tourism and Greater New Orleans Sports