With the last regular-season events and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship set to debut on ESPN2 Sunday, Oct. 12, B.A.S.S. and ESPN2 have scheduled a four-hour programming block full of bass fishing action.
“With events like these, they really need to be seen back-to-back,” said Billy Chapman, supervising producer at JM Associates — the TV production arm of B.A.S.S. “A rare look at four hours of professional bass fishing is pretty special.”
The ESPN2 programming block begins at 2 p.m. ET with a look into the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite Series at Cayuga Lake.
“The Cayuga Lake event was our last regular-season event of the year, and that’s where the bottleneck started happening with AOY points and anglers like Greg Hackney and Todd Faircloth,” Chapman said.
With AOY competition heating up, the Top 50 anglers in AOY points headed to Escanaba, Mich., and the shores of Bays de Noc to battle for the coveted Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year trophy.
The championship was slated to be a three-day event where all 50 anglers could compete for desired AOY points. Unfortunately, the weather altered tournament plans.
“As far as production was concerned, we normally take a four-day tournament and make it into a one-hour show,” Chapman said. “With the AOY Championship we were planning on making a three-day tournament into two one-hour shows.”
With an unprecedented three days of cancellations due to weather, the hurdle for the production team grew with each day not fished.
“Now, the championship was going to be a two-day event, and we need to make it into two shows,” Chapman said. “We really had to focus on the guys we were covering. It was an obvious logistical challenge, but one we were willing to take on.”
The Bassmaster Elite Series Winning Ways program is scheduled to wrap up the bass fishing segment at 5 p.m. ET. Winning Ways will cover Michael Iaconelli’s win on the Delaware River, Hackney’s win on Cayuga Lake, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket on Georgia’s Lake Chatuge and an AOY recap.
“Angler of the Year and these Classic qualifying tournaments are such special events that they warrant this kind of coverage,” Chapman said.
Image courtesy Seigo Saito/Bassmaster