For the first time in B.A.S.S. history two anglers will battle it out in a completely live fish-off — a new and innovative fishing competition called “B.A.S.S. Brawls.”
“For the first B.A.S.S. Brawl, we’re fishing on the Tennessee River, home to many epic Bassmaster tournaments, two days before the Alabama vs. Tennessee college football game,” said Jim Sexton, vice president of digital at B.A.S.S. “Our 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion Randy Howell will represent Alabama, and Bassmaster Elite Series pro David Walker will represent Tennessee.”
On Thursday, Oct. 23, competition will begin at 10 a.m. with takeoff from Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium on the banks of the Tennessee River, where the two anglers will compete for the inaugural B.A.S.S. Brawls trophy and two tickets to the Alabama-Tennessee football game on Oct. 25.
Competition will take place in two, one-hour periods, with a break between each period. The two anglers will fish from the same boat, but they will switch boats at halftime. A coin toss will determine which angler’s personal bass boat will be used in the first one-hour period. At the half, anglers will switch boats.
The owner of the boat in use will decide the fishing location within the confines of the set fishing water for the event. The owner will be in control of the boat and run the trolling motor; the other angler can run the boat only if the owner gives permission or if the boat owner incurs a penalty. Each angler will get to spend one period in control of his or her own boat.
For more information on B.A.S.S. Brawls rules, penalties and scoring, visit Bassmaster.com/news/rules-bass-brawl-david-walker-vs-randy-howell.
This live action capability is a game-changer for fishing coverage. B.A.S.S. has a rich history of working hard to bring information to the consumer with platforms such as Live Weigh-ins, BassCast, MegaBucks tournaments, War Room and Bassmaster.com Live Blog coverage.
“Bass fishing has been an extremely hard sport to cover or air live, simply because the playing fields of our lakes and rivers are so large, and our competitors are constantly moving,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president of media content at JM Associates — the TV production arm of B.A.S.S. “Sports on larger playing fields, like golf, have the luxury of knowing a player will be in specific places, allowing them to plan a camera position on every hole and fairway. Our sport doesn’t allow that kind of predictability.
“B.A.S.S. and ESPN together have attempted live coverage of tournament fishing over the past 10 years, but only now is the technology available to make it happen the way sports fans expect to see,” McKinnis added. “The advancements in technology, though, have finally gotten to a point where we can offer a live look at things as they happen.”
The B.A.S.S. Brawls event will have two cameras on the water at all times. One camera will be in the boat with the anglers, and one will be capturing the action from a short distance away.
An additional live camera will stream from the Bassmaster studio where Tommy Sanders and Elite Series pro Stephen Browning will be standing by for play-by-play commentary, analysis and color.
“Fans have been clamoring for more live coverage for years,” Sexton said. “We’re super excited to push the envelope with a live competitive fishing show on Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. Brawls is in beta now and has secured Costa del Mar as sponsor for two events this year. We expect to do great things on this front in the year ahead.”
As for the future of live-action fishing, McKinnis says in the coming season fans will get to see key elements of select tournaments and other events as they happen rather than getting a report after the fact.
To watch the B.A.S.S. Brawl live on Thursday, fans can visit Bassmaster.com, or go directly to Bassmaster.com/video/watch-bass-brawl-live.
Logo courtesy Bassmaster