Live Updates: Power-Pole at the 2020 Bassmaster ClassicEvents . Featured Stories . News & Press Releases
The 50th anniversary of the Bassmaster Classic in Alabama is in the books and Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors had a visible presence all across competitive fishing’s biggest stage.
Power-Pole-equipped anger Hank Cherry came out the champion on what was a big day for Power-Pole Total Boat Control. All competitors who made the Super Six of the tournament were Power-Pole anglers.
The Power-Pole media team covered the action all week from the opening practice on Lake Guntersville to the final weigh-in at the BJCC Arena. Scroll down for all of our stories, photos, videos and more.
Alright Bassmaster fans, the BJCC Arena is open and is filling up rapidly. Come find out if Power-Pole equipped anglers can pull off a sweep of the top five on bass fishing’s biggest stage.
Hammerin’ Hank Back On Top
Hank Cherry Jr. didn’t stay down on the leaderboard for long. A quick five-pounder landed around the 10 a.m. mark has him back on top of the leaderboard heading at the halfway point. He added two more to reach his bag limit and give him 61-14 for the tournament. He also now has a nearly six pound lead over the next closest angler, Todd Auten (56-3).
Stetson Blaylock (54-9) is still within striking distance while Brandon Lester (50-12) and John Crews Jr. (49-3) have plenty of room to upgrade their bags and jump back into contention. There’s still plenty of time and there are surely some big fish still to be found in this tournament.
Storming Out of the Gates
No slow starts today. Lots of early movement on the leaderboard in the first two hours as Stetson Blaylock, Todd Auten and John Crews have all put four fish in the livewell already to take over the top three. Hank Cherry Jr. and Brandon Lester have at least one fish in the well to stay within striking distance.
In the Booth
Outdoors icon Jimmy Houston is back in the Power-Pole Total Boat Control booth #524. You can meet the legend in person starting at 11:45 a.m.. Bernie Schultz and Luke Clausen will be there from 1 to 2 p.m. and Justin Lucas and Randy Howell return from 2 to 3.
You’ve got one last chance to meet a fishing celebrity in the Power-Pole booth when Scott Martin Jr. stops in at 3 p.m. That also means one last chance to see the Power-Pole line of innovative Shallow Water Anchors up close or pick up some exclusive Power-Pole apparel before this year’s expo comes to a close.
Someone is Ending the Day a Champ
The final day of the Classic is underway on Lake Guntersville. There’s a lot of excitement on the docks here as the 25 remaining competitors took off in hopes of ending the day with their first-ever Classic trophy.
A Better Way
If you didn’t make it over to the weigh-ins at the BJCC Arena, you might have missed the world premier of the CHARGE “Better Way” campaign. Check it out below:
Goin’ Fishing on a Sunday
A second consecutive day of a 20-pound plus weigh-in has Brandon Lester in prime position heading into the final day of the Classic on Lake Guntersville. The Kentucky-native, who fell just short in last year’s Classic in Knoxville, had a five-fish bag of 20-1 to give him a two-day total of 41-0. It wasn’t enough to overtake first day leader Hank Cherry Jr. who turned in a 16-10 weight for a two-day total of 45-13.
John Crews slipped one spot on day two after turning in a 16-11 bag to stay within striking distance in third place with a 38-3. Todd Auten (18-0) and Stetson Blaylock (19-4) hung on for the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
Hook & Look Hall of Famer
Longtime pro angler and host of the television show Hook & Look, Kim Stricker, was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame on Saturday. Stricker was presented the award by fellow Hall of Famers Shaw Grigsby and Jimmy Houston during a ceremony held in the Power-Pole booth at the Outdoors Expo.
Crews Making a Surge
The veteran John Crews has reached his bag and is now upgrading his weight total after a nice run that saw him catch three Fish in a span of about 20 minutes. Heading into the halfway mark, Crews has pulled to just over four pounds behind leader Hank Cherry Jr.
Todd Auten is currently in third. David Mullins and Micah Frazier continued their steady climb to round out the top five. The bubble has become quite crowded heading into the second half of the day with just four pounds separating 18th and 32nd place.
Who Gets To Run It?
Tune in now on the official Power-Pole Facebook or Instagram accounts to see who is going to win a CHARGE Marine Power Management Station during our live broadcast on Lake Guntersville.
Go Big or Go Home
We are underway on elimination day at the Classic. The top 25 will move on into Sunday. It’s a little less windy but every bit as cold as yesterday so we’ll see if the bite is slow to start the day again.
In the Booth
Fishing legend Jimmy Houston kicks off a star-studded lineup of angling celebrities appearing in the Power-Pole Total Boat Control booth #524 at the Classic Outdoors Expo. Houston will be available for a meet and greet starting at 11:45. Stick around because pro anglers Luke Clausen and Bernie Schultz will be available from 1:00 to 2 p.m.
There will be even more legends throughout the day. Starting at 2:00 p.m., fishing icon Bill Dance will be available and a few lucky fans will even get one of Bill’s signature Tennessee hats with his signature on it courtesy of Power-Pole. Also in the booth at that time will be pro angler Mark Daniels Jr. Justin Lucas and Steve Kennedy are available from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00. Dan Dannenmueller will be there at 3:30 and former Classic champion Randy Howell will be there at 4:00.
Hold On In The Moment
Cherry on Top
It was a good day on Lake Guntersville to have a boat equipped with a Power-Pole. As expected, the wind was a big factor on the first day of the tournament. Fortunately, nothing gives you Total Boat Control like a Power-Pole which explains why the top ten anglers on the leaderboard after Day 1 all are equipped with Power-Poles on their boat.
Hank Cherry Jr. heads into Day 2 atop the leaderboard after weighing in 29-3 bag. John Crews and Alabama native Client Davis are tied at No. 2 with 21-8. Todd Auten, who also had the biggest single fish of the day at 7-9, and Micah Frazier are tied with 20-0 to round out the top five.
Skyar Hamilton (19-11), Matt Herren (18-12), Hunter Shryock ((18-6), Stetson Blaylock (18-5) and Jason Williamson (18-3) finished out the sweep of the top 10 for Power-Pole.
Rough Start on Big G
The wind is kicking pretty good out on the lake today with gusts over 20 mph and white caps in open water making conditions a little sporty for those making long runs. Combined with the cold weather and things are off to a bit of a slow start. Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston managed to get on the board with about a three pounder he caught along a grass line around the 10 a.m. point. John Crews and Brandon Lester both have their five fish limit with weights of 16-2 and 16-0 to sit atop the leaderboard at the midway point.
In the Booth
Buddy Gross, a rising star in professional bass fishing, will be available in the Power-Pole Total Boat Control booth #524 from 1 to 2 p.m. to sign autographs and maybe give you some hints on fishing with swimbaits. Pro anglers Luke Clausen and Steve Kennedy will be available from 3 to 4.
While you are there, check out Power-Pole’s new line of apparel, including the exclusive “Scaled Down” pattern performance fishing shirts, available at exclusive Expo pricing.
Ready, Set, Go
We are underway on Lake Guntersville. It’s a chilly 49 degrees and breezy but the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Good luck to all of our Power-Pole pros.
Expo Open for Business
The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo kicks off at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The exhibition hall will be open to the public at noon today and will remain open until 7 p.m. ET. Members of B.A.S.S. Nation can get early entry starting at 11 a.m. with their B.A.S.S. identification card.
Nearly 200 of the biggest brands in fishing will be represented during the expo, which will also be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Reliability Comes Standard
Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors are an essential tool when fishing which is why some of the biggest names in the boat building community offer our anchors as optional or standard equipment for all new boat purchases. Some of those Power-Pole-equipped boats on display during the Expo include Vexus, Falcon, Triton, Blazer, Crestliner, Avid, Caymas and Phoenix. Make sure to visit them so you can see just how sleek a Power-Pole will look on the back of your next boat.
Last Chance to Win a CHARGE
Power-Pole will have a special guest to announce the winner of the #LetsRunIt social media campaign live during the Saturday morning launch on Lake Guntersville. You still have until 5 p.m. to enter. For more information and instructions on how to enter, click here.
Greetings from the cold and wet city of Birmingham. It has rained all through the night here in Alabama. While we don’t know what kind of impact this is going to have on the fishing here this week, it might put a damper on some of the festivities. All of the anglers will be taking part in the Classic Media Day. This event isn’t open to the public so your best bet is to follow along here with the Power-Pole media team, who will have exclusive interviews, pictures and videos from the event.
Having a brother competing against you in the highest level is both a comfort and a motivation for the Johnston brothers. Cory and Chris Johnston are both fishing in their first ever Bassmaster Classic.
“It’s great to have someone to be able to bounce things off of and run ideas by each other,” Cory said. “We travelled together and our family is all here together so it that has been an awesome experience in itself.”
While they both agree it is nice to be able to experience such a momentous event together, they also want the chance to beat the other on the biggest stage of competitive fishing.
“It just brings that much more rivalry to the competition between the two of us,” Chris said. “We grew playing hockey against each other, baseball lacrosse. It doesn’t matter if we are playing a friendly game of cards, we always want to beat each other.”
I am Iron Man
During Wednesday’s practice, Florida native John Cox showed just what he can do in an aluminum hull boat as he squeezed his way through a shallow water culvert to find water that is unaccessible for some of the anglers fishing bigger, heavier fiberglass boats.
The ability of aluminum boats to reach extremely shallow water, their durability and their lower overall cost is making them an increasingly more popular choice for tournament anglers. Anglers like Cox and Caleb Sumrall are still definitely in the minority at this event.
“One of the main reasons is that they are much cheaper (in price),” Cox said. “Aluminum boats are being made with all the same features of most fiberglass boats, you are able to go shallower and your maneuverability is much better. It’s just an awesome set up.”
“I made the switch over this year and I’ve found that I can troll in places where I used to not even be able to float,” Sumrall said.
Add in a set of Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors and you end up with a rig that is ideally suited to otherwise inhospitable shallow water conditions.
“I’m able to get up into these super shallow ponds that a lot of times don’t get any fishing pressure,” Cox said. “I’m able to get in there and put the Poles down, let everything settle and just fan cast the areas.”
“One of the good things about the Power-Pole is that it is stealthy,” Sumrall said. “I think sound resonates further when you are in the shallows.”
It’s a Southern Thang
According to the Alabama Tourism Bureau, the Bassmaster Classic is expected to bring over $30 million dollars into the state’s economy. It’s also a great opportunity for the people of Alabama to show off that famous southern hospitality of theirs.
“Alabama is full of a lot of good people,” Alabama native Clent Davis explained. “No matter where you go, people are willing to lend a hand. It doesn’t matter what you need, they’ll feed you a meal or help take care of your boat. They don’t let a bad thing happen to you.”
The chance to win the Classic for his home state is a driving force for Davis this year.
“It’s been my running joke that if I win this, I’m going to have to retire,” he said with a smile. “I’d have nothing else to fish for. It’s been a lifelong dream just to get here, let alone win it.”
The CHARGE Advantage
For this year’s Classic, 16 of the competitors will have boats equipped with the new Power-Pole CHARGE Marine Power Management Station.We talked to several of those anglers during the Media Day to find out what kind of advantage they will have in the tournament because of it.
A Long, Strange Trip
Did you ever wonder what happens to all those fish after they are brought to weigh-in in Birmingham nearly two hours from where they are caught in Lake Guntersville? B.A.S.S. conservation director Gene Gilliland answered that question during a presentation during the Classic Media Day.
They all make it back to their home in Lake Guntersville in a joint effort with the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. After weigh-in, the fish are loaded into aerated tanker trucks and shipped back to Guntersville. According to Gilliland, the fish are all expected to survive. He claimed that that method resulted in a 100 percent survival rate the last time the Classic was hosted here in 2014.
Party Time in Uptown
If you made it to the Birmingham area for the event, be sure to come out to the Uptown District for the Classic Kickoff Party from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The event is free and will feature live music and chances to mingle with some of your favorite pro anglers.
Greetings from Guntersville
Practice is underway for the anglers on Lake Guntersville. It’s a crisp 56 degrees out here on the water but the early morning rain has passed through and appears to be done for the day as the sun has started burning off some of the cloud cover. Despite the rain over the 48 hours, the water on the upper lake is surprisingly clear even though the water levels are above normal.
Crammed in the Creeks
A lot of the anglers look to be testing out some of the smaller creeks in the north part of the lake. The bridge over Mink’s Creek is especially popular this morning with anglers. The bass seem to be a little finicky so far since the sun hasn’t fully come out yet.
Pick a Lane
The official Power-Pole camera boat captain for the week is the latest in the Lane legacy of anglers, 18-year-old Cal Lane. Cal is the son of Classic champ Chris Lane and is the newest addition to Team Power-Pole for the FLW Toyota Series. He grew up fishing on Lake Guntersville, making him a perfect guide for the tournament. He recently started his own Instagram to document his budding career as a professional angler. Be sure to follow him @CalLaneFishing.
Mother Nature’s Last Call
Hopefully all of the anglers managed to find the key for success as the rain has started to fall here at Lake Guntersville, causing some anglers to call it a day a little early. The forecast expects the showers to last through the night and into Thursday afternoon. It shouldn’t affect the actual tournament as all of the anglers will be off the water to attend Media Day on Thursday and any remnants of the front should be long gone by Friday when the forecast calls for cool yet sunny days with a high in the mid-50s.
Reporter: J. Scott Butherus. Photographer: William Bean
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