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Edwin Evers celebrating winning Bassmaster Classic 2016 Mercury Marine image

Edwin Evers celebrating winning Bassmaster Classic 2016
Mercury Marine image

We were privileged to attend the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake with the weigh-ins in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 4-6, 2016.

Edwin Evers, a local professional bass fisherman came from behind on day 3 to win the tournament.

We just noticed Mercury issued a press release back on 8 March 2016 about the Evers win and about him using their Mercury 250 Pro XS outboard motor.

We congratulate Mercury on being on the winner’s boat.

While at the tournament we noted the presence of technical support crews and trucks from various manufacturers associated with the event, including Mercury.

Near the end of the press release, Mercury tells of the reliability of their outboard and of the contribution made by their tech support crew when Edwin Evers struck a log on day 2 (Saturday).

Mercury Marine
portion of Press Release
8 March 2016
 

Evers leans on dependability, service crew
 

Evers wouldn’t have been in position for a Sunday comeback without the reliability of his 250 ProXS (and the on-site Mercury service crew) on Saturday. Making the run back to the check-in point at the end of the day, Evers struck a log while on pad, severely damaging his propeller and causing a wicked vibration in his lower unit. Evers managed to continue motoring back to Wolf Creek in time to check in, and turned his boat over to Mercury’s on-site service crew for emergency repairs.
 
“That lower unit held together for 30 miles at 60 miles per hour,” Evers said. “The vibration from the damaged prop was just crazy – I was a nervous wreck, but I didn’t have any other choice but to keep going. I wouldn’t have had a chance to win the Classic without the durability of my 250 ProXS.”

Below is a photo we took of Mercury’s support truck while we were at the event.

Mercury Marine fishing tournament support trailer at Bassmaster Classic 2016 on Grand Lake.

Mercury Marine fishing tournament support trailer at Bassmaster Classic 2016 on Grand Lake.

As in our Day 2 photo below, we saw Mercury, Yamaha, Evinrude, and Suzuki outboards at the Classic. While not true in this particular photo, Mercury powered more boats than all the other manufacturers combined.

2016 Bassmaster Classic Day 2. Outboards at the dock before blastoff.

2016 Bassmaster Classic Day 2. Outboards at the dock before blastoff.


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Bassmaster recently announced Houston, Texas will be the site for the 2017 Bassmaster Classic.

The event will be held later than normal on March 24-27, 2017 on Lake Conroe.

Weigh-in will be at Minute Maid Park and the 2017 Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo will be held in George R. Brown Convention Center.

Minute Maid Park, the baseball park home to the Houston Astros, was previously known as The Ballpark at Union Station, Enron Field, and Astro Field.

George R. Brown Convention Center is a large convention center near Minute Maid Park.

To view a satellite version of the Google map of Houston above, click on the icon near the left of the gray bar above the map, then look down and to the left for an icon to toggle between road and satellite view. When the satellite view comes up, click over on the main body of the map and the left menu bar will disappear. Or, we have a satellite map from another provider below.

A satellite version of the map above by another provider is below. We hope you enjoy our maps of the 2017 Bassmaster Classic to be held in Houston Texas on Lake Conroe.


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Chris Lane, popular professional bass angler, fished the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake near Grove Oklahoma using The Leash. Outboard motors can strike submerged objects at bass boat speeds, break off, and flip into the boat while still running. Just like a NASCAR tire tether prevents tires from breaking loose during a collision and becoming a dangerous projectile, The Leash prevents the outboard from reaching bass boat operators or passengers.


I used Photoshop to crop and brighten an image taken by Bassmaster showing Chris Lane with his orange Power Poles and orange The Leash.

The Leash on Chris Lane's boat during 2016 Bassmaster Classic photo is an edited version of Bassmaster's Bling Gallery image #24

The Leash on Chris Lane’s boat during 2016 Bassmaster Classic
photo is an edited version of Bassmaster’s Bling Gallery image #24

All the remaining photos were taken by me.


Chris Lane at Bassmaster Classic 2016 blastoff Day 1

Chris Lane at Bassmaster Classic 2016 blastoff Day 1

Blast-off Day 1. We have a high resolution version of this image that looks very nice.


Read More→

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I attended day one of the 19-20 September 2015 Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship bass tournament at Wolf Creek boat ramp on Grand Lake. This was a chance to see the Wolf Creek ramp facilities in action during a large tournament (195 boats) prior to the Bassmaster Classic in March 2016 as well as to test out some of our gear in that setting.

Prizes were significant, including a Ranger Z119c with Mercury 225 Pro XS for first place, and a Triton 189 TRX with a Mercury 150 outboard for second.

They used a large tent as headquarters for the tournament.

Large tent used as headquarters for Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship, Grand Lake, September 2015.

Large tent used as headquarters for Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship, Grand Lake, September 2015.

We will open our coverage with some of the safety features we saw in new boats on display by Nichols Marine under the tent. Read More→

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This is part of our advance coverage of the 2016 Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament to be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.

With the tournament coming back to Grand Lake (was here in 2013) we decided to take an early look at the facilities layout back in May 2015. I arrived on site at Wolf Creek Ramp on Grand Lake the morning of 4 May 2015. It was a very nice day. I hope the weather is this nice come tournament time (early March 2016).

I grew up about 30 miles from Wolf Creek Ramp. Many of my ancestors lived where the lake now is a far back as the Civil War.

Wolf Creek Park regularly hosts bass tournaments and has has wonderful facilities for doing so. Several agencies and Grand River Dam Authority planned significant facility upgrades in advance of the tournament. Most of those upgrades have been completed, but Grand Lake was flooded in late December 2015 and crews are still cleaning up in the aftermath.

The base of the boat ramps was sandbagged to prevent erosion during the flooding.


The park has a large nice parking lot nearby the ramps.

Large parking lot at Wolf Creek Park, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Large parking lot at Wolf Creek Park, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015

In the distance you can see a nice building (red roof) containing restrooms.


They have a nice building containing large spacious restrooms within walking distance of the boat ramps. The photo below was actually taken in September 2015 as it came out much better than some I shot in May.

Restroom building at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Restroom building at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

As you walk on down past the restroom building you enter the area with some trailer parking near the ramps. The trailer parking was left open to allow staging for rapidly launching in advance of a tournament I observed in September 2015. A much larger area for parking trailers is nearby.

Below is the dock most often shown representing Wolf Creek boat ramp. It splits into two moderate length and runs out into the lake. Locally it is known as the “Tuning Fork” dock (looks like a piano tuning fork from the air).

Docks at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015

Docks at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015


The park is very nice with life jacket loaner stations and a multiple fishing line recycle stations.

Life Jacket loaner stand at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Life Jacket loaner stand at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Reel In and Recycle! station near dock at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Reel In and Recycle! station near dock at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma


Wolf Creek Park has nice weigh in facilities for smaller bass tournaments. They even have cement tank to keep the fish in.

Weigh in station at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Weigh in station at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Tournament tank for holding fish at Wolf Creek Ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Tournament tank for holding fish at Wolf Creek Ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma


I am a firm believer in Restrooms being a thermometer of the condition of a park. On my September 2015 visit to Wolf Creek ramp I happened to be the only one in the men’s restroom so I snapped the photo below. I dare you to compare that with most lake park restrooms. This is a place we can be proud of.

Men's Restroom at Wolf Creek Park near the boat ramps. September 2015.

Men’s Restroom at Wolf Creek Park near the boat ramps. September 2015.


We borrowed a December 15, 2015 aerial photo from Wolf Creek Park’s FaceBook page showing some paving improvements near the ramps before the flood.

Wolf Creek boat ramp improvements 15 December 2015

Wolf Creek boat ramp improvements 15 December 2015
photo courtesy Wolf Creek Park FaceBook page

Other recent facility updates include:

  • New sidewalks & storm water drainage.
  • Streamlining the entrance from Highway 59.
  • The existing boat ramps (as shown in the May 2015 photos above) were ripped out and replaced by Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA). The new ramps have a more appropriate slope.
  • Parking near the ramps now better blends with the slope of the ramps.
  • Additional parking has been added to the south of the existing parking near the ramps

Its great to see our state pulling together to make improvements in advance of the tournament during challenging economic times (our state economy is heavily dependent on oil money).


We cover a large bass tournament at Wolf Creek boat ramp in September 2015 in our next post.


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We will be using this new category to cover bass tournament fishing from the aspect of safety methods, procedures, products, technologies, innovations and other topics relevant to boating safety and how things learned from this field might improve the safety of normal boaters. Somewhat like how race car safety has led to safety innovations in normal cars. As always, we will especially focus on new developments with the potential to improve boat propeller safety.

The tournament industry has exploded in popularity. New products of all types; fishing gear, boats, storage, fish finders, depth finders, lures, and some safety devices have come on the scene.

Some tournament organizations, such as Bassmaster, have put in place significant boating safety initiatives such as requiring the use of life jackets and kill switch lanyards when underway during tournaments. If an angler is caught not complying to those rules they are disqualified from the tournament.

The kill switch rule came about from the death of an Oklahoman (Vernon Fowlkes) during Bassmaster Classic II back in 1973. Ray Scott quickly installed the rule and it has remained in place since then. We salute them for doing so. Read More→

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