Since 1994, Classic Bass’s mission has been to support bass tournament anglers of all skill levels with access to comprehensive information on tournaments, techniques, results and products. In an effort to further support tournament anglers, Classic Bass has recently added a new tournament series to its portfolio.
In 2017 the Classic Bass Champions Tour, presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards, was launched and thus began the most exciting tournament circuit that the Upper Midwest has seen. A four event regular season schedule plus a year end Championship captivated and engaged bass fishing anglers as they watched the Champions Tour events unfold via live scoring updates, photos and video via the Classic Bass website and social media channels.
The tournament series was created by Classic Bass owner, and longtime bass tournament angler, Scott Bonnema. The goal of this circuit is to bring the finest anglers from various regions of the Midwest together to compete.
“For several years, anglers had expressed interest for new, fresh, and exciting tournament concept,” commented Scott Bonnema, Owner of Classic Bass. “With the Champions Tour, we aim to bring the finest Midwest bass anglers together to compete on some phenomenal fisheries.”
The Classic Bass Champions Tour is an individual tournament series, where each angler is paired with a high school angler, who serves as the boat official, who will track and record each legal fish and enforce the Champions Tour regulations.
Every smallmouth or largemouth bass that is caught, which meets the 12-inch minimum length requirement will count towards the angler’s weight/score. At no time will any bass be placed in the boat’s livewells or brought to a weigh-in.
The Champions Tour displays the results and content real time via ClassicBass.com and on social media. Competing anglers will also be providing viewers with helpful fishing information on the lake they are fishing, along with the techniques and lures they are using.
Some of the Midwest’s and Nation’s top anglers competed during the inaugural year of the Champions Tour, with Champion trophies being hoisted by Brian Wood, Seth Feider, Tadd Johnson and Arnold Helgerson.
The first ever Champions Tour Championship was held on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids, where Andy Walls walked away with a brand new Skeeter boat equipped with a Yamaha Outboard.
“We are very fortunate to have so many experienced bass tournament anglers and advocates for the sport of fishing in our area,” stated Bonnema, Owner of Classic Bass. “Our goal is to attract as many top anglers as possible during this inaugural Champions Tour season.”
The Champions Tour grew its schedule and angler foot print during the 2018 season by holding four Champions Tour regular season events, along with two Champions Tour Open events.
The Champions Tour Open event on Gull Lake saw a total of sixty four anglers compete and Michael Walters was presented with the first ever $10,000 check from the Champions Tour.
Other event winners during the 2018 season included, Nathan Whiting, Shane Raveling, Matt Peters and Tim Schroder. The 2018 Championship again gave Champions Tour anglers the opportunity to compete for a brand new Skeeter Boat, Yamaha Outboard package. The lovely Alexandria community welcomed the Champions Tour with open arms and the stage was set for Minnesota angling icon Dean Capra to take the win.
Ahead for the Champions Tour this season includes a four event schedule beginning where the Tour Championship was last fall, Lake Le Homme Dieu in June, from there the Tour will head to two new event locations, Leech Lake in July and Lake Vermilion in August. The regular season event finale will take place at the end of August on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids, which is when the Champions Tour will announce the location for its third Champions Tour Championship, which will be held September 21-22, where one angler will take home a brand new Skeeter Bass Boat and Yamaha Outboard package.
The Champions Tour prides itself in delivering over 100 percent payback to its anglers, with none of the entry fee dollars going to the Champions Tour. A small portion of the angler entry fees is donated to the Student Anger Tournament Trail for their service over the course of the 2019 season as the Boat Officials that make all things possible for the Champions Tour.