(Editors: For the first time in the sport of professional bass fishing, the inaugural Cabela's Top Gun Championship takes the Top 25 bass anglers in the world and puts them on the same body of water -- in this case, Eagle Mountain Lake in Fort Worth, Texas. The anglers are the best in the world according to the State Farm World Rankings, which rankings anglers who fish either or both major pro fishing tours: the Bassmaster Tour and the FLW Tour.
More information on this "unification" tournament is available at http://www.bassfan/topgun.com . Media information, including releases, logos and photos, are available at: http://www.bassfan.com/topgun/media_center.asp .)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2005
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Inaugural Cabela's Top Gun
Championship Kicks Off Tomorrow
- Anglers From Both Tours Represented -
FT. WORTH, Texas -- Twenty-four of the top-ranked anglers in the world will begin battling tomorrow to win the Cabela's Top Gun Championship on Eagle Mountain Lake. They will be battling the August heat, the fatigue from fishing for nearly seven straight months and each other to take home the inaugural Cabela's Top Gun title.
Greg Hackney, ranked No. 1 in the State Farm World Rankings, says he likes the lake and feels that "good fish will be caught" even though it's a bad time of year. But like most anglers who fished the recent Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, he's tired. "Mentally I'm dragging," he said. "I get this way this time of year. But this lake has helped my feelings."
Marty Stone, the No. 2-ranked angler in the world, said the fishing's tough – "it's August" – but "big fish will be caught." Top Gun is a "great event, and no one is taking it lightly," he added. "No one wants to be last, and everyone wants to be first. I could tell that this morning. No one slept in (for the second practice day)."
Skeet Reese, No. 3 in the world, didn't have the best practice. "On a scale of 1 to 10, the lake is probably a six. I haven't caught any big ones yet. But I feel optimistic about going out there tomorrow."
Still, he's also battling fatigue. " I love the idea (of Top Gun), I love the concept, but I've been home maybe a month since January. I'm beat down tired."
Terry Scroggins of Palatka Florida is 5th in the world, and is looking forward to tomorrow. "The lake is pretty good," he said. "There's a lot of pressure on it, but it's easy to figure out."
He's psyched to be at Top Gun. "It's cool to come to an event when you don't have to worry about an entry fee (at this event, the contestants get an appearance fee). You get a (guaranteed) check when you go home. It's great."
South Carolina's Anthony Gagliardi is the No. 8-ranked angler in the world, and is the highest-ranked angler who only fishes the FLW Tour. He likes the lake, and noted: "This is the first tournament this year when I haven't felt any pressure. It's truly a bonus for me."
In a first for professional bass fishing tournaments, the daily weigh-ins will take place at the Cabela's retail store in Ft. Worth (12901 Cabela Drive, Ft. Worth, TX 76177, 817-337-2400). Bass fishing fans can browse the store and the adjacent boat, motor and tackle show while enjoying the weigh-ins.
Weigh-ins begin at 7:00 p.m. CST on Friday (Aug. 12) and Saturday (Aug. 13). The final-day weigh-in starts on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 6:00 p.m. Noted tournament host Fish Fishburne will emcee all 3 days.
About the event:
The Cabela's Top Gun Championship takes the 25 top-ranked bass anglers in the world, regardless of which tour or tours they fish, and puts them on the same body of water. The anglers are the best in the world according to the State Farm World Rankings, the only statistical rankings of professional bass fishermen.
The event is title-sponsored by outdoor outfitter Cabela's (www.cabelas.com), and is presented by Skeeter Boats (www.skeeterboats.com), the Outdoor Life Network (www.olntv.com) and BassFan (www.bassfan.com). Supporting sponsors include State Farm Insurance (www.statefarm.com), Mann's HardNose Baits (www.mannsbait.com), Bagley Bait Co. (www.bagleybait.com), Lowrance Electronics (www.lowrance.com), Oakley sunglasses (www.oakley.com) and Tru-Tungsten (www.tru-tungsten.com).
The Cabela's Top Gun Championship telecast will air Saturday, Step. 24 at 10:00 a.m. EST on the Outdoor Life Network. Additional coverage of the event will appear on FOX Sports and OLN (Americana Outdoors and Fishing and Hunting Texas). Full 24/7 coverage will also be on BassFan.com.