'The Pinnacle of All Tournaments': Bassmaster Classic Returns To Oklahoma

Mark Menendez, Ish Monroe, and Bill Lowen call the Bassmaster Classic the Superbowl of competitive fishing. All 3 men are professional anglers. And while they’re not competing this year, they gave us a taste of what they do every day.

Tuesday, March 19th 2024, 5:02 pm



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Grand Lake may look empty today, but come Friday, it will be packed with people for what Mark Menendez, Ish Monroe, and Bill Lowen call the Superbowl of competitive fishing.

“This is the dream that everybody has,” said Lowen.

“It’s the pinnacle of all tournaments, it’s the one that really counts,” Menendez said.

“People get excited about it,” said Monroe.

All 3 men are professional anglers. And while they’re not competing this year, they gave us a taste of what they do every day.

Over the course of 3 days, the 56 competitors attempt to catch the biggest fish, with daily weigh-ins. Lowen says it’s a culmination of a year of qualifying to get to this point.

“The five biggest basses you catch is what you’re going to bring in and we’re going to take them all the way to the arena in Tulsa and get them weighed in," he said.

The highest total weight after three days wins the competition.

Monroe says bass is the number one game fish in the world and catching a big one is a feeling like no other.

“It’s unexplainable, if you could bottle up what it feels to catch a big bass, it’s better than anything else in the world,” he said.

But Menendez says it’s not easy.

“You spend a lot of time... time on the computer looking at Google Earth, looking at the lake, watching water levels, watching weather patterns,” he said.

And what makes it even harder are the other boats on the lake.

“The competition just gets better and better and better every year,” said Lowen.

And if all goes according to plan, the champion will have a story as big as the fish they catch.

“Let’s see who wins,” said Monroe.

The competition begins at Grand Lake on Friday at 7:15 a.m.

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