Starting in 2009, the Bassmasters Elite Series is introducing their Marshal program, replacing the co-anglers of past. The Marshal program has two main goals as I see it: 1. To give fans and supporters the opportunity to ride along with the very best in bass fishing. Bass enthusiasts will be able to learn from pros through observation and questions, as their respective pros fight to win the tournament. 2. The Marshal will be an official observer onboard, with knowledge of the rules and regulations to keep all pro anglers honest and uphold the integrity of the sport.
Here are the major details:
1. $100 fee for guaranteed 2 days on the water with 2 randomly drawn pros, with a potential 3rd day if one signs up and is in the top 50 people to do so.
2. An official Marshal Jersey and Hat to be worn out on the water, along with other sponsor gear in what I assume will be some sort of gift sack.
3. After the pre-tournament meetings are held the Wednesday before the action, a dinner or reception is held for pros, sponsors, and marshals. You get to rub elbows with the pros! Maybe a few autographs?
4. Marshals will be responsible for using a bass-weighing device, BASSTrakk - similar to a cell phone, that contacts ESPN so unofficial weights can be recorded for on-air footage. Also, the Marshals will need to operate and be able to make minor adjustments to an onboard ESPN camera, BASSCast, during the event.
I believe that this program will be extremely popular this season and many bass fans will undoubtedly become better bass fisherman.
My dad, fellow Team BassAckwards member Gumby, and I signed up already to be a part of this awesome opportunity. We are participating in the Marshal program at Fort Madison, IA on the Great Mississippi River, June 11th and 12th. I'm extremely excited and can't wait to see who I will get paired up with on the first day. Kevin VanDam recently wrote an article on Bassmaster.com with regards to the Marshal program. He said, "The Marshals who go out with me will get a seminar on how I'm fishing. And I know the other Elite Series competitors feel the same way." If you haven't seen this article, check it out. After reading it, I couldn't have been more pumped to share a boat with an Elite Series Pro.
For additional info, visit Bassmaster.com, and check under the Marshal Program. There is an information page that describes what I mentioned above, as well as additional information I left out.
As the ice forms here in MN, all I can think about is getting out on the open water again and chasing those bucketmouths....
Team BassAckwards... "We're the one's hooked!"