Hunting Fishing

Why elite bass fishing events were canceled in Sacramento and Washington’s Tri-Cities

Skeet Reese of Auburn brings in a winner during a Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament a few years ago. The nationally televised series has canceled a 2019 event near Sacramento.
Skeet Reese of Auburn brings in a winner during a Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament a few years ago. The nationally televised series has canceled a 2019 event near Sacramento. File

Sport fishing enthusiasts got some bad news Tuesday.

The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society has canceled its Tri-Cities and Sacramento stops on the Elite Series Tournament after competitors complained about the cost to travel from the Midwest and East Coast.

The highly-anticipated event would have been nationally televised, showcasing the Columbia River and sparked more than $400,000 in economic impact in the area, according to Visit Tri-Cities.

The event was set for June 20-23, 2019, and would have been one of nine on the 2019 Elite Series. The Columbia River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in Northern California were the only western stops.

The Columbia River was to be one of three first-time destinations for the series, along with Lake Lanier in Georgia and Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

ESPN and ESPN2 were set to broadcast the events.

Visit Tri-Cities reports B.A.S.S. cited opposition from Elite Series anglers who objected to the cost to travel to the western states from the Midwest and East Coast.

In the past, B.A.S.S. visited the Columbia River for four Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens — but never for an Elite Series event.

“We will continue to seek opportunities to partner with B.A.S.S. to host future tournaments in the Tri-Cities,” said Michael Novakovich, president and CEO of Visit Tri-Cities.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514
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