There will be an international spotlight on Fort Worth this week, as it hosts an annual professional bass fishing competition.
The Bassmaster Classic will be held Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 13. Of the 54 anglers set to compete, two have traveled from Canada while another two have traveled from Japan. The remaining 50 contenders are from the U.S., with five from Texas.
Chris Zaldain lives in Boyd and has ties to Fort Worth, he said.
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“I’m just going to stay calm, cool, collected all week long and let the conditions tell me what to do, where to fish, what lowers to use. Things like that,” Zaldain told NBC 5. “The only thing that matters this week is ‘T-X numbers’ stating I’m from Texas, the boat is registered in Texas. I’m the hometown guy, and hopefully the hometown guy takes it home.”
The grand prize at the Bassmaster Classic is $300,000, according to B.A.S.S., LLC CEO Bruce Akin. The competition moves from different cities in the U.S. every year and has only been held in Texas three times, including this year in Fort Worth. The weigh-in’s will be completed at Dickie’s Arena, while the actual fishing will be done at Lake Ray Roberts.
“You got hotels, restaurants, and entertainment but you also need at least couple 100 square feet to fit all the exhibitors and sponsors, and then we get a good fishery,” Akin said, explaining their decision behind choosing Fort Worth. “These are best anglers in the world. They competed all year in 2020 to qualify for this event.”
According to the Fort Worth Sports Commission, the tournament is expected to draw more than 130,000 attendees and generate $20 million into the local economy.
For Takumi Ito of Japan, fishing has been a part of his life since he was just 7 years old. Ito said it was a dream of his to compete professionally in the U.S.
“Very, very excited, because … [it’s] my first time [at the] Classic. So, the Classic is a very big tournament for me,” Ito said.
For more information on the competition, click here.