BASS MADNESS: Bigmouths, Big Money, and Big Dreams at the Bassmaster Classic
Over the past two decades bass fishing has been skyrocketing in popularity around the nation, with 10 million Americans actively engaging in the sport. As a cultural phenomenon it's touted as the new NASCAR, with the marketing and media attention aimed at competitive bass fishing nearly overwhelming its roots: the bass and the fishing. And there's no better place to witness just what has transformed this unassuming sport than to go behind-the-scenes at the Citgo Bassmaster Classic.
In BASS MADNESS: Bigmouths, Big Money, and Big Dreams at the Bassmaster Classic (Wiley, October 2006) America's foremost fishing authority, Ken Schultz, observes the spectacles of the 2005 and 2006 Bassmaster Classics—from the elite anglers (such as Mike Iaconelli, a hyperactive 32-year-old who yells at his fish) to the sport's rabid fans, and shares the history and lore of America's most popular game fish.
Schultz also takes a critical look at the role of the media in growing and sustaining this event and the sport in general, as well as key players both on and off the water. He probes the marketing of professional bass fishing, the alleged growth of the sport, the growing hero-worship, and the effects that big money, including a $500,000 winner's purse, has had and is having on what was once a contemplative activity.
* * *
Bigmouths, Big Money, and Big Dreams at the Bassmaster Classic
By Ken Schultz
Wiley, Publication Date: October 2006
$24.95/Cloth, ISBN: 0-471-74627-4
About the Author
Like many of the people featured in BASS MADNESS, Ken Schultz (Forestburgh, New York) fished as a youth, developed a passion for it, and desired to make a career in the fishing world.
From 1973 to 2004 he was a staff writer and Fishing Editor of Field & Stream and wrote more than 500 articles for that publication, many of them about bass fishing. From 1977 to 1991 he was a syndicated columnist for Gannett News Service, and from 1991 to 2000 he was a contributor to the Outdoors section of The New York Times. Chapters of his 1981 book, Bass Fishing Fundamentals, were excerpted in Bassmaster magazine. His 1996 book, Successful Bass Fishing, was named one of the Top 25 sportfishing books of all time by Field & Stream. Among his many books, he is perhaps best known for the multi-award-winning mammoth 1999 work, Ken Schultz's Fishing Encyclopedia & Worldwide Angling Guide.
A longtime member of BASS as well as other organizations, Schultz was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1998, and is a former holder of seven world fishing records. He has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows, including TNN, ESPN, ESPN2, OLN, CNBC, The Weather Channel, Court TV, and ESPN's BassCenter. He is also Fishing Editor for espnoutdoors.com. His Web site is www.kenschultz.com
Praise for BASS MADNESS:
"It's all here—the go-for- jugular competitors, in-your-face marketers and wowser TV coverage that define the bizarre world of big bucks tournament bass fishing. Fans of any high profile sport will delight while Ken Schultz systematically dissects villains and heroes alike with the kind of authoritative chutzpah that would have made Howard Cosell cackle in glee. It's fast, furious all the way—a wicked good read."
—Jerry Gibbs, Fishing Editor, Outdoor Life
"Ken Schultz has done a masterful job of compiling a most comprehensive review of the Bassmaster Classic. It was refreshing to read Ken's unbiased, accurate reporting of the current state of affairs of the sport of professional bass fishing. Someone finally tells it like it is. Bravo!"
—Jay Yelas, Professional Bass Angler and Winner of the 2002 Bassmaster Classic
"Ken Schultz provides us with a fascinating insider view on how television is turning the world of Big Bass fishing tournaments into Big Business."
—Don Logan, Former Chairman, Media & Communications Group, Time Warner Inc.
"In Bass Madness, Ken Schultz provides an entertaining and enlightening insider's look at the wonderful, wacky world of professional bass fishing. His research on the origins of competitive fishing is outstanding and very thorough, a must read for any avid angler. By interviewing today's bassheads, he illustrates how our once pastoral sport has become big-time entertainment, with all the foibles and financial obligations that accompany it. Anglers won't want to put it down."—Steve Quinn, Senior Editor, In-Fisherman Magazine
"Bass Madness is a fantastic book. Written with incredible detail and honesty to make it both interesting and entertaining. A must to read for everyone."—Mark McQuown, Vice President, Lowrance Electronics