FOND DU LAC, WIS. (Dec. 23, 2014) – Randy Howell, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion, will defend his title as one of 34 Mercury Marine-sponsored anglers to qualify for the championship event, including Greg Hackney, the 2014 Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
Mercury claimed more than 60 percent of the 55 qualifying slots for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, to be held Feb. 20-22 on Lake Hartwell in Greenville, South Carolina. Lake Hartwell was also the site of the 2008 Bassmaster Classic.
In addition to Hackney, who won the 2014 Bassmaster Elite competition on Cayuga Lake, the 2015 Classic lineup includes three other Mercury-sponsored Elite competition winners and 14 top-40 Angler of the Year points-earners. See the full list of Mercury-sponsored anglers in the competition here and the full 2015 Bassmaster Classic lineup here.
“I’m looking forward to going back and getting a little redemption on the Lake,” said Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, who won the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and 2007 Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title. Reese is a Mercury Pro angler who secured seventh place in 2014 Angler of the Year points and came in 49th place at last year’s Bassmaster Classic.
“My Ranger and 250hp Mercury will get a workout that week,” Reese said. “I’ll be doing a lot of moving around, a lot of running and gunning, and I know that my gear is going to perform at the highest level it can. I’m looking forward to having another shot to win it.”
Howell defeated the world’s top 55 bass anglers for the $300,000 winner’s purse at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, hauling in 67.8 pounds of bass over Paul Mueller’s 66.8 pounds. The field weighed in more than 2,100 pounds over three days.