Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Bassmaster Classic draws record crowd

Staff Report //March 20, 2018//

Bassmaster Classic draws record crowd

Staff Report //March 20, 2018//

Listen to this article

The 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic over the weekend attracted record attendance from bass fishing fans.

BASS, the organization that produces the Bassmaster Elite Series, said 143,323 people turned out for one or more activities associated with the Bassmaster Classic,  citing sources including law enforcement counts, host facilities officials and other independent sources.

The previous record was 137,700, set in 2009 at the Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport, La., according to a press release from BASS. The 2017 Classic in Houston last March drew 115,000 fans to Lake Conroe and downtown Houston venues.

“We’re thankful for the hard work of the entire BASS family and our great volunteers in Greenville and Anderson who made this Classic such a success, and we are grateful to the devoted BASS members and fans of the Classic anglers who came to Greenville and Anderson in record numbers,” said BASS CEO Bruce Akin.

In addition to the daily weigh-ins, huge crowds attended the takeoffs each morning at Green Pond Landing and Event Center on Lake Hartwell in Anderson. The Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in Greenville’s 250,000-square-foot TD Convention Center drew numerous fishing fans and their families as well. A new event this year, the Fan Appreciation Day, enabled fans to mingle with the professional anglers for two hours Thursday afternoon.

Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, noted that the attendance reports did not include nearly 500 people who turned out at Green Pond Landing in the afternoons just to watch the anglers load their bass boats and begin driving toward the weigh-ins in Greenville.
The previous Classic on Lake Hartwell, in 2015, drew an attendance of 103,091, according to the BASS news release. 

This year, in addition to 1,400 participating in Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, officials recorded attendance figures of 33,207 on Friday, 58,620 on Saturday and 50,096 on Sunday.
Official audience measurements for the Classic LIVE video coverage streamed live on, ESPN3 and the ESPN app will not be available until later this week, but Jim Sexton, vice president/digital for BASS, said web traffic on indicates a record number of fans tuned in for live coverage of the bass fishing world championship.

The tournament winner was Jordan Lee, a professional angler from Alabama.