(As posted on The-Dispatch.com) The 56-man field for the Feb. 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, Birmingham, Ala., is almost complete with Maiden’s Hank Cherry as the only qualifier from North Carolina. Cherry qualified through his finish in the points standings.
Local fans with have nine fishermen to cheer for with that number of qualifiers hailing from Alabama. It’s the second year in a row that Alabama has sent the most qualifiers to the Classic.
Texas has six qualifiers and Oklahoma has five. Arkansas is the only state to send at least one fisherman to the Classic every year.
Gary Klein of Texas will be competing in his 30th Classic and hopes for his first win at Guntersville. Other Classic qualifiers include Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas; Alton Jones of Waco, Texas; Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss.; Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala.; Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif.; Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J.; Edwin Evers of Talla, Okla.; Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark.; Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho; Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala.; and Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas.
The most recent qualifier is Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tenn., who won last week’s Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship at Old Hickory, Lake, Tenn., with a four-day catch of 48.59 pounds worth $100,000 and a Classic berth.
One spot has yet to be filled. It will go to the winner of the Dec. 5-7 Bassmaster Classic Wild Card tournament at Lake Okeechobee, Fla.