Rapala signs Elite rookie Downey to pro team
Industry News Industry News
When he was 10, Bob Downey caught his first “giant” bass on a Rapala lure. That’ll happen a lot more in the future, as Rapala recently signed the Bassmaster Elite Series rookie to its Pro Team.
“To be representing and partnering with a company that’s so iconic is pretty neat,” Downey says. “I’m super thankful for the opportunity. I’m really excited to work with the Rapala team.”
Rapala too is enthusiastic about working with Downey.
“He’s a great, humble guy, talented fisherman, loves Rapala baits and looking to make a start fishing professionally,” Rapala field promotions manager Dan Quinn says. “The stars aligned that we could work with him on his first year on the Elite Series.”
Downey qualified for the Elite Series by finishing fifth in the 2019 Bassmaster Central Open Angler of the Year standings. He qualified for the 2020 Bassmaster Classic by winning a Central Open on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. He learned tournament fishing as a collegiate angler for the University of Iowa. As a pro, he will represent Rapala, VMC and Sufix.
“He built a great reputation over the last few years,” Quinn says. “He’s well respected as a good-quality guy in addition to being a good-quality fisherman. Which is what we always look for to fly the Rapala flags.”
Downey began fishing at such a young age that he doesn’t remember catching his first bass. He’s got a photo of himself showing off a small largemouth he caught at age 2. Growing up in a Minneapolis, Minn., suburb, he fished in the Land of 10,000 Lakes with his parents, grandfather and uncles. In all of their tackleboxes were Rapala baits.
“Rapala, from a very young age, was a well-known brand for me,” Downey recalls. “My first floating Rapala I got from my uncle when I was about 10 years old.”
It was on that Original Floating Rapala that Downey caught his first lunker bass, a 6-pounder.
“And I’ve used Rapala baits ever since,” he says.
Downey’s favorite Rapala baits are DT-6 crankbaits, Shadow Raps and Shadow Rap Deep jerkbaits. He’s a big fan also of the Original Wiggle Wart, an iconic offering from Storm, another Rapala Respected Brand. He anticipates all those baits will be key to success this season on the Elite tour. Other baits he expects will yield key fish include VMC Tokyo Rigs and Neko hooks, Rapala BX Brat crankbaits and Storm Arashi Vibe lipless crankbaits.
February 4, 2020
Garmin® Signs Multiyear Deal To Sponsor Bassmaster Tournament Trail
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Garmin, a pioneer in GPS navigation and wireless devices, has signed a three-year deal to become a sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, B.A.S.S. announced today.
“B.A.S.S. fans and anglers are not only enthusiastic about fishing and boating, they genuinely enjoy spending time outdoors,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “That makes Garmin a natural fit to team with our tournament series to reach an audience that is passionate about living an active lifestyle.”
Garmin will be a Supporting Sponsor for the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship and the grass-roots TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation regional and championship tournaments. As a sponsor, Garmin will have an opportunity to engage with avid fans during the Bassmaster Outdoors Expo at Elite events and live weigh-ins for other trail series tournaments.
“Garmin is proud to be a supporting sponsor of B.A.S.S. and further strengthen our continued relationship with this iconic fishing brand,” said Dave Dunn, Garmin Director of Marine Sales. “We are deeply committed to the freshwater fishing industry, and B.A.S.S. is a great place for us to showcase our award-winning products and technologies to anglers of all ages and skill levels.”
The relationship between Garmin and B.A.S.S. is already strong, with 18 members of the brand’s national pro team competing on the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series, ranging from veteran anglers Todd Auten and Clark Wendlandt to newcomer Bryan Schmitt.
Garmin was recently named Manufacturer of the Year for the fifth consecutive year by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), an honor given to the most recognized marine electronics company for support of products in the field. Garmin’s portfolio includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, sailing instrumentation, audio, entertainment, trolling motors and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and ease-of-use. For more information, visit garmin.com/newsroom.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
2019 Central Regionals
Team Minnesota had a good showing at the 2019 Central this past week in Alabama.
To the left are few of the pictures made available.
Congratulations to Kent and Zach, who will move on to the Nationals this fall.
MN B.A.S.S. Nation Tournaments
G-MAN's Advice to Aspiring Competitive Anglers
Wired2Fish Apr 6, 2018
Gerald Swindle has some great advice for anyone looking to break into the professional Bass Fishing Industry. He shares what he believes are the most important things to focus on in your High School, College and Amateur career.
The B.A.S.S. High School Nation is helping shape the future of the sport, one high school club at a time. The High School club members enjoy camaraderie and competition, as well as education and conservation programs.