Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 12/15/2017

Moore, OK – On Wednesday, The BZ published an article highlighting the top on-the-water moments from the past Elite Series season.  Today, the focus shifts away from the water to the top things that impacted professional bass fishing that happened off the water.  

Mark Jeffrey’s top off-the-water moment from 2017: Anderson Media, Johnny Morris, the stock market
“There’s no way that I can pick just one moment from this past season, because there was a heck of a lot that happened in 2017 away the water, so I’ll give you my top three moments.  

“The first one is Anderson Media becoming the majority owner of B.A.S.S.   They’ve been a part owner and have been involved, but now Chase Anderson is the man and he has control.  It will be very interesting to see if he takes things in a different direction or whether things will remain status quo.  

“The second one is the acquisition of Cabela’s by Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops.  Let’s face it, he is now the man when it comes to retail in the fishing industry.  There is some discussion that Johnny and his company could become the when it comes to retail for fishing.  

“The bottom line with Morris is that if he wants something, he has the capital to buy it.  It will be very interesting to see where things go from here.  

“My third and final thing is kind of out there, but I’m going to have to go with the stock market.  The reason why I say that the stock market was a big story from 2017 is because I think that it really impacted the boating industry in a positive way.    

“The boat companies are doing very well in the top end line, and I’ve talked to some industry leaders in the bass boat market who attribute that fact to the stock market doing so well in 2017 and people have some more disposable income.  A side note to that is the recent announcement of the boat company Vexus.”  

Matt Pangrac’s top off-the-water moment from 2017:  Team USA Bass
“This past July at ICAST in Orlando, the members of Team USA Bass were announced.   The eight anglers included Scott Martin, David Fritts, David Dudley, Scott Canterbury, Mark Rose, James Watson, Fred Roumbanis, and Lionel Botha.  In October, the group traveled to South Africa to compete in the 2017 Black Bass World Championship on the Vaal River against over a dozen other countries.   They ended up bringing home the silver medal.  

“This wasn’t the first time that a team of professional bass anglers from America traveled overseas to compete in a bass tournament, but from the looks of things, Team USA Bass will be making annual appearances in international competition for at least the next three years.  

“On the USA Bass website (, it states: ‘The World Championship will become the ‘Ryder Cup’ of bass fishing. Annually U.S. Angling will send a ‘Dream Team’ of the best professional bass anglers in the United States to compete against the world for Gold.’

“If this international competition could gain more recognition in the United States and become a must-follow tournament in the upcoming years, it could be the start of something pretty cool.”      

Dave Rush’s top off-the-water moment in 2017:  Ike’s Classic Streak
“Mike Iaconelli continued the game's longest consecutive Classic streak at 17, but he had to rely on some help and watch from the sidelines this season, which made for a really interesting dynamic.  

“Ike finished the year in 41st place in the 2017 Elite Series Angler Of the Year point standings, and was two spots outside of qualifying for the 2018 Bassmaster Classic with just two Bassmaster Opens left in the 2017 season.  In order for Ike to make it, he basically needed a miracle in the form of two double-qualified Classic anglers to win the final two Opens.  It actually happened when Jesse Wiggins won the Open on Smith Lake and James Elam won the Open on Grand Lake in October.  

“Iaconelli is by far one of the most recognizable figures in professional bass fishing and the fact that he was somehow able to keep the streak alive, even though he was on the sidelines, is vintage Iaconelli.”