GREENVILLE, S.C. — The journalist Tim Tucker brought the outdoors to readers worldwide, and Sunday his fans got to say "Thank you" one more time.
Tucker, who died in July 2007, was awarded the 2008 BASS Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday during the final weigh-in of the Bassmaster Classic. The crowd that packed Greenville's Bi-Lo Arena cheered as Darlene Tucker and her twins, Rachel and Kyle, of Hawthorne, Fla., accepted the award.
Known as a prolific writer, Tucker was also a photographer and consultant to pro anglers. He was a long-time senior writer for Bassmaster Magazine and BASS Times. A regular contributor to scores of newspapers and national-circulation magazines, Tucker was also the author of eight fishing books. He won more than 100 awards for his writing and photography.
"Tim was introduced to the sport of bass fishing about 25 years ago," Darlene Tucker said. "He told me, 'This sport is going to be huge, the next NASCAR.' He felt a passion for the sport, and everything he did was to make the sport better."
SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN CASTS FOR $50,000
Rebecca Miller of Greenville, S.C., was lucky enough to have her name drawn to be the person selected for the $50,000 Berkley Cast for Cash contest at the Bassmaster Classic — but she missed the target.
The 26-year-old hospital social worker was randomly selected from 14,000 fishing fans in Greenville's Bi-Lo Center to be the sole contestant. She had one chance to cast a practice plug 60 feet into a 12-inch target in the center of the mouth of a 20-foot-tall inflatable figure shaped like a bass leaping out of water.
Miller was given her pick of Berkley rod-and-reel combos to perform the cast. She chose a spincasting outfit, then was coached by 1979 Classic champion Hank Parker in a practice period in a parking lot before making her one cast.
The practice plug — a lure without hooks — fell short of the target. Berkley made sure she didn't go home empty-handed, however. Her consolation prize was several Berkley combos and a big Berkley tackle pack.
PUROLATOR BIG BASS
The 6-pound, 7-ounce largemouth that Elite Series pro Fred Roumbanis caught Saturday was good enough to win the Purolator Big Bass of the tournament for the Bassmaster Classic. For his effort, the angler from Bixby, Okla., took home $3,000 — $1,000 for Saturday's Big Bass and another $2,000 for the Classic's overall big fish.
Elite pro Todd Faircloth took the prize for Big Bass of the Day on Friday with one at 6-2, and Elite Series rookie Clark Rheem won the prize Sunday with one at 5-6.
Throughout the Bassmaster Elite Series season, the Purolator Big Bass award is given to the angler and the co-angler who catch the biggest bass on each competition day of a tournament. Pros and co-anglers receive a $1,000 bonus with the award, and a $1,000 bonus is also given to the pro and co-angler with the biggest bass of the Classic.
THE SUV OF SUVs
Toyota showed off the new Sequoia SUV at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, and what a showing it was. People attending the show could not miss the Toyota booth, and the Sequoia was prominently displayed.
The vehicle comes with a choice of engines, including the 5.7-liter V8, and is said to handle and drive like a dream.
Apparently, Expo attendees are smitten with the vehicle, as a number of Sequoias were parked in the arena's parking lot.
At 4 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the 2007, this is a vehicle that just begs to be owned by outdoors men and women.
Its high ride height, wide stance and power are great for pulling boats and other outdoors equipment.
PFLUEGER A HOT SPOT
With several Bassmaster Classic contestants fishing the company's products, it's not surprising that Pflueger had one of the most popular booths at the show.
"This has been a very good event for us," said Gary Remensnyder, president of the company.
The company showed off cool new products, and among them was the new 11-bearing Patriarch reel. The wide-spool reel holds seemingly a mile of line, casts a like a dream and is a reasonable $200.
During a Webcast for www.Bassmaster.com's TackleTalk segment, people got to see the product up close, after which several inquired about purchasing the reel.
STRIKE KING REIGNS
As rumors have swirled on the Internet about a new soft bait from the company, Strike King's new Shaddalicious hollow-body swimbait has been a big winner at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo at the Carolina First Center.
Available in two sizes and a bunch of realistic colors, the lifelike lures have been a hit at the show.
"Man, those things have sold like crazy," said Chris Brown, spokesman for the company. "Everyone is asking about them."
What better venue to introduce a product than the Bassmaster Classic?
Official sponsors of the 2008 Bassmaster Classic are Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury, Purolator, Skeeter and Yamaha.