“Macomb County is always incredibly welcoming and gracious when the Bassmaster Elite Series comes to town,” says Eric Lopez, Director of Event Operations. “Previous events have seen huge crowds, and even when we were here in 2020, passionate fishing fans came out by boat and kayak to watch weigh-ins from the water in a responsible, socially-distanced manner.”
This year’s four-day event runs concurrently with the Bass, Brews and BBQ festival at Brandenburg Park in Chesterfield Township. It will feature 102 Elite Series anglers who will compete at the 2023 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite for a purse of over $771,000.
This includes DeWitt native, Chad Pipkens who is coming off his best finish of the season (a Top 10 at Texas’ Sabine River). Other big names in fishing include Gerald Swindle, Brandon Palaniuk, Scott Martin and Mike Iaconelli.
“Lake St. Clair is an incredible fishery,” he says. “In fact, it ranked in the Top 10 (#7) on Bassmaster Magazine’s 2023 100 Best Bass Lakes list. There are so many options for our anglers, which makes for a more exciting tournament.”
In addition to the exciting fishing action, families and fans who attend the tournament will also get to meet their favorite contenders at the Bass, Brews and BBQ festival. There will also be live music, food trucks, weigh-ins and a cornhole tournament.
It’s set to run noon-midnight Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, July 28-30 and the Bassmaster Fishing Tournament will run Thursday, July 27 to Sunday, July 30.
Admission to the event is free but there may be additional fees for food and other activities. Fireworks will take place on Friday at dusk. If you can’t make it to all four days of the event, Bassmaster LIVE kicks off tournament coverage Thursday and Friday mornings at 8 a.m. ET on Bassmaster.com, Tubi and the FOX Sports platforms while FS1 will broadcast live with the tournament leaders beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Attending the festival or watching the tournament on TV or online may inspire adults to pick up a rod, head out and cast a line themselves. But if it sparks interest in young people or children, the Bassmaster team shared some advice.
“You shouldn’t expect your kids to fish for eight hours, because the reality is they often lose interest after 20 minutes if the fish aren’t biting,” says Lopez. “The key is to keep them entertained – throwing rocks in the water, a short walk down the shoreline, watching for turtles or whatever, that’s fine. Keep it fun!”
“Many families overlook the fact that adults who are handling a rod and reel are required to have a fishing license — even if fishing is simply a brief part of your family camping trip or picnic,” he added. “In addition to making sure you have a valid fishing license for whatever day(s) you’ll be fishing, safety needs to be the absolute top priority.”