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Weekend Warrior Championship launched

PORTLAND, ORE. - BassFan and Skeeter Boats have announced that the BassFan Army is coming to a lake near you.

Designed specifically for bass fishing enthusiasts, the new Skeeter BassFan Army membership program will enable tournament and non-tournament bass anglers to have more fun, earn bonuses, and have a chance to qualify for the Skeeter Weekend Warrior Championship while out on their local waters.

"We have long recognized that the weekend warrior is the heart and soul of bass fishing," said BassFan CEO Jay Kumar. "We and our partners, notably Skeeter Boats, wanted to celebrate and promote the core bass-fishing fanatic, and this program is our way of saying thank you to the men, women and young people that make the sport tick."

The Skeeter BassFan Army returns the sport to its roots, far from the pressures of high-level marketing and huge costs to participants, he said. "Although tour-level fishing is great and important," Kumar said, "at the end of the day the sport is about everyday anglers having fun."

"Skeeter is proud to partner with BassFan to offer this ground-breaking grassroots membership program to bass anglers," said Skeeter Boats senior vice president/general manager Jeff Stone. "Like BassFan, Skeeter is committed to providing the ultimate fishing experience to anglers who are passionate about their sport. We're very excited about the future of the Skeeter BassFan Army and the Skeeter BassFan Army Weekend Warrior Championship."

Tournament anglers who fish major regional pro-am and team trails which participate in the Army program will have multiple opportunities to have more fun while fishing -- regardless of what brand of boat they run.

In addition to incentives from Skeeter Boats and other Army sponsors, Army members who fish participating trails will have the opportunity to qualify for the new Skeeter BassFan Army Weekend Warrior Championship, which will crown the best amateur bass angler in the world. To ensure that only true weekend warriors fish it, anyone who has recently fished one of the two major tours -- the Bassmaster Tour and FLW Tour -- will be specifically ineligible.

Because all bass anglers don't fish tournaments, membership in the Skeeter BassFan Army will also give anglers rewards for boating record largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, as well as opportunities to put their names in the record books by achieving the sport's first-ever Big Bass Slams.

"We know that some good bass anglers don't fish tournaments," Kumar said. "These Army Big Bass programs will give some much-deserved publicity to these highly skilled anglers, and will also provide a new element of fun in what they do."

As part of the announcement, BassFan noted that the first Super Bowl-like Top Gun Championship -- which will field the Top 25 tour anglers in the world over both major tours, crowning the best tour-level angler in the world -- will take place in late summer or fall of 2005, along with the Weekend Warrior Championship.

"Top Gun and the Skeeter BassFan Army programs are consistent with BassFan's mission of supporting the entire bass fishing industry," Kumar noted. "Fans, anglers, the media, tournament organizations and manufacturers are all key players in our sport, and everything we do celebrates that."

BassFan LLC is the global leader in daily news reporting on professional fishing. Over the past three years, people have logged on to BassFan.com more than 100 million times for up to-the-minute reporting on the sport.

Skeeter Boats is one of the top three bass-boat manufacturers in the world. It manufactured the world's first fiberglass bass boat, and has parlayed that innovation into the high-performance boats it is known for today.

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