Elite Series rookie Cliff Prince had an outstanding first year on tour, qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic, and has a case to be one of the four fan picks for Toyota Trucks All Star Week.
If you follow any bass pros on Facebook or Twitter or pay attention to any bass news sites, you may have noticed that presidential candidates aren't the only folks on the campaign trail right now. Elite Series pros who were not among the top eight finishers in the season points are busily appealing to fans for votes. The first eight Toyota Trucks All Star Week places were determined strictly by the final season standings. The final four will be chosen by fan voting, which is going on right now and will continue through Sept. 10.
The dozen pros who make the final field will fish in an elimination format tournament that's spread over two weeks and is split between two different Illinois waterways. There is no entry fee, and the top finisher will take home $60,000 and the title of All Star Week Champion. Anglers who have already qualified are Brent Chapman, Ott DeFoe, Terry Scroggins, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Matt Herrin, Kevin VanDam and Edwin Evers.
Many pros who aren't already in the mix are making direct appeals to fans, asking for daily votes, with some offering pretty strong incentives. Alton Jones, as an example, has committed to taking a Facebook fan on an all-expenses-paid trip to Falcon with him if he makes the post season. Edwin Evers, who is already in, is going to bat for his brother-in-law, Terry Butcher.
Like any All Star event, fans have different ideas about what the voting should be, with some picking favorites, others answering personal appeals and others studying season accomplishments and voting for the anglers who they think have earned the spots. Of course, B.A.S.S. is offering its own incentive for fans to participate, no matter who they select. Someone is going to win a Skeeter ZX190 bass boat powered by a Yamaha VZ 150 TL motor.
It'll be interesting to see who ends up making the final field. I've cast my first round of votes!