Four talented anglers have emerged from the Raymarine pro ambassador team to compete in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic, March 24th-26th. A veritable ‘Fantastic Four,’ each of these anglers possesses unique bass-catching powers that could play out favorably on Texas’ Lake Conroe in upcoming days.
“We are honored to support a talented pro ambassador team of BASS Elite anglers competing for the highest honors in the professional bass world,” said Larry Rencken, Vice President of Sales, Raymarine.
Meet 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic competitors Bobby Lane, Bill Lowen, Skylar Hamilton, and Chris Zaldain – anglers with disparate backgrounds and fishing styles – but a shared, single-minded pursuit. Along the same lines, each will rely on Raymarine electronics and technologies during the mission-critical event.
“Rugged, reliable, and easy-to-interpret marine electronics are essential to compete at this level, and their choice of Raymarine speaks volumes to our core mission to design and manufacture superior fish-finding and navigational technologies,” Rencken added.
Following a second place finish at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, and an 11th place finish at last year’s Classic on Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees, Oklahoma, Raymarine pro Bobby Lane is consistently within striking distance of top Classic honors
A versatile angler shallow or deep, Lane relies on Raymarine eS127 MFDs. “I want to know that the topographic features are where I want to be; and I want to know how I can navigate there. Raymarine definitely has the clearest, most sensitive screen I have ever seen,” said Lane.
Indiana’s Bill Lowen has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic eight times, including a Top 10 finish at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. Lowen’s fishing style might be described as pragmatic—fishing to conditions and not expectations—and keeping confidence baits in the water once he’s located high-probability areas with his Raymarine CP200 CHIRP SideVision Sonar. Known to pull rabbits out of hats, Lowen’s creative, one-of-a-kind bait tweaks have a history of getting bit when competitors’ approaches fail to produce.
Raymarine Pro Skylar Hamilton fished his first Bassmaster Opens at only 16 years old. Pursuing a lifelong dream to fish professionally, Hamilton spent every spare moment not in school practicing and guiding on Tennessee’s Douglas and Cherokee Lake.
Six years later and this 22-year-old is a serious contender. Most recently, Hamilton won the Bassmaster Central Open on the Arkansas River, which earned a berth in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic. Hamilton also qualified for the 2017 Bassmaster Elite series at the final Bassmaster Central Open.
In 2005, Raymarine pro Chris Zaldain won a bass boat fishing as a co-angler, and the tinder of a pro bass fishing career was lit. Zaldain soon earned five top-10 FLW finishes in the National Guard Western Series and was the only western pro to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup four years in a row through the same series.
In 2011, Zaldain set his sights on the B.A.S.S. tour, fishing the Bassmaster Central Opens with great success, earning two top-12 cuts, Angler of the Year, and Bassmaster Elite Series qualification. Zaldain’s successes continued with qualifications for the 2014 and 2016 Bassmaster Classics.
Most recently, Zaldain finished seventh in the 2016 AOY standings, earning a spot in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe.
Trained on the diverse waters of the West, the California-native is equally adept with finesse or power fishing. Whether sight fishing clear waters or fishing vertically with his Raymarine CHIRP sonar and DownVision, Zaldain is a master of precise presentations.
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