KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Superbowl of bass fishing has kicked off in Knoxville, and it's sure to be a busy weekend full of fun fishing festivities!
The Tennessee River will be the sight of the biggest bass fishing tournament in the country this weekend, but there are a few things everyone should know as the event takes over Knoxville.
52 of the world's best anglers are going to be in town for the Bassmaster Classic. Takeoffs will be from Volunteer Landing each day at 7:30 a.m. and weigh-ins will be at 4:15 p.m each day in Thompson-Boling Arena, although doors open to the public at 3:15 p.m.
There will also be an outdoors expo at the Knoxville Convention Center and the World's Fair Exhibition Hall. The expo will be open to the public from noon until 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
This weekend is going to be jam-packed with events, East Tennessee! And that means downtown Knoxville will be, too. Between St. Patrick's Day events and the Bassmaster Classic, downtown Knoxville could be bursting at the seams with visitors and residents alike. So, whether you're looking for parking or a table at your favorite restaurant, you may want to budget in some extra time for your weekend activities.
The weather this weekend is going to be gorgeous! So boaters should be mindful there will be a lot of other people out on the water, both trying to catch some rays and views of the anglers. And after the flooding and heavy rains East Tennessee has seen in the last few weeks, there could be a lot of debris in the water, too, TWRA said. So, keep an eye out.
Ott Defoe, a Knoxville native, is one of the anglers casting for a win on the water this weekend. He's among 52 of the world's best, but he's hoping for a win at home, and so are plenty of locals cheering him on.
He's been known for his fishing skills since he was young and has competed in the Classic seven times-- maybe these homewaters will deliver a win from their depths?
Read more about him, his story and his fans here.
The city is planning to capitalize on the event, with all the visitors expected to flood the city. Visit Knoxville officials also said they're excited for the coverage of the event on ESPN "that's going to air and expose our destination to people all across the world."
Wanna watch the event but don't have a boat? Bassmaster Classic will be streaming it live on its website. Have a 'reel' good weekend, Knoxville!