2014 Bassmaster Elite Series in Philly is a historic first

Michael Iaconelli by the Arkansas Bridge on Day 4 of Bassmaster Elite at Lake Dardanelle. (Photo Credit, Gary Tramontina, B.A.S.S.)

Here in Philadelphia we are used to being known for historic firsts. I mean, after all, we are the birthplace of the nation. But what you might not know, unless you are an avid fisherman, is that B.A.S.S. has never brought a Bassmaster Elite Series event to our city until this year. From Thursday, Aug. 7 until Sunday, Aug. 10, the Delaware River will be jumping with pro anglers and bass. Come out and root for your favorite fishermen and watch them in action during the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series at the Delaware River. Maybe you will even pick up some pointers.

One of the early favorites for this tournament is Michael Iaconelli, Philadelphia native now living in rural New Jersey. He brings along his own firsts for this tournament. He is the only angler to have won a B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, a Bassmaster Classic, and a Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Award. Having fished on the Delaware River and its creeks for most of his life, he knows the challenges that our industrialized, tidal waterways offer.

The Elite Pros will launch their boats every morning of the tournament from the Frankford Arsenal Boat Launch at 6:15 a.m. and weigh-ins will take place at the Great Plaza of Penn’s Landing at 3:15 p.m. The anglers will spread out along the river and its tributaries, trying to find the fish hot spots. Spectators are encouraged to come and watch the launch, and if you head out on the water yourself, you are just asked to keep your distance and be respectful of the pros.

While you're at Penn’s Landing’s Great Plaza for the weigh-ins, you might as well stay and enjoy some entertainment. Jaws will be showing at Penn’s Landing as a part of the Screenings Under the Stars series on Thursday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. The anglers would definitely need bigger boats if a great white found its way into our waters, right?

On Friday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. also on the plaza, live jazz is on the menu. Chris Standring will perform as a part of the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights at Penn’s Landing.

You are also invited to the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Expo Saturday, Aug. 9 and Sunday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. till after the weigh-in. Fishing enthusiasts of all levels and ages will be able to test out new products, learn new tips, and maybe even win some cool prizes and giveaways from BOOYAH, Carhartt and Minn Kota.

Don’t miss Toyota’s Torque Pull Challenge to test your strength and dice roll games where you can win prizes. If you dress up in a Toyota angler’s fishing jersey, you can even get your picture taken on the Toyota Hooked Up! Stage. The Berkley Experience trailer will be there as well with free seminars about how to use different types of lures and Shimano will have a target course set up to test your skills with the new Curado reel.

On Saturday, before the weigh-in starts, Costa’s new show GEOBASS: The World’s Greatest Bass Fishing Adventure will premiere its next episode. Then at 5 p.m., country stars RaeLynn and Chase Bryant will give a free concert courtesy of 92.5 XTU.

On Sunday, the tournament final weigh-ins will start at 3:15 p.m. May the best bass master win.