BASS Reporter’s Notebook: Bass-Crazy Couple Selects Bassmaster Classic as Honeymoon Trip

Category: press release

 Feb 17th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Feb 17th, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Married Jan. 1, die-hard bass anglers Donna and Jim Tyree of Austin, Texas, delayed their honeymoon so they could spend it at the Feb. 19-21 Bassmaster Classic.

The Tyrees considered a fishing trip to Costa Rica, but decided they preferred to witness the world championship in Birmingham, Ala.

The Tyrees(Photo Courtesy of BASS)

“We went to the Bassmaster Elite Series weigh-ins in Del Rio the first year they were at Lake Amistad (2006, in Texas), and we had an absolute blast,” Donna Tyree said. “It was one of the best times we ever had together.

“We decided that the Bassmaster Classic would be that times 100 – no, that times 1,000. We booked our hotel room even before we booked our wedding reception.”

Their honeymoon in Birmingham will be extra special because it will celebrate a long-planned second marriage for both. They waited years to tie the knot because they did not want to blend their families until their children were grown.

Their five-day trip will be their first Classic experience and first time in Alabama. They plan to fly into Birmingham in time to see all three days of weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

“We are looking forward to five days of fishing, fun and celebrating our new life together,” the bride said.

The Tyrees did not meet while fishing, but at a medical function – he’s a dentist and she works for an orthodontist. They soon discovered they shared a love of fishing.

“About nine months after we starting dating, we joined our first bass club,” Donna Tyree said, “so we’ve been fishing together for several years. I fished as a kid, but ‘serious’ fishing I learned from Jim. He learned as a kid from his Aunt Whitt, bless that woman.”

CLASSIC WOMAN: Only the second woman to qualify for a Bassmaster Classic, Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., was impressed with the kindness of a fellow competitor Sunday during the three-day practice period on Lay Lake for the Feb. 19-21 Classic.

“He did something that made me feel welcome,” she said. “The angler met Steven (Pam’s husband, Steven Wells) at the ramp as he was loading his boat on his trailer. He was telling Steven where he’d seen me, and then said he was going to wait with him to make sure I got in all right.

“I don’t know him – I know his name, but hadn’t met him,” added Martin-Wells, who qualified for the Classic through the 2009 Bassmaster Women’s Tour. “It was a nice gesture, and I appreciated it.”

It was a warm moment, but otherwise, she got as cold as any of the other 50 Classic anglers practicing this past weekend on Lay Lake. They had to contend with snow Friday, then air temperatures below freezing Saturday and Sunday mornings.

“It was another first for me – first Classic and first time I’ve been fishing in snow,” Martin-Wells said.

Despite the falling snow, she stayed on the water most of the day Friday. “I came in about 3,” she said, “and only because my sixth pair of gloves got wet, and I couldn’t keep my hands warm.”

On Saturday morning, she said, the rod lockers on her boat were frozen shut, and she had to pour hot water over her trailer hitch to free the lock and hook up her boat.

Martin-Wells said she’s looking forward to the slightly milder weather that is forecast for competition days.

“Some sun would be great to warm the water up a bit,” she said. “When I was out there, it (water temperature) was 42 to 44 degrees, except one place, where I saw it was 46 degrees.”

ELITE CHANGES: As the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series gets closer to its season opener, more Elite anglers are unveiling new projects, and new and renewed sponsorships. Among the Elite anglers with announcements in time for the March 11-14 Duel on the Delta on the California Delta near Stockton, Calif.:


      James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas, has a new title sponsor, Synergy Technologies. His boat wrap and tournament jersey will prominently feature the orange logo of the Shreveport, La., company, which makes antimicrobial products for industrial, commercial and retail markets. In addition, Niggemeyer’s 2009 boat wrap sponsor, Bass Tackle Depot, will team up with St. Croix Rods on his tow-vehicle wrap. Also, fishing scent maker Bio Edge Fishing of Carmel, Maine, will continue its sponsorship begun at the end of the 2009 season, as will Sunline. Niggemeyer will showcase his new sponsor lineup at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, his second Classic appearance.

      Billy McCaghren of Mayflower, Ark., the 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year, comes into his first Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 19-21, with a new sponsor, Talon Series Custom Lures. The Milam, Texas-based company makes Talon jigs and Shibui spinnerbaits.

      Marty Stone of Fayetteville, N.C., has a new Web site, www.martystone.com, and several new sponsors. They include online retailer Tacklewarehouse.com, and two lure companies, crankbait maker Bandit and Buckeye, manufacturer of spinnerbaits and jigs.

      Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., and KS Marine Products have renewed their relationship. KS Marine makes KeelShield, a product that protects the hull of a boat. The agreement covers the 2010 season and beyond, said Wilks.

      John Crews of Salem, Va., has two new sponsors: Carolina Lunker Sauce and Vicious Fishing. Maker of fish-attracting scent products, Carolina Lunker Sauce offers formulas for soft plastics and hard baits. Vicious makes Ultimate Line, a co-polymer, as well as Vicious-branded lines, including a fluorocarbon and a braid.

MERCURY ‘GREEN’ AWARD: A fuel economy feature recently won a $10,000 award that maker Mercury Marine will use to fund environmental projects near Fond du Lac, Wis., the manufacturer’s longtime home town.

The feature, MercMonitor with ECO-Screen, took the Industry’s Green Product of the Year award from retailer West Marine. The first-place prize money will seed the Mercury Marine Conservation Fund for local environmental projects.

ECO-Screen constantly monitors engine rpm, boat speed, fuel consumption and engine trim to calculate and guide the boater to the best fuel economy settings, thus reducing fuel use.

GEARUP GIVEAWAY: Friday, Feb. 19 – the first day of the 2010 Bassmaster Classic competition – will also be the first day that fans can enter to win one of the great prizes in GearUp Giveaway at Bassmaster.com. With a total value of $75,000, daily prizes will be offered Feb. 19-March 18. Each daily entrant is automatically registered for a chance to win the grand prize worth $68,000: a Skeeter 20i bass boat with the newly introduced Yamaha VF225 SHO engine.

No purchase is necessary to enter. Players will be offered a chance to sign up for a 30-day free trial of BASS Insider, the premium pages of Bassmaster.com. Prizes will be listed and described on the GearUp Giveaway page at Bassmaster.com.

BONUS CHECK: “Lately, several people have asked me about the prize money the Classic winner gets – $500,000 – and what it would mean to me. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about it. I’m interested in the title and the trophy. The money is just a very nice bonus for the championship I’ve been seeking for more than 30 years.” – Gary Klein, Bassmaster Elite Series pro and 28-time Classic qualifier in his Feb. 11 “Classic Diary” blog on Bassmaster.com

About BASS

For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing.  The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, the Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN360.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.


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