B.A.S.S. has chosen Knoxville as the host city for the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, set for March 15-17. This is the first time in the 49-year history of the prestigious championship bass tournament that East Tennessee has been tapped.

Tournament waters include Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes, twin reservoirs connected by a canal and comprising about 30,000 acres. Competitors can fish either lake and anywhere along the Tennessee River upstream from Fort Loudoun Dam to the Interstate 40 bridge on the Holston River and the Highway 168 Bridge on the French Broad River.

The Bassmaster Classic pits 50 of the world’s best bass anglers against one another for shares of the $1 million purse, including $300,000 for the winner. Jordan Lee of Grant, Ala., a 26-year-old former college fishing champion, is the current defending Classic Champion after becoming the youngest ever — and one of only three in history — to win back-to-back titles. Lee is guaranteed the right to defend his title. Other anglers will spend the rest of this season trying to qualify from several B.A.S.S. circuits, including the Bassmaster Elite Series.

Previously B.A.S.S. Nation Championship tournaments for top-ranked amateur club fishermen were held on the Tennessee River at Knoxville in 1998 and 2000, but B.A.S.S. has never held a professional bass tournament on that section of the Tennessee River. All activities and venues of the Classic are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.Bassmaster.com.

TURKEY TOWN: The National Wild Turkey Federation is bringing “Turkey Town” to Nashville. The 43rd annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show will be Feb. 13-17 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. It is four days of fun for the entire family, and not to be missed by turkey and deer hunters. Celebrate more than 40 years of conservation successes by NWTF volunteers and partners.

Meet some of your favorite outdoor television celebrities and enjoy special performances from country music artists. There are hands-on activities for kids of all ages at the Family Adventure Village. Experience and shop more than 600 booths of the latest outdoors equipment from dealers and manufacturers.

Many seminars are scheduled with top outdoors and hunting experts, and the prestigious Grand National Calling Championship is not to be missed. Live and silent auctions feature outdoor equipment, once-in-a-lifetime hunts, limited edition guns, original artwork, jewelry, furniture, and other one-of-a kind items. See the competitions in taxidermy and custom call making.

General admission to the convention is free to NWTF members, and free to active and retired members of the military. But register early; some events have limited tickets. Go to www.nwtf.org/convention for other specials and more information.

CWD: Whether you hunt deer in Alabama or not, this is the future for Tennessee hunters. This is how our hunting experience is changing in the post-CWD era. The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) recently increased chronic wasting disease sampling surveillance in north Alabama after deer in nearby Mississippi and Tennessee tested CWD-positive. To date, no deer in Alabama has tested positive for CWD.

The WFF has deployed six self-service CWD sampling stations in north Alabama as part of its increased CWD sampling surveillance efforts in the state. The sample station freezers are in Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Franklin, Lauderdale, and Colbert counties, and are available to receive deer head samples 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Test results will be emailed to the hunter within three to four weeks. To learn more about Alabama’s CWD watch, visit www.outdooralabama.com/cwd.

BLADES: Deer hunters tend to have a special relationship with their knives, and according to a recent survey by National Deer Alliance, nearly everyone has a particular knife that is important to them. About 42 percent reported having a knife that has many years of use, while 33% have had a knife given to them as a gift, and 19 percent have had one handed down.

In terms of the most popular types of knives, fixed blade (47 percent) and folding blade (36 percent) dominated the competition. Surprisingly, less than 12 percent of respondents are using the more modern replaceable blade models.

When it comes to losing knives while deer hunting, more than one in three hunters have lost at least one (26 percent), two – 14 percent, three or more – 11 percent. An unbelievable 49 percent reported having never lost a knife. Now that’s impressive! For the complete results, visit the member polls section of the NDA website. https://nationaldeeralliance.com. To participate in future surveys and perhaps win some prizes, go to https://powderhook.com/contests/friends-members-giveaway.

Email wiest.tom@gmail.com to share with your news and comments with Tom Wiest.

Tom Wiest is a long time columnist on all matters outdoors. He welcomes news, questions and comments from readers.

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