Mercury Marine claimed more than 60 percent of the 55 qualifying slots for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, which will be held Feb. 20-22 on Lake Hartwell in Greenville, S.C.
Randy Howell, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion, will defend his title as one of 34 Mercury Marine-sponsored anglers to qualify for the championship event, including Greg Hackney, the 2014 Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
In addition to Hackney, who won the 2014 Bassmaster Elite competition on Cayuga Lake, the 2015 Classic lineup includes three other Mercury-sponsored Elite competition winners and 14 top-40 Angler of the Year points-earners. The full list of Mercury-sponsored anglers in the competition is available here and the full 2015 Bassmaster Classic lineup can be seen here.
“I’m looking forward to going back and getting a little redemption on the Lake,” Skeet Reese said in a statement.
Reese won the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and the 2007 Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title. Reese is a Mercury Pro angler who secured seventh place in 2014 Angler of the Year points and finished 49th at last year’s Bassmaster Classic.
Howell defeated the world’s top 55 bass anglers for the $300,000 winner’s purse at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, hauling in 67.8 pounds of bass over Paul Mueller’s 66.8 pounds. The field weighed in more than 2,100 pounds over three days.