Sorry folks, a little bit of a brain fart. There were a couple of answers that were close but they still didn’t give the answers Pete was looking for. For the answers, read below.
With the 2013 Bassmaster Classic recently concluded, it’s time to have a little Classic challenge in our weekly giveaway. The 2004 Bassmaster Classic was unique in at least one respect – it was the only one won by a non-US-born angler – specifically, by Japanese native Takahiro Omori.
In other respects, though, it was like many others. Omori won it on a Bagley crankbait, as has happened in several others. The local favorite, Jason Quinn, did not win, as no home state angler won the trophy until Boyd Duckett accomplished that feat in 2007. It wasn’t even the only Classic held in South Carolina.
Fishing fans new to the Classic may not remember that until 2008, the Classic qualifiers were not allowed to fish the tournament out of their own boats. Instead, they fished out of identically-rigged bass boats. Over the years, the manufacturer of those boats changed, depending on sponsorship alignments. In 2004, the competitors all fished out of Tritons, as they did again in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The boats used at the 2004 Classic were distinct for two reasons, though. Do you remember what they were?
Here’s the answer.
In 2004, Lowrance was a B.A.S.S. sponsor and they used the opportunity of the Classic to push their new electronics. Specifically, the matching Triton TR-21X rigs each had color graphs for the first time, and while they didn’t compare in size to the 10- and 12-inch screens common today (some pros have up to four on their boat now), it was a big step forward for the average angler.
Mercury also made a push in 2004 to introduce their flagship product to the bass world. In their case, it was the Verado four-stroke outboard, specifically the 250 HP model, that adorned the Classic rigs. They’ve yet to become standard at the highest levels of tournament competition, but in recent years a few top BASS and FLW pros have reinvestigated the benefits of the Verado platform.
Bass and Walleye Boats magazine later provided an analysis of the Classic rigs.