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BAM Bass Fishing Pro Tour event kicks off at Lake Martinez

28 of the best anglers from around the West Coast battle it out at Lake Martinez

LAKE MARTINEZ, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - 28 of the best anglers around the west coast have come to Lake Martinez for the Bass Angler Magazine Pro tour.

"These events are special in that they're the highest level of official that we have on the west coast," angler Bill O'Shinn said.

"You know, this is a really exciting competition," BAM Trail CEO Mark Lassagne said. We do a it's a bash tournament where we have the heaviest weight and the most amount of keepers."

The anglers are scored on both the weight of the fish and the amount of fish they catch.

"It's just it's a really exhilarating way to fish," angler Luke Johns said. "It allows you to kind of get back into the game even if you had a poor first day. And then, I just love catching fish, so that makes it fun no matter what."

"The guy that wins takes on this giant trophy and like 15 grand in cash," Lassagne said.

Lake Martinez has some of the biggest bass around and this is is the only pro event in the state of Arizona.

"I'm really excited," angler and Arizona native Max Hernandez said. "And out of all of the lakes in Arizona, this is my favorite place to fish. So, I was really excited when I found out we were coming here."

"Anytime we get to come to Martinez, it's a good time," angler Cameron Karber said. "I'm from Phoenix. I get to come down here probably a little bit more than most folks do, and I really enjoy it."

Attending fans have the opportunity to watch and learn from the best anglers on the west coast 

"So we have the guys that are really, really good fishermen," Lassagne said. "You want to see how your like plays out to guys that have never been here before. They're just going out fishing and you're looking these guys are catching 15, 18, 20 pound limits."

"Most of us up here have had the have had a lifetime or at least decades worth of refinement for our techniques," Karber said.

This tournament is a catch and release event and conservation is on the mind of all of the anglers and any dead fish results in a score penalty.

"Our catch and release rate is over 99%," Lassagne said. "If you watch the way and these fish are lively, these fish are alive, then right afterwards, we put these fish back in the lake. They go swimming because another day."

All anglers will be back out on the water on Saturday. On Sunday, the top ten will compete for the grand prize.

Article Topic Follows: Local Sports

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Chas Messman

Chas Messman joined KYMA in July 2023 as News 11’s Sports Director. If you have any sports story ideas, send them to


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