GEICO Bassmaster Classic underway on Lake Conroe

Crestliner said the PT 18’s maximum 150-hp Mercury Marine engine and a 28-gallon fuel tank allow anglers to get on the fish fast

Crestliner said the PT 18’s maximum 150-hp Mercury Marine engine and a 28-gallon fuel tank allow anglers to get on the fish fast

The 2016 edition of the Bassmasters Classic drew a crowd worthy of a major sporting event or hot concert tour stop to Tulsa's 19,000-seat BOK Center for the final day of weigh-ins.

One giant largemouth separated Brent Ehrler from the rest of the 52-angler field after Friday's first round of the three-day 47th Bassmaster Classic on windswept Lake Conroe.

That may not be the only record set in the March 24-26 tournament.

Ehrler, the Bassmaster Elite competitor from California, hauled in a 9-pound, 12-ounce bass to hold an 18-ounce lead over Kentucky angler Bradley Roy's 22-1 catch, and less than a two-pound edge over Louisiana's leading bass-chaser Cliff Crochet, from Pierre Part, who brought in a solid 21-8, five-bass limit. After the fish are weighed in, the bass which will still be live, will be taken back to Lake Conroe by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and released.

Weigh-ins are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday and about the same time Sunday at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. Nearly all said it would take more than 60 pounds - a 4-pound average for 15 fish - to have a chance of claiming the title, with a handful saying the Classic record of 69 pounds, 11 ounces could fall.

Chasing them is former New Orleans' Bassmaster Classic champion Mike Iaconelli.

All events are free and open to the public.

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