BUFORD, Ga. – Academy Sports + Outdoors held its third-annual celebrity fishing tournament on Wednesday, March 2, ahead of the 52nd Bassmaster Classic. Celebrities, including Hall of Fame athletes and notable sports figures, and members of the fishing community ascended Lake Lanier, Ga., to battle for the title. Ultimately, Travis Hunter’s team bagged the four heaviest bass to be crowned the victors. With the win, the five-star high school football recruit and Jackson State University cornerback and his team were awarded a $5,000 check from Academy to donate to the Tiger Fund Athletic Foundation. All other celebrity anglers were given $1,000 on behalf of Academy to donate to their respective charities.
Hunter’s team hooked the winning striped bass, weighing in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce on an H2O XPRESS TAC-40 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo with a soft plastic. When the four-hour tournament concluded, Hunter’s team, featuring Todd Ceisner of In-Fisherman and professional angler Paul Marks Jr., stood atop the leaderboard with a total weight of 17 pounds, 11 ounces of fish, including one striped bass and three spotted bass.
This year’s list of celebrity anglers included former Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, NBA Hall of Famer and Atlanta Hawks Vice President of Basketball Dominique Wilkins, NASCAR Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan, Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson and Jackson State University quarterback Shedeur Sanders. The 2021 Celebrity Fishing Tournament champion and Head Coach of Jackson State University Football, Deion Sanders, also made a surprise appearance to congratulate the winner.
The celebrities were joined on the water by U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Champion Tucker Smith, star of the Duck Dynasty television show Justin Martin, and other members of the bass fishing community.
Academy is the title sponsor of the upcoming Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, March 4-6, in which 55 of the world’s best bass anglers will compete on Lake Hartwell in Greenville, S.C.
Academy Sports + Outdoors has 259 stores, where customers can find a wide assortment of fishing products including rods and reels, baits, lures, fish finders, tackle, storage, waders, kayaks, sunglasses, fishing apparel, footwear and more. For store locations and to shop Academy’s selection of fishing products, customers can visit academy.com.
Academy is a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer in the United States. Originally founded in 1938 as a family business in Texas, Academy has grown to 259 stores across 16 contiguous states. Academy’s mission is to provide “Fun for All” and Academy fulfills this mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that strongly connects with a broad range of consumers. Academy’s product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, footwear and sports & recreation through both leading national brands and a portfolio of 20 private label brands, which go well beyond traditional sporting goods and apparel offerings.