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Harvey Horne is eager for his jump from the minors to the major leagues of tournament bass fishing.

The angler from Bella Vista will compete in his first Bassmaster Elite Series tournament Thursday in Florida on the St. John's River.

Horne has fished entry level Bassmaster tournaments for years. He qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2017, but wasn't prepared to make the jump.

"Fishing-wise and competitive-wise I was ready," Horne said. He needed to take care of some issues on business side of pro fishing.

For one thing the entry fee is $43,000 for the season of eight tournaments. He's ready this year to start his major league fishing career.

Horne got an invitation from Elite Series officials to enter the top-level Bassmaster circuit after he qualified in 2018 by winning a Bassmaster open tournament on the Arkansas River.

Another circuit in the world of big-league bass tournaments helped open the door for Horne.

Major League Fishing, the newest pro bass circuit, was founded in 2011. Several pro anglers moved from Bassmaster and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) to Major League Fishing. This presented an opportunity for Horne and other fishermen to join Bassmaster and FLW.

Now, Bassmaster, FLW and Major League Fishing are the nation's top professional bass circuits.

Living in Northwest Arkansas, Horne isn't far from a variety of lakes with different conditions. There are deep, clear reservoirs like Beaver and Table Rock, muddier lakes like Grand Lake and rivers like the Arkansas.

The variety has helped Horne advance. An ability to catch bass from varied habitats is key in pro bass fishing.

Anglers in Bassmaster Elite Series events fish solo with a marshal in the boat. Horne himself has been a marshal three times.

Marshals pay $150. In turn, Horne said, they learn fishing tips from the pro and see how the pro uses electronics and other gear.

A field of 75 anglers compete in Elite Series tournaments.

Horne is eager and excited to put the hammer down Thursday and start fishing.

"It's gonna be a wild ride," he said.

Sports on 02/05/2019

Print Headline: Angler ready for Elite Series run

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