There will be a new mouthpiece of the Bassmaster Elite Series, B.A.S.S. announced today. Starting with the upcoming Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans (Feb. 18-20), popular television personality Dave Mercer will control the microphone as contenders weigh fish for the world championship title. Mercer also will emcee all Elite Series events for 2011.
"We are so excited to bring Dave Mercer on board," said Jerry McKinnis, an owner of B.A.S.S. "He has a tremendous following through his Facts of Fishing television show, and has a charisma I believe fishing fans are going to love."
Mercer, a Toronto, Canada, native, started his television career 15 years ago by hosting 1-minute angling tips on a small local station. Today, he produces more than a hundred 1-minute fishing tips that air nearly 600 times per week on many networks in Canada and the United States. Five years ago, the 36-year-old began a long-form television show, also called Facts of Fishing, and he has become a celebrity throughout the fishing ranks.
"This is a dream come true for me," said Mercer. "At one time I used to dream about fishing the Bassmaster Classic. Then, after I fished with some of the Elite Series pros and realized how good they are, I altered my dream to emceeing the Classic! I never imagined it would become a reality."
Mercer has hosted the Toyota Texas Bass Classic for the past four years. That event draws as many as 20,000 spectators to the weigh-in and concert. His first day on the job for B.A.S.S. will place him squarely on the biggest stage in all of bass fishing.
"Standing on that Classic stage, to me, is like a comedian getting to perform on the Tonight Show. It just doesn't get any bigger," Mercer said.
Mercer will be replacing longtime emcee Keith Alan.
McKinnis praised Alan for his talent and work ethic. "Keith has been a true professional and has been good for B.A.S.S.," McKinnis said. "We simply felt like it was time for a change — time to get a fresh personality in the role of emcee. And we are confident bass fans are going to really enjoy watching Dave interact with the best anglers on the planet."