Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published August 9, 2017
If you consider yourself a bass angler, you've probably caught your share of either largemouth or smallmouths. But what about the Suwannee or spotted bass? Have you hooked into a Guadalupe bass - or a shoal or redeye bass? It doesn't matter if you bass fish in Alabama or California, in Pennsylvania, Maine or Wisconsin, and don't forget Florida, Texas and Oregon. All these states - and every other one outside of Alaska, are home to at least one of the nine species in the black bass family.
Starting off a two week journey that will lead them to lakes and rivers where they can find all nine black bass species, Shimano's Kurt Mazurek (left) and pro bass angler Keith Combs (right) have started their 'Curado Bass Slam Challenge'. The first bass they checked off the list - a Northern largemouth caught out of the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien, Wis.
So some may be thinking, catching so many different species must require all kinds of different tackle and set ups. With Shimano's introduction of the newest models in its iconic Curado baitcasting series, the tackle manufacturer has issued the Curado 'Bass Slam' Challenge, kicking off this past week - the first target is a northern-strain largemouth. Shimano's Kurt Mazurek and B.A.S.S. Elite pro Keith Combs will be towing a boat - loaded with nothing but Curado reels matched up with Shimano's new Curado rods, along with a few Expride flipping and Zodias cranking rods, starting on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.
"Our mission - and we were happy to accept it, is to travel from Wisconsin down to Texas, then east to Alabama and Florida, and then head up the East Coast to the Chesapeake Bay," said Mazurek. "Between Keith's fishing skills, and my abilities in the finding the right lakes and rivers, we'll try to complete the 'Bass Slam Challenge' in just under two weeks, showing anglers the versatility of our new Curado K series reels. And yes - we do have a free afternoon built into the schedule to visit a laundry mat, plus we'll be stopping in to visit some Shimano tackle dealers along the way."
Pro bass angler Keith Combs shows off the second bass caught during his Shimano 'Curado Bass Slam Challenge'. This spotted bass was hooked and released from Lake Dardenelle in Arkansas.
After this initial adventure, Shimano is issuing a challenge to any and all anglers who want to attempt the 'Curado Bass Slam Challenge'. If you complete the entire slam by December 1 - and that includes a northern largemouth, smallmouth, Florida largemouth, Guadalupe, redeye, shoal, spotted, Alabama spot and Suwannee bass, you'll receive a new Curado K reel and a Shimano prize pack including hats, stickers and more swag. "Plus we completely realize that a good number of anglers will find it impossible to do all the needed travel, so also have the Curado '3 Bass Combo' challenge," Mazurek adds. "We have a great package of Shimano hats and swag for any angler who can qualify before December 1."
All those who do complete the 'Curado Bass Slam Challenge' are eligible for the events grand prize - a fishing trip with a Shimano pro. Details on entering the Challenge and prizes can be found on the Shimano Facebook page and web site - http://fish.shimano.com.
With a focus on reliability and durability, Shimano's Curado 200 K baitcasting reels - winner of the ICAST 2017 'Best Freshwater Reel' award - are ready for hardcore tournament use, or for any angler who simply appreciates quality tackle and day-after-day, weekend-after-weekend performance. The six new Curado 200K reels - both left- and right-hand retrieve models offered include the 200K and 201K with 6.2:1 gear ratios, the 200KHG and 201KHG with 7.4:1 gear ratios, and the 200KXG an 201KXG with 8.5:1 gear ratios - now feature a host of new innovative Shimano baitcasting reel technology.