Original Caption: Hot hand: Davy Hite of Prosperity, S.C. comes into Illinois Bass Quest '99 off his victory at the BASS Master Classic in Louisiana. Southern Illinoisan, August 1999, AP photo

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo dates to August 1999 and features Davy Hite and a nice action shot, likely from his win at the BASSmaster Classic held the prior month on the Louisiana Delta.  Southern Illinois officials had just officially locked in and announced the location for the upcoming BASS Quest ’99 event, and Davy was one of the featured anglers in the story since he would be the defending Classic champ.

“After months of rumors, the details of Illinois Bass Quest ‘99 were finally released late this summer.  Complicated negotiations kept officials from verifying the tournament even after a six-page advertisement appeared in the June issue of BASSMASTER magazine.”

Twenty-four of the top bass anglers in the world will fish Kinkaid, Crab Orchard and Rend lakes Aug. 13-15.  The pros will fish Kinkaid on Aug. 13, Crab Orchard on Aug. 14 and Rend on the final day.”

Further in the article, a local spokesperson gave some idea of the expected impact of the event on the area.

“‘There’s no doubt it took us a while to completely negotiate the event in an effort to make the local bureaus happy, as well as IDNR, BASS and the Illinois Bureau of Tourism,’ said Debby Moore, executive director of the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau. ‘The bottom line is BASS is coming. It will be a huge event. It is without question, a regional event.’

‘The benefits for the area are almost immeasurable.

‘Based on figures from the Superstars in Peoria, we think it will bring a minimum of 10,000 people,’ Moore said.  ‘A conservative impact will be a little more than $2 million, and there is no rollover or multiplier in that figure.'”

BASS Quest wasn’t just a fishing tournament.  It incorporated a boat racing course which drew a lot of controversy back in the day.  Those not in support of the concept called it BASSCar because they believed it would encourage young and old anglers to emulate the pros of BASS Quest.

Gary Klein would go on to win the event with Kevin VanDam taking the second spot.  The rest of the Top-5 was Rick Clunn, Denny Brauer and Chad Brauer, respectively.