Bassmaster Elite Series champion Jeremy Starks will begin the 2009 tournament season this month with enthusiasm generated from a love of fishing, a great win from last year and a new West Virginia-themed look for his Bass Cat fishing boat and truck.  

Starks, who won the Bassmaster Elite Series Southern Pro Challenge in Decatur, Alabama last June, will begin the 2009 tournament season during the March 12-15 Battle On The Border on Lake Armistad in Del Rio, Texas.  

New for 2009, Starks boat and truck design will feature strong, bright colors, the state capitol dome, fishing art and a message about clean coal power.  His sponsors include the Friends of Coal, Walker Machinery Co., Pocahontas Land and One Stop Convenience Stores, among others.
“West Virginia is a state that has a generous share of scenic and strategic natural resources,” Starks said.  “There’s not an outdoor enthusiast around who hasn’t found wonderful fishing, hunting, birding and recreational activities in every corner of our state.  At the same time, our exceptional energy resources – coal, in particular – are invaluable economic drivers for our state and our nation.  I’m proud to have the opportunity to showcase both as I travel around the country.”
    
Starks will compete in eight Bassmaster Elite Series events and four Bassmaster Open events.  The 2009 tour will take him to lakes and rivers in Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, Iowa, New York and Maryland.  Most, if not all, Bassmaster events are broadcast on ESPN.  Fans can also follow Jeremy’s progress “live” at each event online by visiting www.espn.com and clicking on the “Bassmaster” link.
 
“Many West Virginians have been supportive of my fishing career and I’m hoping to give them plenty more to cheer about this season,” Starks said.

Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association and Friends of Coal representative, said, “Friends of Coal everywhere wish Jeremy well on the 2009 tour.  He is such a positive representative for West Virginia.  We know he’ll land the big one again this year!”

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