In a state full of great bass fishing waters and angling lore, one of the biggest weekends in Texas bass fishing history is just days away as the 47th Bassmaster Classic visits the greater Houston area and Lake Conroe next week from March 24-26.


This year’s derby marks the first time that the event has visited Texas since the 1979 Classic was staged on Lake Texoma out of Pottsboro.


With 52 of the nation’s best anglers scheduled to descend upon the 20,118-acre Lake Conroe for the 2017 Classic, there will be no shortage of free events and things to do each day.


That daily schedule will start with the Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning takeoffs at 7:20 a.m. from Lake Conroe Park located at 14968 TX-105 in Montgomery. After the anglers take off for the day’s action, boat demonstrations and prize giveaways are available from companies like Skeeter, Mercury, Nitro, Triton, Yamaha, HUK, Power-Pole and Toyota.


After the morning take-off, fans can head on down into the greater Houston metro area to the George R. Brown Convention Center where the daily Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo (presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods) will take place. The Convention Center is located at 1001 Avenida de las Americas in Houston.


Organizers expect this year’s Expo to be the largest ever with plenty of boats, motors, rods, reels, lures, line, clothing and many other types of outdoor gear and goodies on display and up for sale.


In addition to all of the goodies mentioned above, there will be no shortage of angling celebrity appearances from some of the sport’s biggest names like Rick Clunn, Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance, Hank Parker, Roland Martin and more. In almost every case, these legendary anglers will visit with fans, answer questions, pose for photos and sign autographs.


In similar fashion, if your favorite current bass pro isn’t in the 52-angler Classic field, odds are, they’ll be at various sponsor booths next weekend giving a variety of seminar presentations on how you can be a better bass fisherman. From Texas favorite Kelly Jordon to recent B.A.S.S. Open winner Mike McClelland to former Classic champ Chris Lane, expect to find another who’s who list of angling pros each day at the Expo.


For those in attendance, don’t forget to visit the B.A.S.S. store for items including 2017 Classic hats, t-shirts, collector pins and other merchandise. Also keep in mind that members of the military are invited to participate in the Classic’s Military Appreciation Day on Friday, March 24 when a valid military I.D. will bring discounts and an official B.A.S.S. hat.


Finally, don’t forget the free daily weigh-ins on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the tournament field makes their way from the bass-rich waters of Lake Conroe to the outdoor stage and Jumbotron of Minute Maid Park located at 501 Crawford Street in Houston.


Doors to the baseball park turned bass angling weigh-in stage will open up at 3 p.m. for B.A.S.S. life and Nation members. At 3:15 p.m., doors will open up to the general public as the Classic weigh-in gets ready to be held in a Major League Baseball park for the very first time.


With Conroe’s legendary big bass reputation, the most experienced Classic field in tournament history and the bass craziness of southeast Texas (Bassmaster Elite Series events in Beaumont have drawn record crowds on two occasions), expect this year’s Classic to be huge and then some.


Texas sized, in fact, in a state where almost everything — including the bass fishing — is Lone Star State big.