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Martin, Connell Highlight USA Bass Team For 2024 World Championship

FEBRUARY 28, 2024 – Two anglers who’ve already posted victories this year, a guy who won twice in 2023 and the one who’s sat atop the World Rankings for more than four consecutive years will be part of the USA Bass Team that will shoot for its third straight gold medal in the Black Bass World Championship this fall. A former Bassmaster Angler of the Year and a veteran two-time tour-level winner will also be part of the six-member squad that will compete at Lake Bolsena in central Italy Oct. 20-22.

Scott Martin will captain a team that also features fellow Bassmaster Elite Series standouts Scott Canterbury and Joey Cifuentes, along with MLF Bass Pro Tour anglers Dustin ConnellJacob Wheeler and Fred Roumbanis. Martin and Canterbury will share a boat, good friends and longtime travel partners Connell and Wheeler will fish together and Cifuentes will be paired with fellow Arkansan and Gold Medalist, Roumbanis in the duos format.

Having the opportunity to represent the United States in bass fishing is very humbling and a huge honor,” said Canterbury, the 2019 Bassmaster AOY. “I’m super excited to be a part of Team USA in Italy and hopefully we can bring home another gold medal.”

Martin dominated the first Bassmaster Open of 2024 on his home water, Lake Okeechobee, and Connell won the first BPT tournament at Toledo Bend Reservoir that same week – his fifth triumph on the circuit. Wheeler, who’s been No. 1 in the BassFan World Rankings since July 2019 and is the only BPT angler with more wins than Connell (six), added yet another single-digit finish with a fourth-place showing at Toledo Bend.

Cifuentes won events at Lake Seminole and Lake St. Clair in his debut season on the Elite Series last year.

Martin, Canterbury, Connell, Wheeler and Roumbanis were part of the team that captured the second straight gold medal for the USA Bass team last fall at Lake Sabor in Portugal. The Americans prevailed in a tiebreaker over Germany, with Italy capturing the bronze.

“It was a great time and the best part was just seeing the enthusiasm of the guys from other countries,” Connell said. “It’s a big deal to them – they don’t have the luxury of having all these places to catch bass like we do. They’re happy and pumped to be part of something like that and it’s awesome.

Me and Jacob had a blast. It was fun to put our heads together and get on fish.”

Connell and Wheeler are both forward-facing sonar wizards who use the technology to find top-quality fish at every venue. Meanwhile, Canterbury said the differing styles that he and Martin bring to their boat often pays dividends.

“If we’re power-fishing, I’m usually running the boat,” Canterbury said. “If we’re doing some kind of finesse-type thing, then he’s running it. I’m pretty much a straightforward power guy and he figures out the tricky stuff that lets us catch them when they’re not biting that good, and that really helps us out.

“With him doing one thing and me another, we can usually figure out something.”

Follow the team all year as they prepare for the 2024 Black Bass World Championship in Italy this October.

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