Bass Cat Pro Trey McKinney Becomes Youngest Elite Series Winner in History

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – Earlier this year, Illinois bass pro Trey McKinney became the youngest rookie in Bassmaster Elite Series history at 18 years old. A week later, and shortly after his 19th birthday, he won the campaign’s Lake Fork tournament and thereby became the youngest winner in tour’s storied heritage. He achieved the milestone in grand form, amassing more than 130 pounds of bass over four days, with none of his limits weighing less than 30 pounds.

“It’s just a dream come true,” he said. “To have everything come together, and having my mom and dad there, was almost unreal.”

He credited his 2024 Bass Cat Puma STS powered by a Yamaha outboard with contributing to the win. The rig’s ample storage and stable platform make it fishable, but other distinctive characteristics helped him to maximize his efficiency.

“I love that you stand so far forward on the boat,” he explained. “I’m casting better and more accurately because of it. Also, the hull design is set up so you don’t get hung up on as many stumps. If you’re back in a pocket and you get stuck on one, not only does it slow you down substantially, but getting over it also disturbs the nearby bass.”

Bass Cat’s Rick Pierce has been following the teenager’s development for several years, and saw his dedication to the craft, as well as the McKinney family’s tightknit support system. That convinced him that the young pro-to-be, who had four top ten finishes in the Bassmaster Opens last season, was on the verge of greatness.

“Trey’s incredible talent and attitude were evident long before he made his first cast as a pro,” Pierce said. “We’re thrilled that he’s won this soon, but we’re in it for the long haul with him. We expect that this will prove to be the tip of the iceberg, and without putting too much pressure on him, we expect the accolades to keep on coming.”

At this early point in the season McKinney is well-positioned to earn several titles, but they won’t come easily. He’s currently in the lead for the Angler of the Year title with fellow Bass Cat newcomer Ben Milliken. They are also tied for top rookie honors. McKinney finished 12th at Toledo Bend before winning at Fork. Milliken, who qualified for this year’s Bassmaster Classic by winning a 2023 Open at Toledo Bend, started his Elite career with back-to-back top tens – finishing 5th at Toledo and 8th at Fork.

About Bass Cat: Bass Cat, owned by Correct Craft, manufactures the industry’s premier bass fishing boats from its headquarters in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Family operated since its founding in 1971, Bass Cat is the only bass boat company with over five decades of family involvement throughout its long history. For more information visit www.basscat.com.

About Correct Craft: Celebrating 98 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a Florida-based company with global operations. Focused on “Making Life Better,” the Correct Craft family includes Nautique, Centurion, Supreme, Bass Cat, Yar-Craft, SeaArk, Parker, and Ingenity boat companies, Pleasurecraft Engine Group, Indmar Marine Engines, Velvet Drive Transmissions, Mach Connections, Merritt Precision, Osmosis, Watershed Innovation, and Aktion Parks. For more information, please visit www.correctcraft.com

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