2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

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WB Staff
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2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby WB Staff » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:31 pm

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2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule championship.png


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series will again include nine tournaments on prime bass fishing waters, but the series format will be markedly different from recent seasons, B.A.S.S. announced today.

“We are excited about the new Opens format,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “It’s designed to provide opportunities for the best bass fishermen to prove their fishing skills on a variety of waters as they earn their way into the Bassmaster Classic and Elite Series.”

Instead of three divisions of three tournaments each, B.A.S.S. will conduct two divisions — Central and East — comprising four tournaments each. As was last done in 2005, a season finale Opens Championship will be held. It will determine qualifiers for the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series and for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

The Opens Championship winner and the Top 5 in performance points from each division — determined by an angler’s finish in all four divisional tournaments and the Championship —will be invited to the Elites. The winner of the Championship and the Top 3 anglers in points from each division following the Championship will be invited to the Classic.

In addition, fisheries in the two new divisions are more geographically diverse, requiring a greater commitment from Opens pros who want to qualify for the championship. The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Eastern Opens Division, for example, includes one tournament in central Florida and another in Upstate New York.

“These changes to our Opens Series are bound to qualify a very diverse and versatile group of anglers for the Elite Series and the Classic,” said Chris Bowes, Opens tournament director. “They will have to prove their abilities on a variety of fisheries and at different seasons. And, to get to the Classic, they will have to perform throughout the season, not just in one event.”

Akin expects the Opens Championship to become a marquee event for aspiring pros and other tournament anglers.

“The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Championship will be a no-entry-fee tournament pitting some of the nation’s best bass anglers against one another,” Akin said. “The smaller, more elite field of championship qualifiers can be expected to create more excitement, attract a bigger fan base and generate more media coverage than ever before in Opens competition.”

The championship is tentatively scheduled to be held Oct. 18-20. The location will be announced later. The field will include the four winners of Opens tournaments as well as the Top 10 in points standings, not including the winners, from each division, for a total of 28. In addition, the four winning co-anglers from each division tournament and the Top 10 in points standings, not including winners, will compete alongside the pros for a share of their own prize fund.

Thanks to the “win-and-you’re-in” provision of the Opens, pros and co-anglers will have a shot at making the Championship even if they’re not at the top of the points standings toward the end of the season, Bowes noted.

The lineup includes some of the most popular and productive fisheries in the nation, including several that have hosted the Bassmaster Classic in past years. Following are details about each of the events in the 2018 Opens Series.

Eastern Opens Division

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Kissimmee, Fla. — Feb. 1-3, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 22, including 1977 and 2006 Classics
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: Chad Morgenthaler (52-7), 2015 Bassmaster Southern Open, Jan. 15-17, 2015
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 11th, Southeastern Division, in 2017

Lake Norman, Cornelius, N.C. — May 10-12, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 11
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2014 Southern Open, Andy Montgomery (37-10), Oct. 2-4, 2014
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 91st in 2013

Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, N.Y — Aug. 2-4, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 20
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2017 Bassmaster Elite, Aaron Martens (58-12), July 27-30, 2017
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 5th, Northeastern Division, in 2017

Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. — Sept. 13-15, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 12
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2016 Bassmaster Southern Open, David Mullins (62-12), May 19-21, 2016
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 56th in 2013

Central Opens Division

Ross Barnett Reservoir, Ridgeland, Miss. — March 1-3, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 18, including 1978 Classic
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series, Dustin Connell (64-13), April 27-30, 2017
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 9th, Southeastern Division, in 2016

Arkansas River, Muskogee, Okla. — April 19-21, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 14
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2016 Bassmaster Central Open, Skylar Hamilton (45-6), June 2-4, 2016

Red River, Shreveport, La. — June 14-16, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 21, including 2009 and 2012 Classics
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2016 Bassmaster Central Open, Alton Jones Jr. (35-14), Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2016
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 77th in 2015

Logan Martin, Pell City, Ala. — Sept. 6-8, 2018
Total B.A.S.S. events hosted: 7, including 1992, 1993 and 1997 Classics
Most recent B.A.S.S. winner: 2013 Bassmaster Southern Open, David Kilgore (46-8), May 16-18, 2013
Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes Rank: 23rd, Southeastern Division, in 2017

(NOTE: Entries for the 2018 Opens will be accepted beginning Oct. 31, 2017. See Bassmaster.com for a full schedule of registration dates, deadlines and payouts. Entry fees are $1,500 per event for pros and $425 per event for co-anglers. Payouts are based on a full field of 200 pros and 200 co-anglers.)

ddd
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Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby ddd » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:49 am

On the bassmaster website, the Facebook comments on this topic are mainly negative. Areas being left out, it being a rich mans sport. I agree 110%.
I'd really love to hear an in depth explanation of why BASS leaves the west out year after year as well as other regions. (Yes, our cities won't put up the money, chamber of commerce etc etc. It would just be nice to hear from BASS that's all) I'd also really love to hear what the western elites opinion is on BASS not coming out west is. (Probably won't happen)
In my opinion, the west and the north are the cream of the crop as far as bass anglers but bass fishing sales are massive in the south. The kids bass fish down there like we do little league or soccer. So I personally think if BASS did opens(elite qualification events) in the west, the flood gates would open and we would dominate the world of bass fishing!!!!! And they would need a western elite series or something. Some straight monsters anglers out here, BASS wouldn't know what to do with a bunch of tattooed, flat brim animals like us! Just my opinion. We'd take over if we had a chance(also just my opinion)
Anyways, I really hope for an explanation, there is an outcry year after year after year.

Chad Sweitzer
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Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby Chad Sweitzer » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:46 am

Fishing out west does take a more refined set of skills in my opinion. . . I agree that if they had a western division the eastern guys would struggle just as much here if not more so than western guys do back east. This just makes it harder for western fishermen to fish a complete season of opens. Instead of having a 3 tourney path to the classic, there are 3 tournaments + a championship.
Chico State Bass Team Vice President
PB: Spot-9.625 LMB-10.91 SM-4.36

mark poulson
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Location: Oakley, Ca.

Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby mark poulson » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:08 am

Chad Sweitzer wrote:Fishing out west does take a more refined set of skills in my opinion. . . I agree that if they had a western division the eastern guys would struggle just as much here if not more so than western guys do back east. This just makes it harder for western fishermen to fish a complete season of opens. Instead of having a 3 tourney path to the classic, there are 3 tournaments + a championship.


It does make it more expensive to be able to compete.
Attitude plus effort equal success
CLEAN AND DRY

ddd
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:52 am

Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby ddd » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:46 am

I just hope that BASS considers a path that is closer to possible rather than impossible for the west and other regions. I applaud FLW, and am hopeful for the WWBT to become wildly successful.

The best path into the elites resembles ball sports. You have to climb the ranks through school and scholarships, have the ability to sell product, catch fish, get drafted, get paid. I'm pulling for you sweitzer, I hope you make it all the friggn way!!

I guess we can all go buy a gopro, I hear fishing you tubers get paid well

Steve L
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:24 am

Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby Steve L » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:58 pm

BASS is not a non-profit organization. BASS has been here and if they could turn a profit, they'd be here again. WWBT offers a very good circuit, with lots of incentives, all for an affordable cost. SUPPORT IT! FLW is here and if you compare the numbers, you'll see the western guys barely keep that circuit alive. Western Costa average 120 boaters per tournament. Start heading east and those Costa tournaments average 200 boaters. Bass fishing on the higher levels can be very costly. We have a few western guys that travel east to compete now and they are not wealthy. They do it by SACRIFICE. Western BASS Elites did it the hard way. Maybe a few got some good breaks, but they caused those opportunities.

jeremy805
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:48 pm

Re: 2018 Bassmaster Opens Schedule | Two Divisions and a Championship

Postby jeremy805 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:10 pm

I agree with all of you who have spoke up about this matter!!! BASS has got to get a circuit out west to promote the sport and carve out a path for anglers to make it to the "Big Leagues." Yes the FLW has sincerely kept their Costa events out here with minimal participation in the recent years compared to the eastern circuits but at least they have stayed "for now" plus you still have to travel back east to compete in there tour championship where i believe the winner gets a promotion? and that being the Forrest Wood Cup. WWBT is awesome but there are still limitations on how far you go say you are the top angler for the year, thats it no promotion to the bigs and i will stop right there I'm not knocking the WWBT i truly am grateful they are here for anglers to fish more serious events and believe it will only get bigger as the years pass. lastly BASS should take a page out of the USGA's book "golf"and have a qualifying series out west and yes you won't have the participation but you still can have a few qualify instead of 5 make it 2 or 3 at least then us western guys can have a decent chance to make it happen without the 6-9 weeks off work it would normally take to travel back east plus the financial side of things... WOW i don't usually post just a reader but this one hit home i have attempted to make it in another sport and came across the same scenario so i had to speak my 2 cents!!!


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