2005 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE A HOMECOMING!
PRATTVILLE, Ala. - The 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship presented by Busch Beer will be held Dec. 1-4 in Prattville, Ala., on the Alabama River. The event will be a homecoming of sorts for BASS, which relocates its offices to Celebration, Fla., in April.
For the talented and fortunate 80 boaters and 80 non-boaters who qualify for the Open Championship through regional events across the country, the event represents a chance to qualify early for the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer.
The top five finishers in the Open Championship will earn early berths to the Classic and be able to relax a little going into the other BASS trails.
"It's great to know you're in the Classic before the Open series starts," said Texan Tommy Martin, who won the 2004 points title on the Central Open circuit. "That's a big load off your shoulders."
Alabama has been the home of BASS since its inception in 1968, and Prattville has played a significant part in BASS history. The 2005 Open Championship will be the sixth time BASS has held an event on the Alabama River. Along with two CITGO Bassmaster Classics in 1981 and 1982, Prattville hosted a Bassmaster Elite 50 event in 2004.
"A trip to Prattville will be like coming home," noted BASS General Manager, Don Rucks. "It's an area we know well and love."
Jeremy Arthur is the Executive Vice President of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, the organization co-hosting the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship along with the City of Prattville.
"Our community is very excited to have BASS back in 2005," Arthur said, echoing the sentiments of Prattville mayor Jim Byard. "The Elite 50 event we hosted was a big success."
Anglers can expect lots of success, too. The Alabama River is a strong bass fishery, and the timing should be right for heavy catches.
"Early December is considered by many to be the very best time to fish the Alabama River," said BASS Tournament Director Trip Weldon. "By that time, the water has cooled and those big Alabama spotted bass get very active.
The daily launches and weigh-ins for the tournament will be held at Cooter's Pond.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer, which includes the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 series, is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Southern Open include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Toyota, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, and Bass Pro Shops.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.
Source: bassmaster.com (2004-12-02)