Opportunity Knocks for Anglers - Twice

CELEBRATION, Fla. – In 2006, the newly created CITGO Bassmaster Northern and Southern Tours will be a high-performance level of professional bass fishing, according to BASS officials.  

Now, BASS is detailing the specifics of the Tours and is receiving positive feedback from the anglers.  

“The younger guys in the sport have more opportunities than guys like myself, Denny Brauer or Larry Nixon have ever had,” said Rick Clunn, winner of the Greatest Angler Debate presented by John Deere.  

Indeed, Don Rucks, BASS general manager and vice president, said the intention of the Tours is to offer anglers a higher level of competition. “They are the perfect way to groom those anglers striving to reach our premier tournament, the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series,” he said.  

While those anglers strive for success on the Tour level, it won’t be all work and no reward. Each tournament on the Northern and Southern Tours pay down 60 places, including $75,000 in cash and merchandise to the boater champion and $30,000 in merchandise to the first-place non-boater, based on a 150-angler field.  

Plus, anglers won’t have to choose between the Tours because the Southern Tour will take place in the spring and summer and the Northern Tour will occur in the summer and fall. The full schedules will be announced at a later date.  

“I love the idea of having five Tour events in each division,” Tour pro Frank Scalish of Ohio said. “First, the expanded schedule gives you some breathing room and allows for a slip-up if an angler has one bad tournament.  

“Second, for guys who are just starting to experience life on the road, the expanded Tour schedule gives them a real taste of what the Elite Series will be like.”  

And some anglers will, in fact, be headed to the Elite Series. The top five pro point leaders from each division automatically qualify for the Elite Series and the top three pro point leaders from each division automatically qualify for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic.  

Also, BASS is offering a second chance to pro anglers who just missed the cut. Anglers who finish in sixth through 25th place in each of these Tours will be matched up against Elite Series anglers who have not qualified for the next season to battle for the final 10 Elite Series spots in a wild card qualifier.  

To give these anglers a financial head start, the wild card qualifier will award a total prize purse of $155,000 in Elite Series entry fees and cash to the top 12 professional anglers, including a top prize of one year of paid entry fees. The top 60 non-boaters will vie for more than $200,000 in cash, merchandise and paid entry fees for one of the following year’s Tours.  

“You can step up through the Tour level to the Elite Series with good performance,” Clunn added. “It will be a battle, but there are so many opportunities to make a living in this sport now.”  

Entry fees for the Bassmaster Tours are $1,500 for boaters and $350 for non-boaters per event. A detailed list of payouts is available at www.bassmaster.com.  

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.  

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.  

For complete details, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com.