BASS Federation Adds Sixth Division For 2005

Montgomery, Ala. – BASS announced today that the BASS Federation program is restructuring its division system to include six division rather than five. The reorganization will culminate in an expansion of the BASS Federation Divisional Tournament series to six events and will mean that six Federation anglers will qualify for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic beginning in 2006.

The new division, to be known as the Mid-Atlantic Division, will consist of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. The area covered was formerly part of the Eastern Division.

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont will remain in the Eastern Division. The Federation in Ontario, Canada, will also be moved from the Northern Division to the Eastern Division. All other divisions remain unchanged.

“We believe the expansion to six divisions will level the playing field for our anglers,” said BASS Federation Director Don Corkran. “At the BASS Federation Championship, which is used to qualify the Federation anglers for the Bassmaster Classic, the anglers from the Eastern Division were at a slight disadvantage. The top angler from each division at the Federation Championship advances to the Classic, and since the Eastern Division had a disproportionately high number of states, it was harder for those anglers to qualify.”

The Eastern Division produced the Federation’s only Classic winner in 1994 when Connecticut’s Bryan Kerchal took bass fishing’s biggest prize on High Rock Lake in North Carolina. Tragically, Kerchal was killed just a few months later in a commuter plane crash.

Editor’s Note: In the press release of Jan. 21, 2005, BASS officials inadvertently omitted the qualifier from the ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series from the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic field. The 2006 Classic field will be comprised of 42 anglers, rather than 41 as previously reported.

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the 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.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit