Qualifying Spots for 2009 Bassmaster Classic, Elite Series Set

With the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series season in the books, the brunt of the qualifying spots for both the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series have been determined. Heading into the final Elite event of the season on New York’s Oneida Lake, many anglers were in precarious positions in the qualifying races.

After today, 36 anglers were able to punch their tickets to the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and 84 received qualifying berths into the Elite Series. Anglers qualify based on their ranking in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

After finishing in last place at the first Bassmaster Elite Series event on Florida’s Lake Toho, Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., made a furious comeback and is the lone angler thus far to represent Louisiana in the Classic field.

“I felt like I won a tournament,” said Hackney, who finished 36th in the AOY standings. “It was nice to rally and finish well and make the Classic in my homestate. It was a lot of pressure after that first tournament.”

Joining the 36 Elite qualifiers in the Classic will be six Federation Nation anglers who will qualify via the Federation Nation National Championship (Nov. 8-10); three each from the Bassmaster Southern and Northern Opens; the winner of the Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship Operated by American Bass Anglers and Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, who automatically qualifies on the strength of his 2008 Classic victory.

Also, this year, for the first time in BASS history, the Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Angler of the Year will qualify for the Classic. That berth will be determined after the completion of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, set for Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton on Oct. 23-25.

In the case of anglers who qualify through two avenues, BASS will work down the Angler of the Year rankings.

The 84 Elite Series qualifiers will set the majority of next year’s field. Joining them will be the top 10 points leaders from the Bassmaster Southern and Central Opens. The winner of the Federation Nation Championship also is invited to the Elite Series along with the previous three years of Bassmaster Classic champions and Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year winners.

Elite anglers who are in good standing can also qualify by using one of three exemptions. Anglers who have participated in 10 or more Bassmaster Classics, won a Bassmaster Classic or won a Bassmaster Angler of the Year title can choose to use one exemption to gain entry into the Elites.

The full list of qualifiers can be found below.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series include Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury, Purolator, Skeeter, Yamaha, Evan Williams Bourbon, Longhorn, OPTIMA Batteries, Triton Boats, Costa Del Mar, MotorGuide and Ramada Worldwide.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com. Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.

About BASS

For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women's Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 525,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Standings
Place Name Hometown Points
1 Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 2691
2 Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas 2603
3 Mike McClelland Bella Vista, Ark. 2577
4 Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 2485
5 Alton Jones Waco, Texas 2430
6 Edwin Evers Talala, Okla. 2428
7 Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 2411
8 Randy Howell Springville, Ala. 2372
9 Terry Scroggins San Mateo, Fla. 2323
10 Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, N.J. 2291
11 Bill Lowen North Bend, Ohio 2285
12 Mark Davis Mount Ida, Ark. 2261
13 Aaron Martens Leeds, Ala. 2255
13 Dustin Wilks Rocky Mount, N.C. 2255
15 Bobby Lane Lakeland, Fla. 2247
16 Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 2209
17 Kenyon Hill Norman, Okla. 2206
18 Fred Roumbanis Bixby, Okla. 2196
19 Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, Mo. 2194
20 Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala. 2180
21 Scott Rook Little Rock, Ark. 2159
22 Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, Kan. 2149
23 Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 2132
24 Dave Wolak Wake Forest, N.C. 2127
25 Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, Ala. 2110
26 Casey Ashley Donalds, S.C. 2071
27 Kevin Wirth Crestwood, Ky. 2066
28 Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 2057
29 Bryan Hudgins Orange Park, Fla. 2053
30 Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, Fla. 2043
31 Ish Monroe Hughson, Calif. 2039
32 Peter E Thliveros St Augustine, Fla. 2032
33 Boyd Duckett Demopolis, Ala. 2026
34 Bernie Schultz Gainesville, Fla. 2023
35 Byron Velvick Del Rio, Texas 2007
36 Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 1998
37 Davy Hite Ninety Six, S.C. 1989
38 Rick Clunn Ava, Mo. 1984
39 Rick Morris Virginia Beach, Va. 1983
40 Mark Menendez Paducah, Ky. 1975
41 Derek Remitz Grant, Ala. 1974
42 Chris Lane Lakeland, Fla. 1969
43 Denny Brauer Camdenton, Mo. 1968
44 Morizo Shimizu Osaka, Japan 1966
45 Marty Stone Fayetteville, N.C. 1950
46 Jason Williamson Aiken, S.C. 1941
47 Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, Calif. 1932
48 Bradley Hallman Norman, Okla. 1922
49 Jeff Kriet Ardmore, Okla. 1920
50 John Murray Phoenix, Ariz. 1915
51 Ray Sedgwick Cross, S.C. 1910
52 Jason Quinn York, S.C. 1907
53 Kevin F Short Mayflower, Ark. 1886
53 Gerald Swindle Warrior, Ala. 1886
55 Matt Reed Madisonville, Texas 1856
56 Jon Bondy Windsor, Canada 1846
57 Tommy Biffle Wagoner, Okla. 1843
58 Cliff Pace Petal, Miss. 1836
59 Terry Butcher Talala, Okla. 1828
60 Scott Campbell Springfield, Mo. 1817
61 Britt Myers Lake Wylie, S.C. 1815
62 Jami Fralick Martin, S.D. 1803
63 Matthew Sphar Pavilion, N.Y. 1793
64 Jeff Connella Bentley, La. 1780
64 Jeremy Starks Charleston, W.Va. 1780
66 Jeff Reynolds Idabel, Okla. 1779
67 Mark Tucker Saint Louis, Mo. 1776
68 Takahiro Omori Emory, Texas 1757
69 Kevin Langill Terrell, N.C. 1742
70 Russ Lane Prattville, Ala. 1726
71 Mike Wurm Hot Springs, Ark. 1698
71 John Crews Salem, Va. 1698
73 Glenn Delong Bellville, Ohio 1685
74 Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, Md. 1666
75 James Niggemeyer Van, Texas 1661
76 Wade Grooms Bonneau, S.C. 1651
77 Jimmy Mize Ben Lomond, Ark. 1649
78 Stephen Browning Hot Springs, Ark. 1640
79 Paul Elias Laurel, Miss. 1609
80 Preston Clark Palatka, Fla. 1587
81 Brian Clark Haltom City, Texas 1581
82 Billy Brewer Bruceville, Texas 1578
83 Ben Matsubu Hemphill, Texas 1550
84 Mark Tyler Vian, Okla. 1544
85 Todd Auten Lake Wylie, S.C. 1543
86 Ken D Cook Lawton, Okla. 1539
86 Marty Robinson Lyman, S.C. 1539
88 Clark Reehm Russellville, Ark. 1530
89 Jim Murray Arabi, Ga. 1505
90 Zell Rowland Montgomery, Texas 1503
91 Pat Golden High Point, N.C. 1497
92 Kurt Dove Fairfax, Va. 1492
93 David Smith Del City, Okla. 1488
94 Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, Texas 1483
95 Elton Luce Brookeland, Texas 1477
96 Corey Waldrop Fort Worth, Texas 1417
97 Charlie Hartley Grove City, Ohio 1407
98 Pete Ponds Madison, Miss. 1371
99 Jay Fuller Kingston, Okla. 1361
100 Steve Daniel Clewiston, Fla. 1355
101 Guy Eaker Cherryville, N.C. 1333
102 Rick Ash Pottstown, Pa. 1264
103 Randy Allen Shreveport, La. 1184
104 David Sherrer Shreveport, La. 1181
105 James Kennedy Lacombe, La. 1143
106 Paul Hirosky Guys Mills, Pa. 1021
107 Greg Gutierrez Red Bluff, Calif. 914
108 Matt Amedeo Clinton, Ohio 875
109 Bobby Myers Broken Arrow, Okla. 438