Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

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Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby WB Staff » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:37 am

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Western Swing, Three New Venues Highlight 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Schedule

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Since the Bassmaster Elite Series made a two-week trip to the West Coast back in 2015, fans of the sport have been clamoring for the world’s premier bass fishing circuit to return to that region.

Now, they’re about to get their wish.

B.A.S.S. officials unveiled an action-packed 2019 Elite Series schedule today that includes a Western swing in mid-June with back-to-back trips to Sacramento, Calif., for an event on the California Delta and to Tri-Cities, Wash., for a tournament on the Columbia River.

The Columbia River will be one of three first-time destinations for the Elite Series, along with Lake Lanier in Georgia and Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

“We couldn’t be happier with the schedule we’ve put together for 2019,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “This lineup of events will be exciting and challenging for our anglers — and for fans of the sport, it literally has something to offer from coast to coast.”

The slate will have a familiar kickoff venue, as the Elite Series returns Feb. 7-10 to the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla. — the site of the 2016 season opener where Missouri superstar Rick Clunn recorded one of the more memorable victories in B.A.S.S. history. Just four months shy of his 70th birthday, Clunn brought 31 pounds, 7 ounces of bass to the scales during the semifinal round and eventually became the oldest angler to win an Elite Series event with a four-day total of 81-15.

The St. Johns River has been a regular destination for B.A.S.S., with the organization visiting 20 times for major events since 1973.

From Florida, the schedule will shift to Lake Lanier in Gwinnett, Ga., Feb. 14-17 — a venue that has hosted eight major B.A.S.S. tournaments since 1983, but never an Elite Series event. The 37,000-acre fishery on the Chattahoochee River has long been known for producing giant spotted bass.

Takeoffs and the first two daily weigh-ins will be at Lanier Park, one of Georgia’s famed Mega Ramps. The Bassmaster Expo, along with the semifinal and final weigh-ins will be held at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Ga., home of Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

After Lanier, the regular-season schedule will pause for the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in Knoxville, Tenn., March 15-17. When the slate resumes April 4-7, it will move to another venue that is new for the Elite Series slate, but very familiar to many anglers on the circuit — Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C.

Located on the Georgia/South Carolina border, Hartwell has hosted five major B.A.S.S. events, including three Classics. This year’s Classic was held on the lake in mid-March and drew 143,323 fans — a record for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.

The circuit will remain in South Carolina, shifting to the coastal estuary of Winyah Bay in Georgetown, April 11-14. Winyah Bay, which is the confluence of the Waccamaw River, the Pee Dee River, the Black River and the Sampit River in Georgetown County, hosted an Elite Series event in 2016 — a tournament that drew one of the largest crowds in Elite Series history with 27,500 people taking in the action.

The move toward the West will begin May 2-5 with the annual Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The fishery and host community for that event will be announced at a later date.

On May 16-19, the Elite Series returns to Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma. The 19,900-acre fishery has hosted three major B.A.S.S. tournaments, including a 2010 Elite Series event that was won by Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle.

The Cherokee Casino Tahlequah will be the title sponsor and host of the tournament, and weigh-ins for days 3 and 4, along with the Bassmaster Expo, will be at the casino.

From there, it’ll be time to head for the West Coast, as the schedule shifts to Sacramento, Calif., and the California Delta on June 13-16. The takeoff site will be at Discovery Park in Sacramento, in the center of good bass fishing waters. But if history serves, most anglers will make the 90-minute run down the Sacramento River to the bass fishing paradise that is the California Delta.

In 2015, California native turned Alabama resident Justin Lucas recorded his first-ever Elite Series victory by making that same run.

The pros will then travel up the West Coast to another first-time Elite Series destination, the Columbia River in Tri-Cities, Wash., on June 20-23. The Columbia is one of the more diverse fisheries in the United States, with large annual runs of chinook and coho salmon, trophy-sized steelhead and excellent fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

B.A.S.S. has visited the Columbia River for four Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens in the past — but not since 2003 and never for an Elite Series event. Tournament Director Trip Weldon said the thought of making yet another new stop on the Elite Series is exciting.

“As we’ve seen this year with trips to Lake Travis in Texas and Lake Oahe in South Dakota, it’s a great thrill to hold a tournament on a lake that is basically unknown to most of the Elite anglers,” Weldon said. “An event like the one on the Columbia River will certainly be challenging for our anglers, but it’ll be exciting as well — and it will provide a very level playing field.”

The Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race will be coming down the stretch when the Western swing is over, and the regular season will conclude at what has become one of the Elite Series’ signature settings — the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, N.Y.

The event, which is scheduled for Aug. 15-18, will mark the fifth time in seven years the Elite Series has visited the Village of Waddington — and the fans have never failed to turn out in big numbers. The tournament drew a B.A.S.S.-record 34,100 people in 2013, then 31,600 in 2015 and 32,800 in 2017.

“We’ve had a great relationship with the Village of Waddington, and the events we’ve held on the St. Lawrence River have been some of our most successful ever,” Akin said. “Every time we visit there, we’re greeted by huge crowds and excellent hospitality.”

The dates and locations for the Elite Series’ annual postseason events — the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year tournament and the Bassmaster Classic Bracket Tournament — will be announced at a later date.

Date Event Fishery City, State
Feb. 7-10 Elite 1 St. Johns River Palatka, Fla.
Feb. 14-17 Elite 2 Lake Lanier Gwinnett, Ga.
March 15-17 Bassmaster Classic Tennessee River Knoxville, Tenn.
April 4-7 Elite 3 Lake Hartwell Anderson, S.C.
April 11-14 Elite 4 Winyah Bay Georgetown, S.C.
May 2-5 Toyota Texas Fest TBA TBA
May 16-19 Elite 6 Fort Gibson Lake Tahlequah, Okla.
June 13-16 Elite 7 California Delta Sacramento, Calif.
June 20-23 Elite 8 Columbia River Tri-Cities, Wash.
Aug. 15-18 Elite 9 St. Lawrence River Waddington, N.Y.
TBA AOY Championship TBA TBA
TBA Classic Bracket TBA TBA
2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Elite Partner: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Catmantwo
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Catmantwo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:55 am

I wonder if they are going to get a waiver for the 6 hour rule on the 15th and 16th. Or move the dates to the 11th-14th, which would also allow the finalists to travel to Washington for pre-fish on 17-19?

It would be interesting if they had to fish under the 6 hour rule trying to make the 90 minute run to the south delta for 2 days trying to make the 12 cut and final.

nate50
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby nate50 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:06 pm

Does anyone know when they start the sign ups to be a marshal and what the process is? I’ve fished the delta my whole life and would love a front row seat to see the best go at it.

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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby WB Staff » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:49 pm

Once B.A.S.S. puts out more info on the 2019 schedule, there will be marshal info as well.

Here is a link to 2018 info. They will update it for 2019, but this will give you an idea.

https://www.bassmaster.com/sites/defaul ... _dates.pdf

Kentuck
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Kentuck » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:39 pm

Sorry but hat a joke to hold the tournament out of Sacramento. Look at the cost they are adding on to the fisherman's bottom line. Stockton would have been better.

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JoeLanghans
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby JoeLanghans » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:13 pm

Lol 100 gallon tank?

fatbass
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby fatbass » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:04 pm

Stockton is the armpit of the state! Bunch of thieves and thugs!

Kentuck
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Kentuck » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:05 pm

fatbass wrote:Stockton is the armpit of the state! Bunch of thieves and thugs!

True but look at all the wasted time and gas to run to Sacramento.

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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby WB Staff » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:28 pm

Kent Brown addressed some of the comments on the Western Swing today. Had some good info... so doing a repost here for you KB...


With todays announcement of the BASS Elites coming back to California we should all be excited and supportive that the best bass anglers in the country will be showcased once again on the best waters.
BUT............. I have seen more posts with a negative slant like what about the 6 hour rule? they are going to make them run 2 hours and only fish 6 hours, June boat traffic, all the fish are gone, why not Stockton, why not Antioch, the weights are going to down.........

So let's take a few minutes and cover the facts...... BASS and the DFW have discussed the 6 hour rule and this event brings in over $2 million dollars to the economy, gives 4 days of coverage plus the television coverage from ESPN, Local media, insustry media etc. I am more than positive this has been discussed and will not be a problem.

Sacramento and the Tourism Department are the ones paying to bring the anglers to the river and Delta, Stockton and Antioch, Oakley, Bethel Island aren't, wont and do not have the tourism revenue that Sacramento does. They are still waiting for that check in the mail from Stockton last time they came there.

Boat Traffic? yea there will be some for sure in June in April they blasted off in the heat of the Striper run with the biggest Striped Bass Derby going on in the Sacramento River. They go Lake Travis, Lake Norman, Grand Lake and the Great Lakes they are accustomed to boat traffic.

I predict it will take about 20.5 pounds per day to win the blue trophy and the 100K........... wait that is also what it took last time to win the first week of April in the heart of the spawn... 82 pounds is what Justin weighed.

I know this is long but lets be excited that a 100 of us will get to be Marshall's, We get to see the hero's of a sport we all claim to love compete on the waters we all fish and we get to show the world that there is no other place in the country any more passionate about bass fishing than we are right here in Nor Cal! Let's instead a few weeks prior to the DFW permit Jamboree let our tournament circuits know to avoid those dates and let the Elite guys have the field to play on. Run around the Delta and watch them compete if you like that and by all means make the time to attend the weigh ins and pack the house, have fun get a hat signed and bring a friend, fan or kid with you!

Can't wait and those two weeks will be a marathon for a guy that has a bass fishing radio show, is the Triton Rep and James Overstreet's personal camera boat driver.......I'm ready!

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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Stratos278 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:29 am

Kentuck wrote:Sorry but hat a joke to hold the tournament out of Sacramento. Look at the cost they are adding on to the fisherman's bottom line. Stockton would have been better.



Here's why:

WB Staff wrote:Kent Brown addressed some of the comments on the Western Swing today. Had some good info... so doing a repost here for you KB...


With todays announcement of the BASS Elites coming back to California we should all be excited and supportive that the best bass anglers in the country will be showcased once again on the best waters.
BUT............. I have seen more posts with a negative slant like what about the 6 hour rule? they are going to make them run 2 hours and only fish 6 hours, June boat traffic, all the fish are gone, why not Stockton, why not Antioch, the weights are going to down.........

They are still waiting for that check in the mail from Stockton last time they came there.

Jim C.

"Rip Some Lips!!!!"

Redwood Empire Bass Club
http://www.rebc.net

kraetzer
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby kraetzer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:39 am

I was a marshal the last time they went out of discovery park and it was a great experience, although it will be a once in a lifetime experience for me. That run takes a toll on you and we where very lucky with the weather the last time. Don't want to make that run again if it's windy. The boat traffic is no problem. Those guys are true professionals. They don't try to cut in front of somebody or go zipping aroumd other boats. My experience was that they all where very courteous to other boaters and fisherman.
I wish they could launch/load somewhere further south and than trailer the boats to the weigh in at discovery park.
kraetzer

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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby kb » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:34 am

what sounds like a simple solution would be a nightmare.... sure launching at a further south location and trailering to Discovery Park would work on the final day with 12 boats but could you imagine getting 106 trucks and boats thru Sacramento traffic on I-5 from 3-6 pm to weigh in? And the city of Sacramento is not going to pay the money and have them Launching and staying likely out of the city.....

There is a ton of planning that goes into putting one of these events on and I would think that DFW would not be too willing to let them transport the fish 4 days in June on the trailers...

It is what these guys do it is why they are the Elite of the sport.
Ultimate Bass Radio the West's only all bass fishing radio show!

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Pat
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Pat » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:52 pm

kraetzer wrote:I was a marshal the last time they went out of discovery park and it was a great experience, although it will be a once in a lifetime experience for me. That run takes a toll on you and we where very lucky with the weather the last time. Don't want to make that run again if it's windy. The boat traffic is no problem. Those guys are true professionals. They don't try to cut in front of somebody or go zipping aroumd other boats. My experience was that they all where very courteous to other boaters and fisherman.
I wish they could launch/load somewhere further south and than trailer the boats to the weigh in at discovery park.


That's exactly what I was thinking, 3+ hours of high speed boat running/riding is probably not for this old man. But I will be there for at least a couple weigh-ins. I was there last time to see NCBF's (Western Bass') own "California Kid" get his first Elite win and it was great fun!

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Morgan
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Re: Bassmaster Elite Schedule for 2019 Includes Western Stops

Postby Morgan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:27 pm

Kent Brown is so right on with his discussion. Why talk negative? If you want them to keep coming, do everything to make it a great experience. I was a Marshall last time and enjoyed the heck out of it.

Morgan


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