February 06, 2017
Birmingham, Ala. — Earning a spot in thisseason-ending derby is no easy accomplishment. Participation is based uponperformance — specifically, the number of AOY points earned across the entireBassmaster Elite Series season. With a $1 million purse on the line, thechampionship will not be won by the angler who weighs the largest limit ofbass; rather, the top angler in AOY standings following the tournament will beawarded the $100,000 paycheck and title.
The decision to return to the state’s second largest inland lake of 10,000 waseasy after the unprecedented output in 2016. Across the three competition days,the Top 50 anglers caught 729 bass, which produced 139 limits and amassed atotal three-day weight of 2,878 pounds, 5 ounces.
New this year is a $25,000 payout for the heaviest three-day limit of bass.Also, 36 coveted berths in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic will be awarded based onthe final AOY rankings.
The full field will compete for three days, (Thursday, Friday and Sunday).Bassmaster University will take place on Saturday. The fan-appreciation daywill be held in the parking lot at Grand Casino, where the pros will be givingseminars, signing autographs and engaging with fans on a personal level.
“Last year’s Bassmaster tournament showed the world what an incredible jewelMille Lacs Lake is to the fishing community,” said Tracy Sam, general managerfor Grand Casino Mille Lacs. “This championship has never been held at the samelocation two years in a row, so building upon last year’s success, we lookforward to making the 2017 Bassmaster Angler of the Year tournament the bestone yet.”
The Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will be hosted by Grand Casinoand Mille Lacs Tourism.
Marshal registration for this tournament will open May 2 at 9 a.m. CT for Lifeand B.A.S.S. Nation members. All B.A.S.S. members can register starting May 4at 9 a.m. Registrations must be completed online at Bassmaster.com/elite.
Bassmaster Classic Bracket Returns
In 2016, the Bassmaster Elite Series introduced the Classic Bracket to spice upthe regular-season schedule. This year, instead of having the event midseason,the live-streamed tournament will begin shortly after the conclusion ofthe Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Mille Lacs Lake.
Another twist that will make the competition even more compelling is that theeight contestants vying for a Classic invitation will be the first eight just outsidethe Classic cut. The Bassmaster Classic Bracket tournament will provide one ofthe eight a last-chance invitation to the Super Bowl of bass fishing.
This year, it’s taking place at picturesque Grand Rapids, Minn., on PokegamaLake, Sept. 19-22. Fans will be able to follow the action on Bassmaster.com viaBassmaster LIVE.
With $50,000 and a Classic spot on the line, this unique tournament style willnot feature a daily weigh-in; rather each bass will be weighed by a B.A.S.S.official on the competitor’s boat and immediately released.
The contestants will be fishing for a five-bass limit from their own boats, andbrackets will be set based on AOY points leading into the event.
After two days of competition, four anglers will be eliminated. The semifinalround will take place on Day 3, with the remaining anglers going head to head.
The final day will pit the remaining two anglers in a head-to-head battle. Theangler with the heaviest limit will receive the majority of the $50,000 and a2018 Bassmaster Classic berth.
“This is the first time B.A.S.S. will host a tournament on Pokegama Lake, andwe are excited to show the national audience what a great fishery it is,” saidMegan Christianson, executive director of Visit Grand Rapids. “Grand Rapids isa community where you will find a balance between small town charm and richMinnesota outdoor resources. From over 1,000 lakes to fish, over 1 millionpublic accessible forests and over 3,000 miles of groomed trails to explore.Grand Rapids is a true destination for bass anglers.
“We are pleased to welcome the Elite Series anglers vying for a berth into themost prestigious tournament, the 2018 Bassmaster Classic.”
The Bassmaster Classic Bracket will be hosted by the City of Grand Rapids,Minn.