B.A.S.S. announced today that Table Rock Lake will be the host of the Bassmaster Opens Championship, set for Oct. 18-20.
The 52,300-acre White River impoundment near Springfield, Mo., has hosted 12 B.A.S.S. events in the organization's 50-year history, and this one will carry some significance.
The no-entry-fee tournament will feature a field of 28 anglers competing for invitations to the 2019 Bassmaster Classic as well as the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series. The field will be made up of the top 10 finishers in points in both the Eastern and Central divisions along with the winners from eight Open tournaments held in 2018.
Opens are pro-am events, and the Top 10 co-anglers in the points standings and the four co-angler winners from each division will compete in their own category.
“Table Rock Lake has a storied history in the annals of B.A.S.S. fishing, and we’re anticipating another great event at the Ozarks fishery,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Fans who attend will get to see some of the future stars of the Elite Series — and maybe even next year’s Classic winner — at the weigh-ins or on the water.”
Chris Bowes, Opens tournament director, said the new Opens Series qualification system was designed to select the most experienced and capable anglers to advance to the next level in their careers.
“They have to prove their abilities on a variety of fisheries and at different seasons, and to get to the Classic they have to perform throughout the season — not just in one event,” he said.
In past years, the winner of each Open was invited to compete in the next year's Classic.
The Opens Championship winner and the Top 5 in points from each division will be invited to the Elite Series. The winner of the Championship and the Top 3 anglers in points from each division following the Championship will be invited to the Classic.
Takeoff each competition day will be at Bass Pro Shops’ Long Creek Marina, 1368 Long Creek Road in Ridgedale, Mo. Weigh-ins Oct. 18 and 19 will be at the marina as well, and the final weigh-in will take place at the flagship Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, Mo.