The "TBA" week on the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, which was announced last week, has been filled.
B.A.S.S. revealed today that Lake Chickamauga (Dayton, Tenn.) will host the Elite Series on Feb. 14-17, 2020, adding another fishery with a big-bass reputation to its schedule.
“We’re thrilled to have a lake like Chickamauga on the schedule,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin in a release announcing the schedule addition. “Everyone knows Chickamauga’s reputation for producing giant bass — and when you consider the timing of when we’ll be there, the event has some amazing potential.
“It’ll be a great trip for our anglers, for the fans in that area and for fans all over the world who like to watch our pros catch big fish.”
Chickamauga last hosted an Elite Series event in 2014 (the first BASSFest) and Bassmaster Opens in 2017 and 2019. All three events were won with an average of more than 20 pounds per day. Those events were all held in late April or beyond and the earlier timing of the 2020 Elite Series event could certainly mean colder conditions, but the there's a high likelihood many of the bass will still be carrying their pre-spawn bulk.
According to the release, the Chickamauga tournament was not part of B.A.S.S.’s official schedule announcement last week because some contractual details had not been finalized. An official deal was reached with the host city of Dayton on Tuesday.
The tournament will begin on a Friday and conclude on a Monday since it will be part of a back-to-back sequence with the season opener at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., slated for Feb. 6-9.
“We know the kind of bass that are swimming in Chickamauga — and when you think about all of the possibilities that come with having the best anglers in the world on this lake early in the year, it’s really exciting,” Akin said. “It’s a great addition to the schedule.”
The Chickamauga announcement means only one remaining venue on the 2020 regular-season schedule — the one for the annual Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department — has yet to be revealed. The site for that event, which has historically been held on some of the best big-bass fisheries in Texas, will be announced soon.
Here's an updated look at the 2020 Elite Series Schedule:
> Feb. 6-9: St. Johns River (Palatka, Fla.)
> Feb. 14-17: Lake Chickamauga (Dayton, Tenn.)
> March 6-8: Bassmaster Classic – Lake Guntersville (Birmingham, Ala.)
> April 2-5: Lake Eufaula (Eufaula, Ala.)
> April 16-19: Santee Cooper Lakes (Manning, S.C.)
> May 29-June 1: Sabine River (Orange, Texas)
> June 5-9: Texas Fest – TBA
> July 23-26: St. Lawrence River (Waddington, N.Y.)
> July 30-Aug. 2: Lake Champlain (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)
> Aug. 13-16: Make up dates (if necessary)
> Aug. 20-23: Lake St. Clair (Macomb County, Mich.)