CITGO BASSMASTER Open Schedule Announced
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -March 27, 2002 - B.A.S.S., the world's largest
fishing organization, today announced its 2002-2003 schedule, which
includes an expansion of the premier tournament series in fishing,
the CITGO BASSMASTER Tour, to 10 events.
"We believe this schedule clearly demonstrates our continuing
dedication to enhancing the top professional fishing series in the
world," said B.A.S.S. General Manager Dean Kessel. "Combining the new
schedule with format changes and an increased payout will increase
the opportunities for exposure not only for the CITGO BASSMASTER
Tour, but for the athletes themselves."
The new schedule has the CITGO BASSMASTER Tour completing all 10 of
its events between January and May, with the season opener taking
place Jan. 6-12 on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Central Florida and
the finale taking place in Montgomery, Ala., May 19-25. It will be
the first time Alabama's capital city has hosted a B.A.S.S. event
since the 1982 BASS Masters Classic.
Holding all of the events during the spring months will allow the
creation of specialty events during the later months of the year. The
new timeframe will also allow for events to be televised nearer to
the dates they take place.
"Increasing the number of events to 10 is definitely a positive
step," said Jay Yelas, B.A.S.S. pro. "It brings us in line a little
better with other pro sports which have extended seasons. Also,
having all the events take place in the spring will be better because
that is fishing season. Our fans will benefit as well, with the
events being televised in a closer proximity to when they take place,
allowing the fans to follow the sport more closely."
Another enhancement to the schedule has two of the premier events
taking place on the West Coast, making the series truly national.
CITGO BASSMASTER Tour stops will be staged on two of the Western
United States' top fisheries, the San Joaquin River Delta, near
Stockton, Calif., March 31- April 6 and Clear Lake in Clearlake,
Calif., April 7 - 13.
"Conducting two events on the West Coast will allow fishermen to use
all of their knowledge and skills," said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S.
Tournament Director. "With the new schedule, fans are going to see
anglers tested on some of the best fisheries in America."
The schedule also includes trips to several locations B.A.S.S. has
previously visited, including: the Harris Chain of Lakes and Lake
Okeechobee in Florida, Lake Seminole in Georgia, Toledo Bend
Reservoir in Louisiana, Lake Eufaula and the Alabama River in
Alabama, Santee Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina, and Lake Hamilton
Also announced was a restructuring of the popular CITGO BASSMASTER
Open trails into three new geographic regions and a more compact
schedule. Formerly made up of the Eastern, Central and Western
trails, the events will now take place in Northern, Southern and
Central regions. Each circuit will consist of a three event schedule
instead of the four events held under the previous structure and will
take place between the months of August and November.
"The new regions and shorter schedule will make life easier for the
anglers attempting to compete in the CITGO BASSMASTER Open events,"
added Weldon. "The three-event schedule in a more regionalized
structure should help the anglers as they compete on the premier
qualifying trail in fishing and as they attempt to qualify for the
CITGO BASSMASTER Tour."
The CITGO BASSMASTER Northern Open Trail will see anglers visit
several historic waterways on Maryland's Potomac River and New York's
St. Lawrence and Hudson rivers. The Potomac has been a popular
B.A.S.S. destination, hosting events in each of the last 12 seasons.
The St. Lawrence and the Hudson Rivers were both slated to hold
CITGO BASSMASTER events during the 2001-2002 season, but were
canceled in the wake of Sept. 11.
The CITGO BASSMASTER Southern Open Trail will also see familiar
fisheries by visiting Alabama's Lake Martin and Lake Pickwick/Wilson.
Additionally, the Southern circuit will visit South Carolina's Lake
Murray, which most recently hosted a Tour stop in 2000.
Louisiana's Red River and Texas' Sam Rayburn Reservoir will both host
events on the CITGO BASSMASTER Central Open Trail. With Arkansas'
Lake Ouachita playing host to its first CITGO BASSMASTER event since
Anglers on the CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail will be attempting
to qualify for the 2003 CITGO BASS Masters Classic, which will take
place during the summer.
By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its B.A.S.S.
Federation, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The
CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious
pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard
for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than
three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.
For additional information contact B.A.S.S. Communications at (334)
2003 CITGO BASSMASTER Tour Schedule
*Jan. 6-12 Harris Chain of Lakes - Leesburg, Fla.
Jan. 13-19 Lake Okeechobee - Okeechobee, Fla.
Feb. 3-9 Lake Seminole - Bainbridge, Ga.
*Feb. 10-16 Toledo Bend Reservoir - Many, La.
March 3-9 Lake Eufaula - Eufaula, Ala.
March 17-23 Santee Cooper Reservoir - Manning, S.C.
March 31- April 6 San Joaquin River Delta - Stockton, Calif.
*April 7-13 Clear Lake - Clearlake, Calif.
April 28-May 4 Lake Hamilton - Hot Springs, Ark.
*May 19-25 Alabama River - Montgomery, Ala.
*CITGO BASSMASTER Showdown events
2002 CITGO BASSMASTER Open Schedule
Aug. 5-10 Potomac River-Charles County, Md.
Sept. 9-14 St. Lawrence River-Clayton, N.Y.
Sept. 30- Oct. 5 Hudson River-Catskill, N.Y.
Sept. 16-21 Lake Murray-Columbia, S.C.
Oct. 21-26 Lake Pickwick/Wilson-Florence, Ala.
New Date Nov. 18-23 Lake Martin-Alexander City, Ala. NOTE: Date has been changed
Aug. 19-24 Red River-Shreveport, La.
Sept. 23-28 Lake Ouachita-Hot Springs, Ark.
Oct. 27- Nov. 2 Lake Sam Rayburn-Jasper, Texas