2006 Major - Memorial: Battle

Editor's Note: For the first time, ESPN is providing same-day coverage of a non-championship BASS event. Tune into ESPN2 at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, to catch all of the action from the first Bassmaster Major, the Bassmaster Memorial, in Fort Worth, Texas.

CELEBRATION, Fla. — With the hodgepodge of benefits that come along with qualifying for the Bassmaster Majors, anglers have had a tough time picking their favorite. Along with same-day television coverage on ESPN2 for the first time at a regular season event, the Majors offer a $250,000 payday, two reasons why CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series anglers are anticipating the no-entry fee events.

"The Majors are going to be mind-blowing," said Alabama's Randy Howell, who qualified for the first upcoming Bassmaster Major by placing 29th in a three-year combined CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. "There should be a carnival-type atmosphere similar to the Classic."

The Elite 50 events held in 2004 and 2005 served as a pre-cursor to the new and improved Majors. Unanimously, the 56 anglers who are participating in the Bassmaster Memorial on May 18-21 in Fort Worth, Texas, on Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth, are ecstatic about the overhaul.

"The Majors offer a great format," Oklahoma Elite angler Kenyon Hill said. "Plus, the prize money is fantastic and I am all about the money."

Anglers will fish Eagle Mountain Lake on Days 1 and 2 and then switch over to a six-hole course on Lake Worth on Days 3 and 4. Anglers also will fish from their own wrapped boats on all four days of competition, offering unmatched exposure for their sponsors and individual brands. ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of the event on Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET.

Going into the Pride of Augusta presented by Lowrance - the fifth Elite Series event of the season - only three anglers had cemented their status as Majors participants. 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam, 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens and 2005 Toyota Rookie of the Year Dave Wolak qualified via their previous achievements.

After the Elite event on Clarks Hill Lake, a number of anglers ensured their Majors inclusion with a solid performance. Howell, for example, posted a fifth-place finish at Clarks Hill, putting him safely in the top 40 combined Angler of the Year rankings.

Also qualifying for the Majors are the top 10 anglers from the BASS all-time money list. Steve Kennedy, currently leading the Toyota Rookie of the Year race, qualifies as well. North Carolina angler Dustin Wilks qualifies under a previous announcement.

Qualifying under BASS' hardship policy is Kentucky angler Mark Menendez. Menendez incurred incapacitating injuries over the past year which prevented him from competing in regular-season, Elite-level events. Therefore, his rankings were recalculated and he finished in the top 40 Angler of the Year rankings.

A complete list of qualifying anglers is below.

"Only at BASS can you fish for $250,000 and not pay an entry fee," Missouri angler Mark Tucker said. "I am so pumped for the Majors and the Memorial waters suit my style of fishing."

Daily tournament weigh-ins begin at 3:30 p.m. CT, May 18-21. The final day's weigh-in will include same-day coverage on ESPN2, May 21 at 7 p.m. ET.

2006 Majors qualifiers

After Clarks Hill Lake, Ga. May 7, 2006

2005 Classic Champion: Kevin VanDam

2005 Angler of the Year: Aaron Martens

2005 Rookie of the Year: David Wolak

2006 Rookie of the Year Leader: Steve Kennedy

Top 10 All Time Money

Place  Angler Name             Winnings




1. Denny Brauer $1,965,251.71


2. Rick Clunn $1,720,044.53


3. Gary Klein $1,376,474.97


4. Shaw Grigsby, Jr $1,317,105.23


5. Davy Hite $1,215,650.00


6. Zell Rowland $1,035,915.90


7. Michael Iaconelli $974,329.00


8. Takahiro Omori $968,593.00


9. Peter Thliveros $905,439.00


10. Alton Jones $893,479.17




Top 40 2004, 2005, 2006 Angler of the Year Combined Standings



Place Angler Name Total




1. Greg Hackney 9


2. Skeet Reese 28


3. Tim Horton 54


4. Terry Scroggins 55


5. Kevin Wirth 56


6. Gerald Swindle 60


7. Edwin Evers 68


8. Mark Tucker 69


9. Kelly Jordon 77


10. Bernie Schultz 85


11. Jason Quinn 90


12. Dean Rojas 93


13. Marty Stone 94


14. Ishama Monroe 104


15. Jeff Reynolds 114


15. Lee Bailey 114


17. Scott Rook 117


18. Brent Chapman 127


19. Jimmy Mize 128


20. John Crews 129


21. Tommy Biffle 130


22. Mike McClelland 147


23. Mike Wurm 150


24. Brian Snowden 157


25. Kenyon Hill 160


26. Mark Tyler 161


27. Jeff Kriet 163


28. Matt Reed 172


29. Randy Howell 173


30. Chad Brauer 175


31. Paul Elias 179


32. Mike Reynolds 181


33. Guy Eaker 187


34. John Murray 193


35. Todd Faircloth 197


36. Charlie Hartley 205


37. Brooks Rogers 230


38. Yusuke Miyazaki 231


38. Morizo Shimizu 231


40. Stephen Browning 237




* Mark Menendez qualifies under BASS' hardship exemption granted because of an incapacitating illness.


* Dustin Wilks qualifies based on a previous announcement.


Local sponsors include the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, visit http://www.FortWorth.com.


Sponsors of the Bassmaster Majors include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Theraseed®.