BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Top anglers who fail to qualify for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic had better save the dates Dec. 5-7, 2013. These three days represent their final shot at making the 2014 championship.
The Bassmaster Classic Wild Card event will host 175 anglers looking for redemption and a spot in the 2014 Classic, and will be held on a premier fishery to be announced at a later date.
B.A.S.S. Senior Tournament Director Trip Weldon is looking forward to the shootout, which he anticipates being a heavyweight slugfest.
“I will say this: The Wild Card will be held on a phenomenal fishery. It’s going to be entirely possible to make up a lot of ground and come back from a long way down the standings,” he said. “Since there are no points involved and there’s a lot at stake, this event is kind of like the Classic itself — you let it all hang out and go for the glory.”
Priority entry for the Bassmaster Classic Wild Card lies first with the Bassmaster Elite Series pros who didn’t make the Classic cut via Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings or an Elite event win. Additional slots will be filled by Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens pros who entered and paid for all three events in the respective circuits, until the 175-angler roster is full.
The tournament format will be much like that of the Bassmaster Opens. The full field will fish the first two days, then will be cut to the Top 12 anglers for the final day of competition. The angler who climbs to the top will get a ticket to the 2014 Classic. The rest of the Top 30 anglers will receive cash prizes, with the 30th-place finisher receiving $2,000. The entry fee is $2,000, and total payout is $80,000, in addition to the Classic berth and a chance to win $500,000 in the world championship.
“The Bassmaster Classic is the Super Bowl of bass fishing, and many anglers work for years to qualify for it. This last-chance Wild Card is another opportunity for someone to make his dream come true,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “No qualification route to the Classic is easy, and the Wild Card will be no exception. But, whoever comes out on top will definitely have earned the privilege that comes with being a contender.”
More details on the Bassmaster Classic Wild Card are to come.