This season for the first time, the winners of pro events instantly qualify for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 24-26 out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
With three pro-level events in April, that means three more Classic spots will be filled this month. First up is the Alabama Charge, the April 6-9 Bassmaster Elite Series event out of Florence, Ala., on Pickwick and Wilson lakes. The winner walks away with $100,000 and a 2012 Classic berth.
Ditto for the TroKar Battle on the Bayou on Toledo Bend Reservoir out of Many, La., April 14-17.
The third pro event in April is the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open, April 28-30 on Table Rock Lake out of Branson, Mo. Just as in the Elite Series events, the Open victor will compete in the upcoming Classic.
Winners who have already claimed a 2012 ticket are: Alabama's Gerald Swindle, Southern Open No. 1; Missouri's Mark Tucker, Central Open No. 1; Florida's Shaw Grigsby, Elite Series No. 1; Oklahoma's Edwin Evers, Elite Series No. 2; and Ohio's Fletcher Shryock, Southern Open No. 2.
As in previous seasons, the Classic champ will return to defend his crown. That makes 2011 winner Kevin VanDam all set with his 2012 Classic entry.
Who's next to win a coveted Classic entry? Find out by watching the Alabama Charge on Bassmaster.com. There's already plenty of tournament content posted on the site.