Four upcoming Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open events will be pro anglers’ last chances to win a 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth.
Looking especially hard at the first up — the Aug. 25-27 Northern Open on Lake Erie out of Sandusky, Ohio — are several Bassmaster Elite Series pros who finished the 2011 season without winning a Classic berth. One of them, Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Ala., stated in a recent blog that he’s in the Northern Opens for another chance. If it doesn’t happen for him, 2012 would be the first time he missed a Classic since he won in 2007 as a rookie.
Duckett is one of about 20 Elite Series pros who competed in Northern Open No. 1, a prerequisite for a Northern Open No. 2 or 3 winner to claim the Classic seat prize. Of those 20 anglers, four already own Classic seats: Michael Iaconelli, Greg Hackney, Fred Roumbanis and Stephen Browning. If any one of them wins an Open, their second Classic seat would be awarded to the next-in-line Elite Series pro.
That’s Kelly Jordon. If he won’t be watching the Open later this month, it’ll be because he can’t stand the suspense. He missed a 2012 berth by one point.
Jordon, who did not compete in Northern Open No. 1, has another Classic chance through the Northern Opens. It could come via Fletcher Shryock, who won the second Southern Open. That’s because Shryock also competed in the first Northern Open. If he continues with Nos. 2 and 3, and wins one of them, then Jordon would be in.
That’s because as with any duplication, B.A.S.S. would work down the Elite Series roster if a non-Elite Series angler double-qualifies and all the usual requirements — competing every day eligible of the Northern Opens — are met.
The final Northern Open is scheduled for Sept. 22-24 on Oneida Lake out of Syracuse, N.Y. The second scheduled Central Open of the season will be held Sept. 8-10 on the Arkansas River out of Muskogee, Okla. A Central Open rescheduled for Oct. 20-22 will wrap up the Open season. As originally scheduled, the final Central Open will be on Table Rock Lake out of Branson, Mo.