How do you get to the Classic?
Well, yes, but one of best qualifying venues is through the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens series. Each of the nine tournaments awards the winner a berth into the Bassmaster Classic, granted the winner fishes all three events within the region.
There are three tournaments in each of the Southern, Central and Northern open circuits. Besides a spot in the Classic, anglers are vying for the top prize of $5,000 and a fully-rigged boat; cash prizes are awarded through 40th place.
The top five in each Opens division qualify for an invitation to the Bassmaster Elite Series, which also awards Classic berths to event winners and the top 28 finishers in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.
Priority online registration to fish any or all of the three Opens divisions begins Nov. 7 for previous B.A.S.S. competitors receiving a priority status. B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and Life B.A.S.S. members are next in line to register beginning Nov. 14. All B.A.S.S members can register starting Nov. 28, and those wishing to fish a single event can sign up starting Dec. 5.
The 2012 Opens schedule begins in January with the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open #1 on the Harris Chain of Lakes out of Tavares, Fla., and ends in October at Smith Lake in Jasper, Ala.