The 2010 Bassmaster Opens, comprised of three qualifying series in a Southern, Central and Northern division, each with three events, will conduct nine events in eight states, which include Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Maryland, Texas and Georgia.
With the success of last year's addition of the Northern Open division and near-capacity participation levels, BASS will keep intact the Opens' qualifying standards into the Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Classic.
The top two pro competitors from each of three divisions will advance to the 2011 Bassmaster Classic (New Orleans, La., Louisiana Delta) and the top seven pro anglers will qualify for the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series. The points system for the Opens that will determine Elite Series and Classic qualifiers will mirror the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year rankings used in the Elite Series.
"The Opens have proven to be very popular with anglers looking for a highly competitive circuit with opportunities to advance to the most prestigious tournament levels in bass fishing," said Jamie Wilkinson, senior director of event operations and business development, ESPN Outdoors and BASS. "We are very pleased with the direction of these events."
A number of anglers, including past Bassmaster Rookie of the Year Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., and 2009 ROY winner Billy McCaghren of Mayflower, Ark., qualified for the Elite Series via the Opens and proved to be competitive at the highest level. McCaghren moved up through the Bassmaster Central Opens and finished extremely hot on the 2009 Elites, clinching the ROY and qualifying for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.
2010 Bassmaster Opens