Brandon Palaniuk, winner of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the James River, is not here this week in Clayton, N.Y.
Many fans and anglers were keeping an eye on what he did/didn’t do and how it could impact the field and Classic spots. To put it simply, nothing changes other than how his Classic spot is classified.
To punch a ticket to the Classic through the Opens, anglers must win an event and compete in every tournament for that division. If they don’t, the spot goes back to the Elite Series Angler of the Year standings. At one point in time, Palaniuk was assumed to be double qualified via his Open win, and by finishing third in AOY, bumping the Classic line down one spot on the Elite list. By not showing up for the final Open of the Northern Division, Palaniuk is just single qualified for the Classic (third in AOY) and the Opens spot goes back to the Elite list. He still gives his Opens spot away to the next Elite in line, thus keeping the Classic list the same.
Meanwhile, Scott Martin is watching intently and will continue to on Saturday to see if Cal Climpson, CoryJohnston or any other angler solely fishing 1000 Islands will win, punching a spot for him in the Super Bowl of bass fishing.