New Bassmaster College Series format creates opportunities for more anglers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Officials have unveiled a new format for the Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops beginning with the 2024 season. Under the new format, which helps meet the booming demand for college teams to compete, there is more priority placed on the Bassmaster College Team of the Year standings to qualify for both the National Championship and the College Classic Bracket presented by Lew’s.

“Over the past few years, college fishing has surged in popularity, and, even with expanding our field size, B.A.S.S. had a massive waiting list of more than 460 teams that wanted to compete in our 2023 College Series events,” said Glenn Cale, tournament manager for the College, High School and Junior Series. “This new format opens avenues for more teams to compete while also prioritizing a team’s overall body of work throughout the season and rewarding a strong National Championship showing.”

Beginning in 2024, the Bassmaster College Series will have two divisions, each with three tournaments, rather than the current four-tournament series. Each tournament will be capped at 250 teams, with the Top 25 teams from each event qualifying for the College Series National Championship.

Teams may only register for one division and will be competing against other teams in their division for valuable Team of the Year points. The Top 20 from each division’s TOY standings will qualify for the National Championship.

Unlike in years past, National Championship results will now factor into crowning a Bassmaster College Team of the Year, with each division’s Top 20 teams vying for the title.

Alongside the Top 20 anglers in each division and tournament qualifiers, the National Championship event will also include up to two qualifiers from each state’s B.A.S.S. Nation College circuit.

The Top 3 teams in the overall Bassmaster College Team of the Year standings — regardless of division — and the National Champions will advance to the College Classic Bracket to compete head-to-head in bracket-style competition for a berth in the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota. The 2022 College Classic Bracket champion Louis Monetti, part of the UNC Charlotte Team of the Year, became just the third college qualifier in history to make the Championship Sunday cut at the Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, finishing 23rd.

The tournament schedule and registration dates for the 2024 Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops are set to be released later this summer.