Qualifying for the 2024 Elite Series

With only one event left, a lot of eyes are focusing in on the 70th place cutline in the Progressive Angler of the Year race. Those 70 anglers are guaranteed a spot in the 2024 Elite Series field. Then there will be an invite extended to 9 anglers from the Bassmaster Opens EQs as well as one angler from the B.A.S.S. Nation National Championship. That’s 80 anglers, with a targeted field of 100, unless exemptions take that number a little higher. This is where things can be a little trickier to grasp, but there is a plan in place. 

For starters, if the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic champ or any first-year qualifier for the 2023 Elite Series isn’t in the top 70 in AOY, those anglers are guaranteed re-entry into the Elites Series in 2024. This keeps rookies from having one-and-done Elite careers after having often spent years trying to qualify, and obviously protects a Classic champ in the event of some unlikely disastrous combination of circumstances. In addition to the automatic re-entry by finishing in the top 70, the previous year’s Classic champ would almost certainly re-qualify through the following provision. 

Again attempting to hit 100 anglers, the remainder of the field will be filled based on a lifetime career average, using regular season AOY points from 2006 to 2023. Anglers are also allowed one drop year for every five years they’ve been on the Elites, prioritizing the careers of anglers who have made professional fishing their livelihood and built lasting careers. 

There are a few additional exemptions available. This is how all of these criteria are expressly communicated to the anglers by B.A.S.S. tournament staff. 

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Qualifications and Field Size:

  • Top 70 in the 2023 Progressive AOY Standings
  • 2023 Classic champion (If not in the Top 70)
  • First-year qualifiers for the 2023 season automatically get a second year and are not subject to being cut for 2024 season [up to 13]. (If not in the Top 70)
  • Nine qualify from Overall Points in the Opens
  • One invitation from Top 3 in B.A.S.S. Nation Championship
  • Remainder filled through lifetime (2006 to 2023) AOY average (regular season) with one drop for every five years (minimum of six additional qualifiers)
  • Target field size of 100 plus exemptions
  • B.A.S.S. reserves the right to determine final field size and exemption (hardship, legends, etc.) criteria at its own discretion. All exemptions will be added to the field size.