When the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series season begins March 17-20 on the St. Johns River in Florida, there will be a slight change to the way competitors earn points for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.
Instead of points being awarded only to the anglers who finish first through 100th, points will now be awarded to all anglers based on the size of the field.
For example, if 111 anglers take part in the first event, the winning angler will receive 111 points and the last-place angler will receive one. That system will remain in place all season, even if anglers drop out of the Elite Series and the field shrinks.
It’s simply a reflection of what the anglers wanted.
“At the anglers’ request, we made a small revision to the Elite points system,” said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. “When the season starts, one point will be awarded for each spot and remain static for the season, regardless of any attrition.”
Under the old system, anglers who finished lower than 100th place in a tournament – which tends to happen to almost everyone at some point – earned no points toward the AOY crown. The new system will reward anglers for enduring the expense and frustration of the tougher events.
With just a few points often deciding the final berths for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, for some, it could be the difference between fishing the Classic or staying home.