The field for the final two Bassmaster Elite Series events is down to 95 anglers after Clent Davis, Rick Morris and Brett Preuett pulled the plug on the 2021 season.
Davis will take a medical hardship after learning his ailing right shoulder requires surgery. Click here to learn more about his situation.
Morris was one of the original members of the Elite Series in 2006 and has fished 274 B.A.S.S. events. The Virginia pro, who had hip replacement surgery after the 2019 season, said he has been dealing with health issues that will force him to take a medical hardship.
“It’s really hard for me to not fish the Elites,” Morris said. “For me to make this decision, I had some serious situations to deal with.
“I love the Bassmaster Elite Series, but your physical condition has to be top notch to be able to do this.”
The six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier will not return for the 2022 Elite Series. In the next six months, Morris will have tests run in order to return to full health. Morris, who loves to teach bass fishing, hopes to guide back home in Virginia as much as he can, and he plans to return to competition at some point.
“If the opportunity arises to make it back to the Elite Series and my health gets better, I would love to fish the Elites again but I’m not going to do it unless I’m 100%,” he said.
View Morris' profile here.
Preuett, of Louisiana, will also miss the Lake Champlain and St. Lawrence River events. After five seasons on the Elites, Preuett has decided to step away and reset his career.
“I’ve got some really good things going on my ranch at home, but it just takes time,” Preuett said. “I haven’t been fishing free with everything else going on at home, and I just have to get back to that like I did when I was in college.”
Preuett said he plans to get things well-situated at home then attempt a return to the Elites.
“I’ve been living my dream for the last five years,” he said. “I’m not going to let this hold me back. I just want to come back as a better angler all around – mentally, financially and even as an angler itself.”
Preuett plans on fishing all of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens in 2022 to try to requalify for the Elites.
View Preuett's profile here.
The 2021 Elite Series was set to begin with 101 anglers, but Jesse Tacoronte took a medical hardship because of neck surgery before the first tournament, Gary Clouse took a hardship with debilitating pain in his back and shoulder, and Tyler Carriere exited to tend to family matters.