MANY, LOUISIANA -- The Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors begins Wednesday on Toledo Bend Reservoir here in northwest Louisiana.
Ten boaters and 10 non-boaters from 19 different states (190 boats and 380 total anglers) have made their way here to compete in the first B.A.S.S. Nation tournament of the 2018 season. They were greeted by temperatures that cooled to the low 50s Tuesday evening following a rain-bearing front that blew through the Bayou State on Monday. The rest of the week is expected to be pleasant, however, with sunny skies, steady breezes and temperatures ranging from the low 50s in the morning to the low 70s at the height of the day.
The anglers are competing for many things during this three-day event.
“There are two tournaments going on, really,” said B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart. “You have the team event with all the states going at it for the first two days. The state that comes out on top will win a Triton/Mercury boat and motor package. Then you have the individual event for boaters and for non-boaters. They’re fishing all three days for a spot in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, so there’s a lot of excitement on a number of levels this week.”
In the team portion of the regional, each of the 20 anglers from each state will have their two-day weights totaled to provide a cumulative total. The state with the highest combined weight wins the boat/motor package.
On Friday, the field will be cut to the top three boaters and non-boaters from each state. If additional anglers from a particular state are within the money line (the top 38 in the standings in either division,) they too will fish on Friday. That means that there could mathematically be as many as 80 boats competing on Friday, but Stewart said the likely figure is about 50 boats launching that day.
Those anglers that survive the cut will fish for not only tournament honors, but also spots in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, which will be held later this year on an unannounced date and fishery.
The top boater and non-boater from each of the 19 competing states (38 total anglers) will emerge from this regional on Friday with berths in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in hand. Three-day cumulative weights will determine the individual winners from each state.
Launch and weigh-in for all three days of competition will be held at Cypress Bend Park, 3462 Cypress Bend Drive on Toledo Bend. Each launch will begin at 6:15 a.m. and weigh-ins will begin at 2:30 p.m.