BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bass anglers can now register for single events in the 2017 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens schedule. Registration for the individual events opened this morning.
The Opens Series consists of nine events, including three in each of three divisions: Southern, Central and Northern. The tournaments include fields of 150 to 200 pros and the same number of co-anglers trying to catch the heaviest limits of bass — five for the pros and three for the co-anglers — for two days. The field is cut to the Top 12 in each division for the final day, with weigh-ins usually held at a nearby Bass Pro Shops.
Online and call-in registration begins at 9 a.m. CT on these dates:
Single Event (online) — Dec. 6, 2016
Single Event (call-in) — Dec. 8, 2016
Register online: Click here
Register by phone: 877-227-7872
Check http://www.bassmaster.com/file/497426/download?token=rEHW6V2H for more information.
2017 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Schedule
No. 1 — Harris Chain of Lakes, Leesburg, Fla., Jan. 19-21
The Harris Chain is one of the more popular stops for B.A.S.S. The chain is made up of nine lakes connected by a system of canals, and it covers approximately 80,000 acres in central Florida just north of Orlando. Chris Lane won this event in 2012 with a whopping three-day total of 72 pounds, 11 ounces. Lake County Tourism is host of the event.
No. 2 — Lake Chickamauga, Dayton, Tenn., Apr. 20-22
Lake Chickamauga is a reservoir covering just more than 36,000 acres along the Tennessee River, and was completed in 1940 as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority. BASSfest was held here in 2014, with Jacob Wheeler holding off Kevin VanDam and Matt Herren for the title. Chickamauga was also the site of the 1986 Classic, and it ranks third in the southeastern division of Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list for 2016. Hosting is the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council Inc.
No. 3 — Smith Lake, Jasper, Ala., Sept. 28-30
A Bassmaster Southern Open returns to Smith Lake in 2017, after the lake was home to a rain-shortened tournament earlier this year. The 21,000-acre lake in north-central Alabama produced a $53,000 payday in cash and prizes to winner Jesse Wiggins. It is noted for its giant spotted bass and ranks 23rd in the Southeast on the 100 Best Lakes list. The Chamber of Commerce of Walker County is the host.
No. 1 — Table Rock Lake, Branson, Mo., March 2-4
Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland broke a six-year drought by winning a tour stop here in 2014. Table Rock, which at 43,000 acres is plenty big enough for Open anglers to spread out, also was host to a Central Open in 2015. The fishery offers some compelling side trips for visitors, including the popular tourist destinations in Branson and the flagship Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield. The massive Wonders of Wildlife museum and aquarium at Bass Pro Shops should be open by tournament time. Host organizations are Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau.
No. 2 — Sabine River, Orange, Texas, June 15-17
This river forming the southern portion of the border between Texas and Louisiana is a playground for Elite Series anglers, and it will welcome competitors in the second Central Open in 2017. Just navigating the network of bayous, sloughs, canals and backwaters is a challenge. Catching the heaviest limits of black bass can be tricky as well. Opens anglers will want to study the tactics of Elite Series standouts Chris Lane (who won in 2015) and Todd Faircloth (winner in 2013). The Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event.
No. 3 — Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Grove, Okla., Oct. 5-7
Grand Lake has been home to not one, but two Bassmaster Classics (in 2013 and again in 2016). In 2013, Cliff Pace won the Classic with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 12 ounces. Earlier this year, it was Oklahoma’s own Edwin Evers earning a Classic win with a 60-pound, 7-ounce total. Kevin VanDam and Mike McClelland have won previous Elite Series events on this 46,500-acre impoundment, which ranks eighth in the central divisions of Bassmaster’s Best 100 Lakes listing. Hosting the tournament is the City of Grove, Okla.
No. 1 — Oneida Lake, Syracuse, N.Y., June 29-July 1
B.A.S.S. heads to upstate New York for the first Northern Division Open of the 2017 season. Elite Series pro Randy Howell won an Open on Oneida in 2015 with a three-day haul of 49 pounds, 2 ounces, and this July, Wil Hardy won there with 53-13 over three days of fishing. At more than 50,000 acres, Oneida is the largest lake located entirely in New York, and this will be the 13th Bassmaster event on the fishery. It ranks 11th among bass fishing in the Northeast. Visit Syracuse is hosting the event.
No. 2 — James River, Richmond, Va., Aug. 3-5
The James River has hosted an even dozen Bassmaster events through the years, including a three-year string of Classics from 1988-1990. Guido Hibdon won the first Classic held here in 1988, and Hank Parker claimed the title in 1989. The legendary Rick Clunn won his fourth Classic on this river in 1990. In 2013, Randy Howell won an Open on the James to qualify for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, which he won, and former Elite angler Charlie Hartley earned a return trip to the Classic with his James River win in August. Host is the Richmond CVB.
No. 3 — Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn., Sept. 7-9
The final Northern Open stop of 2017 will be on this reservoir in eastern Tennessee. Douglas was home to an Open tournament in May 2016, and in 2012, pro Jeremy Starks boated a four-day total of 81 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Elite Series Douglas Lake Challenge and a $100,000 check. The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is host.