BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Working alongside local hosts and officials to develop new competition plans that adhere to strict health and safety guidelines, B.A.S.S. announced that two Bassmaster Elite Series events planned for the State of New York would continue.
Competition for the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River will be held July 23-26 with daily takeoffs and weigh-ins moved to a new location in Jefferson County, which is hosting the event in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. The St. Lawrence River event was originally scheduled to be held in Waddington, home to the event since 2017.
The Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain, hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and City of Plattsburgh, will continue as scheduled July 30-Aug. 2 in Plattsburgh.
The State of New York recently released guidelines for professional sports competitions which include diagnostic testing and protocols for daily health screenings for all athletes and staff, along with a host of other safety and social distancing measures. Under these guidelines, no fans or spectators are allowed to attend events, even those held at outdoor venues.
“We have enjoyed record-breaking fan support in New York for years,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “While fans won’t be able to attend the events on-site this year, we are thankful to everyone who is helping B.A.S.S. to safely bring the fun of competition and beauty of these fisheries into the homes of millions of fans via our live, on-the-water coverage.”
Complementing the award-winning Bassmaster LIVE coverage on Bassmaster.com and ESPN3 that fans are familiar with during an Elite Series event, both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain tournaments will also be televised live on ESPN2. Almost 2.8 million viewers got hooked on fishing during the four days of live coverage of June’s DEWALT Bassmaster Elite at Lake Eufaula, Ala.
“I’m pleased the North Country will once again play host to the Bassmaster Elite Series,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Given current public health concerns, it’s critical this event is executed safely. To that end, state and local officials are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the community, as well as tournament participants.
“I would like to thank Bassmaster and Jefferson County officials for making this event a reality. There’s no place in the world like the Thousand Islands, and I’m excited for the opportunity to again showcase the St. Lawrence River and this beautiful part of Northern New York."
Echoing that sentiment is Scott Gray, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. “Jefferson County is delighted to host and welcome the professional sport Bassmaster Elite Series tournament and ESPN to the Thousand Islands region. Our world-renowned waterfront is ideal for sportfishing.
“It has been a pleasure working with B.A.S.S. to ensure the nonspectator event features our beautiful region while considering the safety of everyone involved by adhering to the New York State guidance for traveling anglers and our community.”
The second stop in New York takes anglers to Lake Champlain, on the Vermont border, which last hosted the Elite Series three years ago.
"With approval from New York State and the Clinton County Health Department, the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau are happy to welcome the Bassmaster Elite Series back to Lake Champlain,” said Alyssa Senecal, Assistant Director of Tourism & Marketing for the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau. “Although this year will look a lot different with no spectators, quarantining while off the water, masks and a whole lot of hand sanitizer, all partners involved in this planning process have gone above and beyond in making sure all guidelines have been followed and the health and safety of our community stays top priority. We’re looking forward to seeing what the Elites reel in!"
A previously scheduled tournament in New York — the Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake, originally set for July 14-17 in the Village of Union Springs, N.Y. — is being rescheduled for another fishery later this season.