BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — As buzz continues around the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, B.A.S.S. officials announced increased payouts and widely expanded coverage for 2024. These enhancements not only reinforce the longstanding stability and popularity of the Opens format, but also highlight the organization’s commitment to leadership in serving the bass fishing community.
Live coverage from all nine Bassmaster Opens will be streamed on Bassmaster.com, with expanded coverage for the 2024 season on FS1, FS2, Tubi and the Fox Sports digital platforms. The newly expanded live coverage on multiple platforms will allow fishing fans to follow the intense competition and see every hookset, battle and weigh-in as they get to know the sport’s rising stars.
“B.A.S.S. continues our commitment to fueling a passion for fishing by entertaining and educating fans as well as serving anglers, who pour their time and efforts into our events. We have been exploring opportunities to further support our Opens Series, and after listening to anglers, fans and industry partners, we are thrilled to announce these exciting changes,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Providing the best possible platform for anglers is a top priority for us, and showcasing all levels of Bassmaster tournament fishing only helps to strengthen the entire sport.”
With nearly 1 million fans tuning in to live, final-day broadcasts of three Opens tournaments on FS1 in 2023, it’s clear the fierce competition and dramatic fight for Elite Series invitations resonated with viewers. In total, fishing fans eagerly devoured more than 38.8 million minutes of live Opens coverage across all platforms.
Also beginning in 2024, Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers Division anglers will be competing for a combined Angler of the Year purse of $110,000, which includes an increased first-place cash prize of $45,000. The prize payouts for every tournament will also increase, with the top 45 anglers — one in five competitors — in each event earning a check.
Based on a full field of 225 anglers in the pro division, the payout for each Opens event will total more than $332,500. Alongside the new AOY purse, that totals a prize purse of more than $3.1 million over the course of the season.
The EQ Division designation goes to those anglers who are competing in all nine St. Croix Bassmaster Opens and is the only path to earning an Elite Series invitation through the Opens.
“The EQ model is as close as you can get to competing at the Elite level in terms of the diverse skill set, travel, time and financial commitment needed to succeed,” said Executive Director of Tournaments Hank Weldon. “B.A.S.S. is not only bringing even more attention to the skills and incredible commitment made by Opens anglers, but I’m excited that the organization is also honoring and rewarding the anglers financially by backing an Angler of the Year purse with cash payouts to the Top 10 and increasing the overall field payouts.
“It’s impossible to overstate how well-received the new Opens EQ format was last season and the drama that built as anglers fought for coveted Classic berths and spots in the Elite Series field. Now, with an even bigger stage and greater financial awards — both backed by the stability and longevity of B.A.S.S. — I expect the Opens to be even more popular.”
Registration for B.A.S.S. Nation and Life members who want to compete in the Bassmaster Opens EQs opens November 7. For full registration information, visit Bassmaster.com.
2024 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens
Feb. 1-3, Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, Fla.
March 7-9, Santee Cooper Lakes, Clarendon County, S.C.
Oct. 10-12, Lake Hartwell, Anderson, S.C.
Feb. 15-17, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, Ark.
May 2-4, Logan Martin Lake, Lincoln, Ala.
June 20-22, Lake Eufaula, Eufaula, Okla.
July 11-13, Lake St. Clair, Macomb County, Mich.
Aug. 22-24, Leech Lake, Walker, Minn.
Sept. 12-14, Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wis.