New B.A.S.S. Nation format creates more opportunities for grass-roots anglers

Officials have unveiled a new format for the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series beginning with the 2024 season. Under the new format, individual, grass-roots anglers — even those who are not affiliated with a local club — will have more opportunities to qualify for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship and a shot at a berth in the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.

Beginning in 2024, both individual B.A.S.S. Nation anglers and club members from each state will be able to enter national qualifier events, with the Top 20 finishers advancing to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. Additionally, club anglers will be able to qualify directly from their state tournaments to the championship. The Top 3 finishers at the championship earn a berth into the Bassmaster Classic.

“Our goal is to give the everyday angler more chances to make it to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, whether they get in via a state-run event or a national qualifier,” said GL Compton, tournament director for the B.A.S.S. Nation. “We know that for many anglers — especially when you’re working or in college — joining a local club isn’t practical, so opening our regional qualifying events to unaffiliated individuals is a way to accommodate those competitors. But, if you’re a club angler, now you’ll have two paths to qualify for the Nation Championship. It really is an all-around win for grass-roots anglers.”

Currently, to qualify for the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, an angler must first qualify for a 20-member state team via state-level tournaments before competing in a B.A.S.S. Nation regional championship, where only the top boater and nonboater from each state move on to the championship.

The B.A.S.S. Nation Championship tournament will feature qualifiers from the states and the four national qualifier tournaments, as well as international anglers. Not only will the Top 3 anglers from the overall standings realize a dream of competing in the Bassmaster Classic, but the Nation Champion will earn the title of “Nation’s Best,” which includes the use of a fully-rigged tournament boat for a year, an invitation to join the Bassmaster Elite Series and a cash prize. The second- and third-place finishers and nonboater champion will each earn paid entry fees for all divisions of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens with the opportunity to qualify for the Elites.