Category Archives: Federation News

Minnesota TBF TOC Recap – Aug 1, 2015

First off, my last tournament, which was the Lakeville Pan-O-Prog bass tournament was a total bomb, 6 fish for 10.4lbs, first time not cashing a check in that event.  So after having a terrible weekend of practice for this Gull Lake state tournament, I was itching to get my swagger back as my fishing confidence was definitely pretty low.

I had some success on Gull back in a BASS Nation State Tournament in 2001 where I was runner up, but since then, only fished there a handful of times with mix results and since then, there is a lot more milfoil and cleaner water due to zebra mussels, so fishing what worked 10+ years ago probably wasn’t the answer.

My game plan for this tournament was to keep an open mind and rely on my strengths, which is power fishing with a jig.  I stated the first morning with a topwater as that produced fish the weekend before, but the fish really weren’t having it.  From there I fished new water bouncing around deep and shallow, mostly fishing a 1/2oz BassTEK Tungsten Flipping jig paired with a Stike King Menace grub as a trailer.  Focusing on points and inside turns on weedlines and other shallow areas that looked good based on wind and current conditions.  It didn’t take me to long to fill my limit and start upgrading a bit at a time.

Gull Lake Largemouth Bass
Day 1 – 14.37lbs

Mid morning I got two really good bites, a 3.5lb fish deep and a 4.45lb fish shallow, both on a jig, from there I just kept at it and upgraded a few ounces here and there to get to 14.37lbs, which was good enough for 2nd place after day 1.  Thanks to Rick Pelletier for some great net jobs and going along with the flow as I made things up as we went.

It felt great to be near the top of the leaderboard after day 1, but I also new that I would have to fish mostly new water on day 2 and that withouth getting a few key bites, 8lb was as likely a results as another 13-14lbs bag.  On day 2, I drew former club member Steve Brummer and he was more then game to fish the moment and the conditions as well.

Day 2 started with a few decent fish and a few small fish to fill an early limit and then we bounced around slowly keeping my jig wet and bites came steadily building a decent limit.  My biggest fish on day 2 was 3.3lbs and the rest were all 2 to 2.75lb fish.

The main keys for me were not fishing history and fishing the conditions and having a bait that I had a ton of confidence in.  I chose my jig because it required little maintenance.  On day 2 I only went through 2 jig trailers due to my Jig Sling keeping it on place and secure, which meant more time casting and less time fixing my bait.

Day 2 - 13.62lbs
Day 2 – 13.62lbs

The end result was 13.62lbs and a 1st place finish.  Felt great to get a win over a solid field with several local Gull anglers in the field.  Also, cool that my dad was able to finish 4th on the non-boater side, so we both qualified for the 2016 TBF Northern Divisional in South Dakota next year.  Final Results Here.

Me and Dad
Dad and I

My setup was a 1/2oz BassTEK Jig (New Blue Gill Color), Jig Sling and Menace Grub trailer, 20lb Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon and Dobyns DX705C Rod.

The Setup
The Setup

For a video recap & most of the fish catches, check out the video captured from my GoPro camera below.

Coming up, I have the BASS Nation Northern Divisional on Lake Vermillion in late August and in early September a BASS Nation TOC back on Gull.  Hoping to stay on a roll for the next two!

1st Place Hardware
1st Place Hardware

Rich

TBF River Rumble Team Qualifier 8-4-13

Last Sunday I fished a tournament out of Winona to hoping to qualify for the MN TBF TOC so that I have that option in late September when the time comes.  It was an interesting format that it was a team tournament where the captain qualified as a boater and the partner qualified as a non-boater for the TOC.

I met my partner Cade early Saturday morning so that we could get a full day of practice and scouting in before Sunday’s tournament.  We found quality bass early on the main river and then moved our way back in to the backwaters as the day went on.  We found some good quality fish in practice, but there were some really slow periods and tough stretches with out hardly any bites to show for it.

By far the highlight of the day was a 4.09lb largie that I plucked from a thick mat punching an Evolve Kompak craw.  I am continued to be impressed how my Dobyns DX795 FLIP over powers fish even in the thickest mats.  We didn’t linger in this spot much longer, as we knew this would be an area to spend considerable time in during the tournament.

We drew out in the middle of the field, but we were able to reach our main river rock and sand spot before any competitors, but unfortunately there was plenty of recreational competition.  I manage a small keeper largemouth on a popper and Cade got a close to 3lb smallie on a swim jig.  We hit a few more spots and we put a few more keepers in the boat, from there we started to work further back of the main channel.  We picked off largemouth on swim jigs, flipping and frogs but not quite the size we knew we needed.

With about 3 hours to go, we headed back to the area where the big fish came from in practice.  We slowly worked the area, Cade frogged and I flipped, and we managed the key bites to fill out our bag including a close to 4lb fish that I was able to catch flipping the edges.  The frog definitely caught the numbers and some good quality, but by splitting duties in a team format, we maximized our area.

We ended up with 5 fish for 14.95lbs, which was a solid 3rd place finish which qualified us and got us in the money, not a bad weekend on the river.  Much better then my last trip to Winona!

My next tourney will either be the Prairie BFL or the BASS Nation TOC.  Stay tuned, still plenty of fishing left this year!

 

Props to my Pops!

Little behind on my blog after the whirl wind that was last week.  While I was at the TBF Northern Divisional, the MNBFN Tournament of Champions (TOC) was taking place on Island Lake Reservoir just north of Duluth, MN.  Sadly this was the first time I have missed the TOC since 1997.

On a positive note, my father, Wayne Lindgren brought home the title on a rather stingy fishery.  We both have qualified for divisionals in the past and come close to a state title, but he got it first.  He weighed 9 smallmouth over the two day event for 25.21lbs, nearly a 2lb margin of victory.  The bite was so tough that out of 130 plus anglers, only two anglers managed a 5 fish limit each day of the event.  You can find the final results here.


3 of his 4 Nice Smallmouth Bass from Day 2

Wayne fished a handful of spots, mainly he finessed soft plastics such as LFT Fork Craws & Craw Tubes in 3-5ft of water.  Deadsticking was definitely part of the tactic to tempt the pressured smallmouth.  He also reports losing a 4lb plus smallmouth on day 2 that would have really opened up his lead.


You can read a nice write up from Sam Cook and also check out some video coverage from local FOX21 of Duluth.  Also a short blurb from Duluth Tribune.

Congrats again Dad!

Also, I got some fishing stuff on ebay right now, check it out.  Lucky Craft, Okuma Reel, Fishing Line, Soft Plastics, etc….

 

8 days on the water

This past Saturday to Saturday was nothing but bass fishing and more bass fishing mixed with a little tackle prep and driving.  Four 12 hour practice days and four 8-9 hour tournament days.  It started at 4:30am on Saturday September 1st with a 2.5 hour drive to La Crosse, WI to begin my practice period for the TBF Nothern Divisional on the Mississippi River.

I spent all four of my practice days in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River, being this was a draw format tournament, I did not want to have time wasted locking and running during my potential four hours.  For the most part my practice was pretty productive, each day eliminated a ton of water and found a few areas or stretches that I felt pretty good about.  I definitely spent quite a bit of time in the huge lake area around and north of Stoddard looking for the mother load of grass fish, but they eluded me.

Practice partner Eric Sanft w/ Wing Dam smallie that didn’t bite during tournament


Day 1 of the tournament, I drew Brian Dull from Ohio and he had some fish in the Black that he wanted to spend time on, so I decided to stick close and fish my fish on the upper end of the pool.  I ran to a rock bar in the Black where I had two 3lb smallies in practice, it only yielded one short.  Next stop was a sand/rock drop that I fished with a Ima Square Bill, I caught several shorts and one keeper.  That burnt up about an hour and they we headed to top of French Lake.  I worked it hard with a jerkbait only to catch several shorts, the same jerkbait that put an easy 13lb limit in the boat 2 days prior.  I then hit one of the better sand points with my Square Bill and picked up a nice 3lb smallmouth.  I then worked that point a Game Hawg on a Carolina rig and got another keeper on the first cast.  I caught many more shorts on the C-rig in the area and on other points.  After hitting other points and getting shorts, i came back to first point and caught my 4th keeper on a Lethal Weapon Drag Queen Football jig.  We worked the area a bit more, but then started heading back to the Black River.  On the way out, I made a quick stop on a small rock point that eyed up on the way there.  One cast with a Baby Brush Hog and keeper #5 was in the boat.  We ran a few areas of my partners in the Black, many short and a few missed opportunities for him.  After that we returned to an area that I had.  I caught a nice fish flipping a beaver house to get rid of a small 14 incher.  We then pulled up where i caught my first keeper, I noticed a bit of bait, so I cranked my Hydrowave on full Shad Frenzy, the bass started pushing bait, I caught a keeper I could not use on the Ima Square Bill and my partner got his 4th fish, we made it to check-in with 20 seconds to spare.  I weighed 11-05, middle of the pack and 4th on the Minnesota team.

Day 2, my partner Joe Mazzuca had only 1 fish on first day, so he let me pretty much run the show.  We hit a few closing and wing dams at top of the pool, couple shorts, Joe lost a smallie at the boat and a big drum for me.  We hit two more wing dams on the way down to Stoddard area.  My closing dam fish did not cooperate, Joe got a swim jig fish and I caught a nice 3.5lb largie on a Ribbit and missed a few other nice fish on frogs/toads.  From there I went to a flipping area where I got another keeper on a Beaver.  I decided I needed show these fish a little more finesse, so I went back through the prime area with a Leech Fleck Kompak Craw and boated a 4-04 Largemouth.  I was starting to get against the clock, so I ran to some cut banks further up the pool.  I caught a few shorts and a 15″ smallmouth on the Kompak craw.  We then headed for the Black, we only had about 20 minutes to fish, neither of us could fill our limit.  Disappointed with my 4 fish effort, but they weighed well at 11-07, that 5th fish would have been huge.  Thank goodness for the big fish that the Kompak craw produced.  I slipped to 5th on my team, but move up a little in the standings.

Click to Close

Day 3, I knew I needed a bigger bag, so I ran straight down to my flipping area that yielded the 4lb bite the day before.  It was a little slow, I once again got a small keeper starting around with the Beaver, but then switched to the Kompak craw and caught 3 more keepers including a 3lb fish.  From there, I hit up the closing dam area, finished up my limit, but could not get the frog fish to bite.  I hit another flipping hole near the box and got a decent cull on the Kompak craw.  With about 2 hours to go, I hit some of my good wing dams from practice, could not get any good smallies, but plenty of big drum on a football jig.   We finished up in French, but the fish would not go in the short window we had.  I ended up with 10-15 on the final day.  It was good weight for our team to stay in 4th place and get a decent check.  I ended up 25th overall, but learned plenty about the late summer to early fall transition on the Mississippi River.


Right after the weigh-in and team picture, I had to head from La Crosse to Walker, MN to fish a NABC tournament on Leech Lake.  The drive was a bit over 6 hours and Leech is massive at 120,000 acres.  I had not been here in about 5 years, but it for the most part is a shallow fishery, fish what you can see is normally the deal.  We were greeted with moderate winds in the morning that grew to 25mph that caused 7 foot waves on the main lake and washed out other shallow fish.  I fished this event by myself, as my partner Josh was down at Fort Gibson Central Open.  We needed to fish them all to make championship.  With no practice under tough conditions, I only managed two decent fish for 5lbs, but we made the Championship and the Basscat held up well in the big water.

I will be on break for a couple weekend before I start practicing hard for the NABC Championship out of Red Wing.

 

MFBA TBF Minnesota State Championship – Mississippi River

This past weekend I fished the TBF Minnesota State Championship out of Wabasha, MN on the Mississippi River.  I only had one day to practice which was the Sunday before.  During practice, I found one good group of largemouth on Lake Pepin and a couple good groups of smallmouth down in the river on main channel rock and wing dams.

On day 1 of the tournament with the wind conditions I had committed to the lake, but made a couple wing dams spots on the way.  I caught small keeper smallmouth on a sand drop and had some short strikes on my favorite Yellow Magic popper.  Enough time wasted, I headed to the lake.  My first stop produced 2 short smallies on topwater.  I then headed to my largemouth area, I quickly got a chunky bass on a Red Eye Shad.  I then started working the area with my jig and got a fish close to 3lbs, then another good’un on Tube Craw and another on a Phenix vibrating jig.  I let that spot rest, got another keeper largie on a mojo rig and then came back to the best area and got another good fish on a chigger craw.  We worked our way back down the lake and my partner got his first fish on a lipless crank.

I then went back to where I had short strikes in the river and quickly caught 2 smallmouth around 3lbs on my Yellow Magic popper.  From there we fished a few wing dams and I spent a bit of time in Indian Slough trying to find a kicker, but it never happened.  I ended up with 3 largemouth and 2 smallies for 14.72lbs and my big fish was 3.59 largemouth.  That was good enough for 2nd after day 1.

The wind had switched a little on day 2 and I did not think my best Lake Pepin area would hold up, so I scratched that and went to an old favorite area below Wabasha.  My first spot only produced a single 2lb smallie and 2 white bass on the Yellow Magic.  From there, I knew things may be tougher and I was probably going to just do some fishing today.  My 3rd spot produced another keeper smallie on the topwater and largemouth on a Chigger Craw.  We tried a few wing dams as we worked our way up river, only one miss on the popper.  I got another keeper smallie on a mojo rig off the spot that produced the big smallies on day 1.  I then headed up by Reed’s Landing and got one short.  We stopped back through the previous spot and we each got a keeper smallmouth.  It felt good to have a limit, not big, but knew it would not take much more to make the top 6.  We worked through a series of wing dams and I got another decent smallmouth.

From there I decided to run back past Indian Slough and gamble a bit to find some frog fish.  I found some what appeared to be some good looking water.  My partner had a boil on his first cast, from there, I put on a big northern clinic on frogs   On the way back out of Indian Slough, we each flipped a nice largemouth and then we hit a little main river rock at the end and that was it.  The dock talk was mixed results, some anglers did better, others struggled.

I ended up weighing 10.19lbs and held on the 5th place, which is awesome, because the top 6 boaters qualify for the 2012 TBF Northern DIvisional in Wisconsin.  This was a nice redemption after not making the BFN Northern DIvisional on Whitefish.

This weekend, have the Gopher Fall Classic, possibly the Simply Fishing fall tournament the following weekend and I think some hawg hunting tomorrow night!



2011 MNBFN Tournament of Champions – Whitefish Chain

I was really looking forward to this year’s MN BASS Federation Nation tourney for a couple reasons.  One, I am always looking to do well in this tourney and move on to the Northern Divisionals.  Also, after the last 2 years where I had a monumental day 2 collapse on Pokegama and then Tweet Gate on Tonka last year, I had a major chip on my shoulder coming into this event.

I got a little bit of a late start on Saturday, the first official practice day, but I fished until nearly dark that night.  I was on the water by 7am launch time every morning and fished until 6-7pm every day of practice.  Determined to find enough quality fish for this tournament.  Kudos to my club member Dave Cindrich for borrowing me his boat, otherwise it would have been tough for me to get these long hours in for this tournament.

Practice was not easy, although I found tons of fish, I only had a handful of areas where I felt I could get consistent 2lb plus fish that a guy needs to make a Top 12 at the TOC.  I was pretty confident that 11-12lbs day would be all an angler needed to make a Top 12 and move on.

I had boat 75 of out of 80 on day 1, which did not bother me too much, but I was a little stunned when boat 74 went to the inside turn I wanted to start on.  Not phased too much, I went to my second choice about a 1/4 mile away.  I quickly put a solid keeper in the boat on a DT6 crankbait, while my partner caught 2 nice fish on a jig.  Constantly seeing fish on top of the flat, and they would not take my topwater offerings.  On a hunch I fired a custom painted square bill that I had tied on the night before.  I think i caught a keeper on my first cast, pretty cool feeling.  We hopped around to a few of my spots for the next couple hours, I eventually ground out a limit by 1pm after losing a couple keepers, but my 5th fish was bigger then the 2 that jumped off.

We hit some of my partner’s water in Trout, I did drop a nice 2lb fish on a drop shot from behind him and he got his 3rd fish.  I then hit a spot in Trout and made a decent little cull.  We ended the day in Cross Lake where i caught 3 keepers on a deep weedline on a jig, but no upgrade.  I ended up with a disappointing 9.30lbs mired in 58th place needing a 13lb bag on day 2 to move up to the 12 cut.

I fished with former club member Mark Elert on day 2, I had about 1lb more then him on day 1 so we took my boat.  Again I got an early keeper on the DT6, then put 2 nice fish in the boat on the square bill including a nice 3lb fish.  I finished my limit on a jig and Mark caught 2 on a jig on this first spot.  Mark and I traded spots the rest of the day, both catching nice 2lb fish.  In the end, a better day, but not good enough. 

I caught 10.9lbs, for a 2 day total of 20.20lbs and a 29th place out of 160 finish.  Respectable, but anything outside of the Top 12 is a huge disappointment.  I lost a couple fish, that may have got me closer, but I really don’t think I ever got the bites I needed.  My 2.25lbs practice fish became 1.75lbs fish and I never found a place for kicker fish to make up for that drop off in practice.

I am hoping to fish the TBF MFBA State tournament at the end of September out of Wabasha, hopefully redemption can be found there.



2011 Bassmaster Classic Summary

Wow, what an event!  The weights did end up being huge like I expected, maybe even bigger then I expected, but not who I saw winning before it all started.  Cut right to the chase, Kevin VanDam dominated this event and rewrote a bunch of the record books this weekend.

In & around a host of fellow competitors,
VanDam whacked a 28-00 day-3 creel at the 2011 New Orleans Bassmaster
Classic & won easily by a monstrous 10 1/2-pound margin. His 69-11,
15-fish total smashed the previous Bassmaster Classic total-weight
record of 56-02 set by Luke Clausen at Toho in 2006.

The win continues a streak that may never be matched for as long as the sport endures. With his win today:

# Equalled Rick Clunn for most Classic victories (4) & Joined Clunn, who was previously the only angler to win back-to-back Classics.
# Won his 3rd Classic in 6 years.
# Won 5 of the 6 most recent major B.A.S.S. titles – Angler of the Year (AOY) in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and the Classic in 2010 and 2011.
# Inched within a single win of Roland Martin’s record for total career B.A.S.S. wins (19). (VanDam’s 2 12-boat-field post-season wins not included.)
# Surpassed Roland Martin’s record of 9 major B.A.S.S. titles. Roland won 9 AOY titles. VanDam has now won 6 AOY titles and 4 Classics. (Martin still holds the record for most AOY titles).
# Became the only angler ever to win 2 Classics on the same venue.
# Set a new 3-day (5 bass limit) Classic weight record of 69-11.
# Eclipsed the previously unthinkable mark of $5 million in career earnings. 


KVD:
Photo courtesy of BASS – Jerry Cunningham

KVD did it by finding a great pod of big fish in an area that he had them coming to him, in true pre-spawn fashion, but so did several others.  So how did he separate him self from many other great anglers fishing the same water, luck?  Not hardly, after being glued to the coverage all they way through the post tourney press conferences, here are the bullet points on why I believe he pulled away from the field:
– Put tournament in his control, by finding right fish close enough he was not effected by fog and short fishing times
– Day 2, he felt the fish stop eating his spinnerbait they did on day 1 early on, he made a critical bait switch to a crankbait, his signature Strike King 1.5 Square Bill (chart blk back), before others clued in.  That is how he got his seperation on day 2.
– He also dialed in to the retrieves and what triggered this fish better each day then his competitors, example he used a 5.4:1 signature Quantam reel , which helped him slow down his crankbait better then other anglers that he said were fishing too fast much of the time.
– Magic Cookies don’t hurt either!!!

I think Brent Chapman had a chance, but I think in the end it was “our” warm water up north that cost him on the final day.  He said his Mississippi River fed area dropped water temperature 10 degrees over night.  So my guess is that all the melting snow in the Midwest finally reached him and cooled the water down enough to push back his fish enough to take him out of shot, although it’s doubtful that Venice area even when perfect could produce 25lb plus bags like Lake Cataouatche did.

KVD credited all his signature Quantam gear spooled with 20lb fluorocarbon, and two lures (Signature Spinnerbait in Chartreuse Sexy Shad Exclusive to

BassPro
& his new Strike King 1.5 Square Bill in Chart/Blk), better get them fast, because they will sell fast!!!

http://www.basstackledepot.com/basstackle/strike-king/Square-Bill-Black-Back-Chartreuse.jpg

Hats off to Derek Remitz, fished a great tourney, just could not get big bites on day 1 ended in 3rd and also Federation Nation Champion Brandon Palaniuk who ended up 4th, not sure why I took him off my Fantasy Team at the last minute   I look forward to watching Brandon on the Elite Series this year.

 

2011 Bassmaster Classic Day 1 Summary

Interesting day on the Louisiana Delta today, fog got things off to a slow start, not a huge factor with only a 70 minute delay, but still a factor none the less.  I really thought there would be more big weights today, it was good but not great.

Top 6
Aaron Martens 20-7
Scott Rook 19-6
Kevin VanDam 19-3
Brent Chapman
18-0
Bobby Lane 16-12

Dale Hightower 15-9

I am kind of surprised the Aaron Martens is leading this event, didn’t really seem like his type of event.  I know KVD is a threat every where, but I thought he would fair more like he did on Red River in this event.  So my fantasy team is mired in mediocrity at the moment, hopefully some of my guys bust some 20lb stingers tomorrow.  Hackney is just about toast in the Classic, although local fav Cliff Pace is still alive but needs to make a move tomorrow.

Pic of Cliff Pace weighing-in on my flat screen connected to my flat screen off the live internet streaming

Interesting that the top 3 anglers are all in an area called “The Tank Pond” which is only about 15 minutes from take off.  It seems the quality of the fish in the Tank Pond Area is beating out the sheer numbers of Venice and other areas.  Only problem is Marten, KVD & Rook are sharing the same flat with each other and Remitz.  They all did some damage today, only time will tell if it will hold up, deplete or get even stronger as the week progresses.

Also, sounds like Bobby Lane & Chapman crushed the fish for the short time they got to fish down around Venice, so they have a shot, as do probably the top half of the field if they can bust some 20lb bags tomorrow.  I think there will be a lot of movement and shake-ups on day 2.  Also, props to Fed Nation angler Dale Hightower who is in 6th.  Should be a super exciting Classic!

I got tons of good nuggets that I keep tabs on and post through-out the day on my Facebook Fan Page – check it out and stay tuned tomorrow!  Also, got my own BMC Ebay Sale this weekend!

Here is a sweet map, screen shot from Live Classic Blog & BassTrakk today!
http://assets.espn.go.com/winnercomm/outdoors/bassmaster/classic/2011/BASStrakk_capture.jpg


Bassmaster Classic Pregame Show Part 1

Prepping for the Bassmaster Classic, there are kinds of great article, videos and more on the web right now.  So I am going to share a few of the highlights.

If you are playing the new BASS Fantasy Fishing Game, with the new 5 tier angler system, you are going to need some dark horse picks to fill these buckets.  Couple ideas for ya….   Look no farther then the 2010 Bassmaster Weekend Series champion, read how Ryan McMurtury recently won the Bassmaster Weekend Series South Carolina opener, held Jan. 29, 2011, on Lake Murray.  He is obviously fishing well and with a lot of confidence right now and that should never be overlooked.

Not to be outdone, Federation Nation champ Brandon Palaniuk has spending a lot of time pre-practicing for the Classic.  Check out his video interview posted on Bass Parade .  After all, he won his Championship up state for on the Red River.   Could we revisit the magic of the great Bryan Kerchal?

Lastly, check out this super sweet breakdown by Greg Hackney on the Louisiana Delta Classic!

Sure sounds like it will be a Classic for the ages!

Anybody else got some good tidbits to share?

BASS Unveils Qualifying Structure for 2012 Bassmaster Classic, Elite Series

BASS announced Monday a new qualifying structure for the 2012 BassmasterClassic and Bassmaster Elite Series, expanding the Classic field toinclude an enhanced cross section of anglers and putting an increasedemphasis on performance in single events.
My comments and thoughts highlighted in red below where I have a take.

While the overall number of Classic spots (36) awarded through the EliteSeries will remain unchanged, in 2011 each Bassmaster Elite Seriesregular-season event winner will receive an automatic berth into the2012 Classic. The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standingswill still determine the majority of the Classic qualifiers as the top28 in those rankings will also advance to the Classic.
All the more reason to fish for the Win, guys like Kevin Short wished this rule would’ve been in effect for this year.  I like this twist!

Following the Elite format, each of the nine Open event winners willreceive automatic spots in the 2012 Classic. With each pro-level eventwinner receiving a Classic berth, BASS has upped the cache of the BassPro Shops Bassmaster Opens by allocating nine Classic berths, up fromsix, to the Series. The traditional points system used in the Opens willonly determine future Elite Series qualifiers and will have no bearingon Classic berths.
Not sure, if I am all behind this, but could increase participation, since you are never out of it and could increase jack-potting by locals at events.  I kind of like rewarding the best over 3 total events, but I can live with it.

The Classic field will increase to 54 – assuming all competitors are ingood standing – clearing the way for a guaranteed entry for the 2011College Bass Champion. The entire qualifying structure, for both theElites and the Classic, can be found below.
I think a few more anglers is good, as long as they don’t get too much larger, if its 75 anglers in a few year, loses prestige.

Providing a dedicated avenue for the College Bass Champion, again to beheld in Little Rock, AR, in 2011 and aired on ESPNU, will enhance theprofile of college bass fishing and represent an added, youth componentto the Classic. There are currently 220 colleges registered to competeto qualify for the 2011 College Championship. The qualification processfor college anglers can be found at www.collegebass.com.
Good for the sport, although, not sure how “qualified” these anglers are, guess we will see how they fair in Classic.  Wonder if any pros, will return to school to fish????

The defending Classic champion will automatically qualify as in yearspast. Additionally, six Federation Nation anglers will continue toqualify as well as the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Championoperated by American Bass Anglers. In the case of double-qualifiers,BASS will work down the Elite Series AOY list.
Good to see Federation Nation spots did not get trimmed

The 2011 Classic and Elite Series qualifying implications will remain aspreviously released. In 2012, the Elite Series field will encompass 90competitors. BASS has a renewed emphasis on restricting the Elites tosmaller fields, putting more focus on individual anglers and creatingincreased brand-building opportunities for the best anglers in theworld.
Like it!

As such, the 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standingswill advance 73 anglers into the 2012 Elite Series. The top five inpoints standings in each of the three Open Series will also receive 2012Elite qualifying berths and if any of those competitors decline, BASSwill work down the Open standings to fill the five berths.Additionally, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion and the 2011Federation Nation Champion can elect to fish the Elites. Alldouble-qualifiers will work down the Elite Series AOY standings.

As BASS previously laid out, only active Elite anglers have threeexemptions – former Bassmaster Classic champions, former Toyota TundraBassmaster Angler of the Year winners and anglers with 10 or moreClassic experiences – that can be applied if an angler fails to qualifythrough the outlined avenues.

With the revamp of the qualifying structure, the 2011 Bass Pro ShopsBassmaster Open payout has also been revised. In addition to theClassic qualifying berth, the winner of each event will receive $10,000and a $45,000 boat package. The total prize package – including theClassic berth – reflects the prestige of scoring an Open victory.
I have heard some griping here, some guys want an all cash prize, but if sponsors are contributing boats, that is great for sport, also the winners will get an automatic $10k just for showing up to Bassmaster Classic, plus with that automatic berth and publicity, they should be able to convert that to additional cash.

Each event will pay through 40th place with a more even distributiontowards the lower rung. Additionally, with the allure of increasedClassic berths, the potential of sustained full fields throughout eachdivision increases.
This is good, and I think is direct correlation to boat for winner, better for more guys to make money at sport.

Entry fees will be slightly upped – $1,250 per event on theprofessional side and $350 per event on the co-angler side — but BASShas raised the stakes for Open anglers.

The Opens will only feature the top-12 pros and co-anglers on the finalday of competition, which at each event will be held at a convenientlylocated Bass Pro Shops.
LIKE IT!!!  Now they just need to open that new Bass Pro Shops by Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

2012 Bassmaster Classic qualifications:

2011 Bassmaster Toyota Tundra AOY Standings 28
2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Regular-Season Event Winners 8
2011 Bassmaster Classic Champion 1
2011 Bassmaster Southern Opens Event Winners 3
2011 Bassmaster Central Opens Event Winners 3
2011 Bassmaster Northern Opens Event Winners 3
2011 BASS Federation Nation Qualifiers 6
2011 Bassmaster Weekend Series Champion 1
2011 Bassmaster College Bass Champion 1

* Bassmaster Elite Series regular-season winners must compete in all2011 Elite competition days to be eligible for Classic berth
** Bassmaster Open event champions must compete in entire respective Open Series division to receive Classic berth
*** Defending Bassmaster Classic champion must compete in all Elite Series events to receive Classic berth

2012 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifications

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Tundra Bassmaster AOY Standings 73
2011 Bassmaster Southern Opens Points Standings 5
2011 Bassmaster Central Opens Points Standings 5
2011 Bassmaster Northern Opens Points Standings 5
2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion 1
2011 BASS Federation Nation Champion 1

* Exemptions include former Bassmaster Classic champions, AOY titleholders and anglers with 10 or more Classic appearances as of March 1,2011. Must be an Elite angler in good standing to use.