B.A.S.S. announced today that the Bassmaster Elite Series will return to the West next year for the first time since 2010. Events will be held on California's Sacramento River (California Delta) April 30-May 3 and Arizona's Lake Havasu May 7-10.
“We’re thrilled to bring our premier anglers and events back to the West,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “The West offers outstanding angling, beautiful venues and first-class hospitality. The Elite Series is a national tournament circuit, and bringing it to California and Arizona gives us the opportunity to test our anglers while serving our fans and stakeholders in the area. These will be great events."
The events will be the third and fourth stops on the '15 schedule. B.A.S.S. will not release the remainder of the slate until early September, but local media have previously reported that events at the Sabine River in Texas (March 19-22) and the St. Lawrence River in New York (sometime in August) are locked in.
The two Western venues are separated by nearly 600 highway miles, which will make it difficult for anglers who make the final-day cut at Sacramento to get to Havasu by the following morning for the beginning of the 3-day practice period.
The Elite Series visited the California Delta in both 2007 and 2010. Aaron Martens topped the first event and John Crews won the latter.
“It is a pleasure to welcome the Bassmaster Elite Series to Sacramento and our beautiful river,” said Mike Sophia, director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. “Sacramento plays host to the top sports events in the country, from the (United States Golf Association) to USA Track and Field and NCAA events. Bringing the best anglers in the world here and highlighting the natural beauty of our destination will show all we have to offer to anglers and visitors alike.”
Havasu, generally considered the best desert lake in the country, is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass. B.A.S.S. has not staged an event there since 2003, when the lake hosted a Western Open.
“We can all be proud that our prime fishery will be put in front of fishing fanatics all over the world,” said Doug Traub, president/CEO of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We expect that the entire town will be packed with fans who are here to see the Top 100 anglers in the world compete for a series-wide top prize of $100,000. We also thank all of our partners who came together to bring this world-class event to Lake Havasu for the first time. It’s taken nearly 2 years of effort to bring the Bassmaster Elite Series back to the Western U.S.”