B.A.S.S. today announced the field for the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series will be 102 anglers, its largest roster since 2008.
Twenty-five states will be represented and the group includes 11 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Anglers of the Year (21 total titles), 11 Bassmaster Classic champions (17 Classic wins) and more than 200 B.A.S.S. tournament victories.
Were excited about the lineup for the upcoming season, said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. The Elite Series represents the highest level of competition our sport has to offer, and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of anglers who will be competing next year. They tell our members and fans that Elite is not just a name its a level of performance and of commitment.
Of the 25 states represented, Alabama leads the way with 16 anglers, followed by 13 from Texas and 12 from Oklahoma, site of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake O the Cherokees out of Tulsa on Feb. 22-24.
Nine rookies who qualified through the Bassmaster Opens will grace the 2013 Elite Series roster: Hank Cherry of North Carolina; Chad Pipkens of Michigan; Jason Christie, James Elam and Chip Porche of Oklahoma; Kevin Hawk and Kelley Jaye of Alabama: and Josh Bertrand and Clifford Pirch of Arizona.
Also returning to the Elites next season are Kurt Dove (Texas), Byron Haseotes (Massachusetts) and Dennis Tietje (Louisiana). Dove, who last participated in 2008, requalified through the Opens, while Haseotes and Tietje are returning from hardship exemptions.
Nine anglers who competed in 2012 wont be back in 2013. They are: Denny Brauer, Terry Butcher, Kyle Fox, Chad Griffin, Pat Golden, Travis Manson, Mark Menendez, Russell Parrish and Dustin Wilks.
Brauer retired following the 2012 season, while Butcher, Griffin and Golden opted out for family reasons. Menendez is taking a medical hardship exemption to care for his wife, who is ill. Parrish is opting to fish the FLW Tour. Fox was suspended for the 2013 Elite Series season after an incident at the Lake Michigan event this past season.
Wilks confirmed to BassFan he is out and will provide additional information shortly. Manson could not be reached for comment.
The eight-tournament schedule gets underway at the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, on March 14-17, 2013.
Here are the 2013 Elite Series anglers (italics denotes 2013 rookie):
> Casey Ashley Donalds, S.C.
> Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, Okla.
> Josh Bertrand Gilbert, Ariz.
> Tommy Biffle Wagoner, Okla.
> Brent Broderick Oregonia, Ohio
> Stephen Browning Hot Springs, Ark.
> Brandon Card Knoxville, Tenn.
> Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, Kan.
> Hank Cherry Maiden, N.C.
> Jason Christie Park Hill, Okla.
> Rick Clunn Ava, Mo.
> Keith Combs Huntington, Texas
> John Crews Salem, Va.
> Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, La.
> Mark Davis Mount Ida, Ark.
> Ott DeFoe Knoxville, Tenn.
> Kurt Dove Del Rio, Texas
> Boyd Duckett Demopolis, Ala.
> James Elam Tulsa, Okla.
> Paul Elias Laurel, Miss.
> Edwin Evers Talala, Okla.
> Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas
> Jami Fralick Martin, S.D.
> Grant Goldbeck Boerne, Texas
> Matt Greenblatt Port St. Lucie, Fla.
> Shaw Grigsby Gainesville, Fla.
> Greg Hackney Gonzales, La.
> Charlie Hartley Grove City, Ohio
> BJ Haseotes Centerville, Mass.
> Kevin Hawk Guntersville, Ala.
> Matt Herren Trussville, Ala.
> Kenyon Hill Norman, Okla.
> Davy Hite Ninety Six, S.C.
> Jamie Horton Centreville, Ala.
> Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala.
> Randy Howell Springville, Ala.
> Michael Iaconelli Pittsgrove, N.J.
> Kelley Jaye Dadeville, Ala.
> Alton Jones Lorena, Texas
> Kelly Jordon Palestine, Texas
> Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala.
> Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, Ala.
> Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas
> Jeff Kriet Ardmore, Okla.
> Bobby Lane Lakeland, Fla.
> Chris Lane Guntersville, Ala.
> Russ Lane Prattville, Ala.
> Kevin Ledoux Choctaw, Okla.
> Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, Calif.
> Bill Lowen Brookville, Ind.
> Aaron Martens Leeds, Ala.
> Billy McCaghren Mayflower, Ark.
> Mike McClelland Bella Vista, Ark.
> Jared Miller Norman, Okla.
> Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, Texas
> Ish Monroe Hughson, Calif.
> Andy Montgomery Blacksburg, S.C.
> Rick Morris Virginia Beach, Va.
> John Murray Phoenix, Ariz.
> Britt Myers Lake Wylie, S.C.
> James Niggemeyer Van, Texas
> Takahiro Omori Emory, Texas
> Cliff Pace Petal, Miss.
> Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, Idaho
> Chad Pipkens Holt, Mich.
> Clifford Pirch Payson, Ariz.
> Keith Poche Pike Road, Ala.
> Pete Ponds Madison, Miss.
> Chip Porche Bixby, Okla.
> Cliff Prince Palatka, Fla.
> Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, S.C.
> Matt Reed Madisonville, Texas
> Clark Reehm Shreveport, La.
> Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif.
> Derek Remitz Grant, Ala.
> Marty Robinson Lyman, S.C.
> Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
> Scott Rook Little Rock, Ariz.
> Fred Roumbanis Bixby, Okla.
> Zell Rowland Montgomery, Texas
> Bradley Roy Lancaster, Ky.
> Casey Scanlon Lenexa, Kan.
> Bernie Schultz Gainesville, Fla.
> Terry Scroggins San Mateo, Fla.
> Morizo Shimizu Osaka, Japan
> Kevin Short Mayflower, Ark.
> Fletcher Shryock Newcomerstown, Ohio
> Michael Simonton Fremont, Ohio
> David Smith Del City, Okla.
> Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, Mo.
> Jeremy Starks Scott Depot, W.V.
> Gerald Swindle Warrior, Ala.
> Dennis Tietje Roanoke, La.
> J Todd Tucker Moultrie, Ga.
> Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich.
> Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich.
> Byron Velvick Boerne, Texas
> Greg Vinson Wetumpka, Ala.
> David Walker Sevierville, Tenn.
> Nate Wellman Newaygo, Mich.
> Jason Williamson Aiken, S.C.
> Chris Zaldain San Jose, Calif.