B.A.S.S. officials announced today the schedule for the 2024 SBassmaster Opens, once again mixing frequent destinations with some that have barely been touched by the organization during its 55-year history.
The Opens circuit will again feature three divisions with three events in each. Winners of all events will be eligible for a berth in the 2025 Bassmaster Classic, but only the anglers who fish the Elite Qualifiers Division (all nine events) will be eligible to earn invitations to the 2025 Bassmaster Elite Series.
Opens Tournament Director Hank Weldon said he’s looking forward to another hotly contested journey across the country with some of the finest anglers in the world.
“We’re still wrapping up our 2023 season and it’s been an amazing ride visiting such a variety of fisheries over a seventh-month stretch,” Weldon said. “It’s exciting to think it’s only going to get better with a 2024 schedule that we’re really proud of.”
The schedule will kick off with a trip to the world-famous largemouth factory of Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla., Feb. 1-3. The “Big O,” which ranked 10th overall on Bassmaster Magazine's annual 100 Best Bass Lakes list, has hosted 23 major B.A.S.S. events, including the 2023 Bassmaster Elite Series season-opener that was won by Louisiana pro Tyler Rivet with 86 pounds, 15 ounces.
The remainder of the Division 1 slate will play out over the following eight months with a pair of trips to South Carolina.
The first Palmetto State stop will be March 7-9 at Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, S.C., where Georgia pro Drew Cook won an Elite in 2022 with a whopping 105-05 and Oklahoma pro Luke Palmer followed by winning an Elite event held there this year with 96-14. The Division 1 slate will wrap up on Oct. 10-12 in Anderson, S.C., with a visit to Lake Hartwell – the site of four previous Bassmaster Classics.
The schedule for Division 2 will get its start Feb. 15-17 on a fishery that hasn’t been nearly as familiar to B.A.S.S. – Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark. It’ll be the organization’s first trip to Ouachita in more than two decades and only its fourth stop for a major event on the 40,000-acre fishery since Tennessee legend Bill Dance won the first B.A.S.S. event held there in 1969.
From Arkansas, the Division 2 lineup will move to Alabama’s Logan Martin Lake, May 2-4. Unlike previous events at Logan Martin, which have been held more toward the lower end of the 17,000-acre Coosa River fishery, this tournament will be held in Lincoln, Ala. – more toward the upper end of the lake – at the new 38-acre Lincoln’s Landing facility.
Then it’ll be back to Lake Eufaula, Okla., for the conclusion of the Division 2 slate June 20-22. B.A.S.S. made just its fourth trip to the super-fertile 102,000-acre fishery in Eufaula, Okla., this year for an entertaining Open that was won by Alabama pro Joey Nania with a three-day total of 52-08.
Division 3 will represent the Northern swing for the Opens, beginning with an event on the smallmouth paradise of Lake St. Clair (ranked seventh overall on Bassmaster Magazine’s 2023 100 Best Bass Lakes list) in Macomb County, Mich., July 11-13. The lake has hosted nine major B.A.S.S. events, including a 2023 Elite that was won by Joey Cifuentes with 91-08 – the highest winning weight ever in a B.A.S.S. tournament on St. Clair.
Following St. Clair, Division 3 will feature perhaps the most intriguing stop on the 2024 schedule with an event on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn., Aug. 22-24. If the venue sounds unfamiliar to fishing fans, it’s because B.A.S.S. has never held a major event on the 102,947-acre fishery in north-central Minnesota.
The lake, which lies mainly within the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and completely within the Chippewa National Forest, is the third-largest body of water in Minnesota and is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
The conclusion for Division 3 will take place Sept. 12-14 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. The fishery has hosted 11 previous major B.A.S.S. events, with Maryland's Bryan Schmitt winning a 2022 Elite there with 63-04.
“When we say this schedule has a little bit of everything, we mean it,” Weldon said. “From Okeechobee largemouth to a mixed bag in Minnesota, anglers who fish all nine events will have their knowledge and abilities tested to the extreme.”
Registration will open Nov. 7, beginning with B.A.S.S. Life and Nation anglers who want to participate in the Opens EQ Division.
2024 Bassmaster Opens
> Division 1
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.
> Division 2
Feb. 15-17, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, Ark.
May 2-4, Logan Martin Lake, Lincoln, Ala.
June 20-22, Lake Eufaula, Eufaula, Okla.
> Division 3
July 11-13, Lake St. Clair, Macomb County, Mich.
Aug. 22-24, Leech Lake, Walker, Minn.
Sept. 12-14, Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wis.