From the beginning of the Weekend Bass Series there have been changes needed. In 2003 ABA presented the concept of the Weekend Series to ESPN before the original announcement of the Series was made. Beginning in 2007 when ABA took over the ownership and operation, ABA has continually gathered information from members about what they would like to see happen with the tour. Now these changes are being made and reflect exactly what anglers have been asking for.
Increased Payout: For 2015 the Weekend Bass Series will offer guaranteed first place money of $3,000.00 for 50 boats or more, $4,000.00 for 75 boats or more and $5,000.00 for 100 boats or more. Co-anglers will also get the same guarantee first place money of $1,500.00 on 50 boats or more; $2,000.00 on 75 or more; and $2,500.00 on 100 boats or more. In addition, 20% of the field will receive a check in each event.
Linking: The antiquated linking concept, not created by ABA, and has been used to connect boaters and non-boaters to help equal the numbers. This process has caused far too many issues and will no longer be used. Registrations will be based on Package first, then the anglers date and time of registration to determine their status.
Boat on Boat Draw: The results of the linking process caused this issue and starting in the 2015 season there will be no boat on boat draws, instead polygraphs will be used as needed.
Late Fees: With today’s economy the anglers need time to pay entry fees, therefore ABA is decreasing the late fee period prior for events from 10 days to 2 days. Late fees will only be charged when signing up for events after 5pm on Wednesday the week of an event. In addition, a late fee exemption will be given to boaters and co-anglers who sign up together through Friday 12 noon CST before the event. To receive this exemption, you must call the office to register. All onsite registrations will be charged a late fee.
Excluded participation: Professional anglers who compete in the B.A.S.S. Elite or the FLW Tour are excluded from participation. Competitor may not buy or barter a fishing location from any person, including guides, for use during any competition day within 30 days prior to the event.
Championship Qualifying: The Regional Championships concept will be eliminated and replaced with direct advancement to the Ray Scott Championship. 10 boaters and 10 co-anglers from each division will now qualify directly from their division in one of 2 ways.
1. The top 5 (Boaters and Co-anglers) by points after the Divisional two-day event, in each division, will advance directly to the Championship.
2. The top 5 (Boaters and Co-anglers) by place of finish from the Divisional Championship who have fished all 5 divisional events will also advance directly to the championship. If any angler does not accept or is already qualified for the slot(s) by points the next highest finishing and qualified angler will receive the Championship slot(s).
Anglers have told us that travel expenses alone for the Regional Championship is just too great and travel distance too far. In many cases, based on where a Regional was held would determine if an angler could even compete on the tour. Qualifying 10 boaters and 10 co-anglers at the divisional level for the Ray Scott Championship will remove this obstacle and make fishing more competitive closer to home. Remember, regardless of points standing, anglers who have fished all Divisional events have a chance to qualify for the Championship by doing well in the Divisional 2-day.
Off Limits: An off-limits and official practice period will be added to the Divisional Championships. Monday – Wednesday the week of the event will be off-limits and official practice will be Thursday and Friday. Anglers are required to be registered for the Divisional Championship prior to entering the lake to practice during the official practice period.
Big Bass: Based on angler’s recommendations, the Big Bass payout will change to and option pot. The current Big Bass monies will be added back to the overall payout which will increase the total payout to the top 20% of the field. For 2015 anglers will have a choice to enter or not enter the Big Bass optional pool at $10 for boaters and $5 for co-anglers. Based on a full field the Big Bass pot has the potential payback of an additional $2000 for Boaters and $1000 for Co-anglers.
High Stakes 100% Option: Anglers are always asking for bigger paydays at events and one way to achieve that is with a 100% payback optional pot. A High Stakes Option pot will be offered at all 2015 events with the boater pool being $50 per angler and $25 for co-anglers. This option will pay 100% of the pool to the top 20% of those who entered and has a potential payback with a full field of an additional $10,000 for the top Boaters and $5,000 for the top Co-Anglers.
Championship: The Ray Scott Championship will change slightly over 2014. The event will be moved into the spring of 2016 allowing for anglers that qualify for the championship to have time to practice the lake prior to the official off-limits. First place at the championship will be increased in value to more than $120,000 and more than $70,000 in value for the Co-angler. The Champion boater will receive $50,000 in cash and a 2016 Triton TRX 21 with a 250Pro XS Mercury Outboard. The Champion Co-Angler will receive $25,000 in cash and a 2016 Triton TRX 19 with a 200Pro XS Mercury Outboard. This dramatically increases the payout for the Championship by more than $40,000. The top 20% at the Ray Scott Champion will also receive a check.
Package Registration: A package registration is when anglers sign up for all 5 events within a division. Boaters and Co-Anglers submitting a package registration will be given priority slots in events over anglers signing up for single events. Those submitting a package registration will be guaranteed priority slots, and those signing up for a package registration in the first 30days of registration will receive a free membership and a freedom pass at no additional charge.
Fishing Methods: Starting in 2015 ABA will prohibit the use of the Alabama Rig/Umbrella on all Weekend Bass Series events.
Fish Care: ABA now only recommends the use of T-H Marine’s G-Juice for live well treatment. Scoring: Limits will remain the same for 2015 with Boaters being allowed 5 fish and Co-anglers 3 fish per day of events. In all cases, culling must be performed immediately upon catching the sixth fish for Boaters and fourth fish for Co-anglers.
Priority registration for the 2015 season will start the week of October 20, 2014. Triton Boat Owners, ABA Life Members and 2014 season competitors can register beginning Monday October 20th at 8am. Open registration will begin Monday October 27th at 8am. Anglers are encouraged to sign up online at www.americanbassanglers.com.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by: Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Royal Purple, Best Western Hotels, ODYSSEY Batteries, Carlisle Tire and Wheel, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Dolphinite, Wicked Glow Lures, American Fishing Club and Simms Fishing Products.
2015 Season Schedules
Alabama North Division 1
02/14 Guntersville - State Park
05/02 Wheeler - River Chase
06/13 Neely Henry - Coosa Landing
07/11 Weiss - Little River Marina
10/03-04 Guntersville - State Park
Alabama South Division 2
02/07 Lake Martin - Wind Creek
03/07 Lay Lake - Beeswax Creek
04/18 Eufaula – Lakepoint St Park
06/27 Logan Martin - Lakeside Park
09/26-27 Eufaula - Lakepoint St Park
Central Tennessee Division 3
03/21 Percy Priest - Fate Sanders
04/18 Center Hill - Ragland Bottom Rec Area
05/09 Old Hickory - Sanders Ferry Park
07/18 Kentucky - Paris Landing
09/19-20 Kentucky - Paris Landing
02/14 Chickamauga - Dayton Boat Dock
04/11 Guntersville - Goose Pond
06/20 Chickamauga - Dayton Boat Dock
08/01 Guntersville - Goose Pond
09/12-13 Chickamauga - Dayton Boat Dock
North Carolina Division 5
01/10 Toho - Lakefront Park
03/14 Toho - Lakefront Park
05/02 Harris - Hickory Point
06/06 Harris Chain - Hickory Point
08/15-16 Toho - Lakefront Park
Alabama Northwest Division 7 (Reconfigured for 2015)
03/14 Pickwick – McFarland Park
04/04 Wheeler - Joe Wheeler State Park
06/20 Pickwick – McFarland Park
08/01 Wheeler - Joe Wheeler State Park
09/26-27 Wheeler - Joe Wheeler State Park
Georgia Division 8
01/31 Seminole - Seminole St Park
02/21 Sinclair - Little River
03/21 Eufaula - Lakepoint St Park
05/16 Oconee - Sugar Creek
09/19-20 Eufaula - Lakepoint St Park
South Carolina Division 9
02/28 Murray - Dreher Island
03/28 Hartwell - Green Pond
04/25 Wateree - Clearwater Cove Marina
06/13 Hartwell - Green Pond
08/29-30 Clark Hill - Dorn Facility
SE Texas Division 10
01/10 Sam Rayburn - Umphrey Pavilion
02/14 Sam Rayburn - Umphrey Pavilion
03/14 Sam Rayburn - Umphrey Pavilion
04/18 Toledo Bend - Fin & Feather Resort
09/12-13 Sam Rayburn - Umphrey Pavilion
Central Texas Division 11
02/07 Lake of Pines - Johnson Creek
03/07 Cedar Creek - Log Cabin
05/02 Bob Sandlin - Public Ramp #1
06/13 Richland Chambers - Oak Cove Marina
07/11-12 Lake Palestine - Villages Marina
Louisiana Division 13
02/21 Bayou Black - Bob's Bayou Black Marina
03/28 Atchafalaya Basin - Doiron's Landing
04/25 Red River - Grand Ecore
05/30 Atchafalaya Basin - Doiron's Landing
07/18-19 Red River - Grand Ecore
Oklahoma Division 14
03/21 Tenkiller - Chicken Creek Landing
04/11 Eufaula - Eufaula Cove
05/16 Grand - Wolf Creek
06/20 Fort Gibson - Taylor's Ferry North
09/19-20 Grand Lake - Wolf Creek
Kentucky Division 15
03/7 Kentucky – Moors Resort
05/16 Kentucky – Moors Resort
06/06 Kentucky – Birdsong
08/08 Kentucky - Paris Landing
09/12-13 Kentucky - Moors Resort
Missouri Division 16
Maryland Division 21
05/30 Potomac - Smallwood St Park
06/27 Potomac - Smallwood St Park
07/18 Potomac - Smallwood St Park
08/08 Potomac - Smallwood St Park
09/12-13 Potomac - Smallwood St Park
NY West Division 22 (new for 2015)
06/21 Chautauqua Lake
07/25 Oneida - Oneida Shores County Park
08/01 Cayuga Lake - Union Springs
08/29 Lake Erie – TBA
09/26-27 Chautauqua Lake - Chautauqua Park
New York East Division 23
06/13 Lake Champlain - Plattsburg Town Ramp
07/11 Champlain - Ticonderoga State Ramp
08/15 St Lawrence River - Cape Vincent
08/22 Oneida - Oneida Shores Camp Ground
09/19-20 Oneida - Oneida Shores County Park
Ray Scott Championship
Spring 2016 – Site to be announced
About American Bass Anglers American Bass Anglers is the largest tournament organization for the weekend angler. American Bass Anglers operates the American Fishing Tour, The Weekend Bass Series, the American Couples Series, 100% Plus Team Tour and the annual Military Team Bass Championship. Each tour is designed specifically for the weekend angler, offering low-cost, close-to-home events where anglers can qualify for a larger championship. For more information on American Bass Anglers, visit www.americanbassanglers.com. For more information about American Bass Anglers or the Weekend Bass Series, visit www.weekendseries.com or call (256) 232-0406. The 2015 schedules, FAQs and rules will be available online Monday October 6, 2014.