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Elite Series announces field for 2022 season

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After a 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season that crowned seven first-time champions and drew more than 12 million viewers to the coverage of Bassmaster LIVE on FOX and the FOX Sports channels, B.A.S.S. has announced the new field for the 2022 Elite Series.

Joining the ranks of the professional sportsfishing circuit are 12 qualifiers from contested Bassmaster Opens as well as the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation champion.

“2021 was a season of big catches, big drama and big excitement — all playing out on Bassmaster LIVE for millions of fans who tuned in to FOX Sports or streamed online,” said B.A.S.S. chairman and chief executive officer Chase Anderson.

“Now our team is eagerly looking forward to starting the 2022 season. Anglers across the world dream and work for years to earn a coveted Elite Series invitation, and we’re excited to welcome 13 incredibly talented anglers onto the biggest stage in fishing.”

The list of returning anglers includes Hank Cherry, who reached legendary status as just the fourth angler ever to win back-to-back Bassmaster Classics.

Seth Feider notched four top 10s en route to winning 2021 Angler of the Year honors, while Josh Stracner had to climb over four other anglers in the final event on the St. Lawrence River to win Rookie of the Year.

2021 Elite Series champions Jason Christie, Jeff Gustafson Taku Ito, Caleb Kuphall, Lee Livesay and Bryan Schmitt will all be back again to do battle on some of the country’s best bass fisheries.

They will be joined by a talented crop of rookies that includes Japanese anglers Masayuki Matsushita and Daisuke Aoki ,who finished second and third respectively in the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year overall points race.

The rookie anglers who qualified through the Central Opens are former Bassmaster College Classic Bracket winner Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., Jay Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., and Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala.

Another former Bassmaster College Classic Bracket winner, Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., and Josh Douglas of Isle, Minn., qualified via the Southern Opens. Jonathan Kelley of Old Forge, Pa., and Alex Redwineof Blue Ash, Ohio, earned invitations through the Northern Opens to round out the rookie class of Opens anglers.

Matty Wong of Culver City, Calif., will also join the rookie class after winning the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Louisiana’s Ouachita River.

Three former Elite Series anglers who qualified through the Opens Series points standings are joining the Elite field; however, any angler who has combined earnings of at least $500,000 with B.A.S.S., FLW and MLF is not considered a rookie.

Former Elite Series Rookie of the Year Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., won the Falcon Rods Opens Angler of the Year title to earn his invitation to rejoin the Elites.

He’ll be joined by David Williams of Maiden, N.C., (No. 1 in Southern Opens points) and Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., (No. 2 in Northern Opens points), the only angler to win a Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year, B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, Bassmaster Open and Bassmaster Kayak Series tournament.

“The Elite Series field is absolutely stacked and fans are going to love learning about new anglers as well as watching their favorites compete for a place in the B.A.S.S. record books,” said Tournament Director-Elite Series Lisa Talmadge. “I can’t wait for the 2022 season to start.”

The 2022 Elite Series schedule will begin Feb. 10-13 with the Bassmaster Elite at St. John’s River in Palatka, Fla.

From there, the tournament trail will wind through eight states for nine events as anglers compete for cash and prizes and attempt to qualify for the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

Each tournament will begin with the full field of anglers on days 1 and 2 before the field is cut to 47 for the semifinal round on day 3.

Only the top 10 remaining anglers will fish the final day of each event with a $100,000 first-place prize on the line.

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