<
>

Qualifying Spots for 2008 Bassmaster Classic, Elite Series Set

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — After 11 events from California to Florida, the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series season has come to a close and 2008 qualifying spots have been determined for the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series.

Heading into the final 2007 event on Florida's Lake Tohopekaliga, a number of anglers were in precarious position in the qualifying races. A total of 36 were able to punch their Classic tickets, while 84 qualified for next year's Elites.

Anglers qualify based on their ranking in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

South Carolina will be represented by Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., in the 2008 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 22-24 out of Greenville. The South Carolina pro will look to repeat the feat of Alabama's Boyd Duckett, who won the 2007 Classic on Birmingham's Lay Lake.

"Before the season, a lot of anglers set goals for themselves," said Ish Monroe, who qualified for his fifth Classic. "At the top of all of these guys' lists is qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic. It is the biggest event in bass fishing and a huge deal in the sport."

Joining the 36 Elite qualifiers in the Classic will be six Federation Nation anglers who will qualify via the Federation Nation National Championship (location to be announced); three each from the Bassmaster Southern and Northern Opens; the winner of the Bassmaster Weekend Series Operated by American Bass Anglers Championship and Duckett, who automatically qualifies on the strength of his 2007 Classic victory.

In the case of anglers who qualify through two avenues, BASS will work down the Angler of the Year list to fill the field.

The 84 Elite Series qualifiers will set the majority of next year's field. Joining them will be the top five points leaders from the Bassmaster Southern and Central Opens. Also, the Bassmaster Elite Series Wild Card Qualifier, set for Florida's Lake Okeechobee Nov. 29-Dec. 1, will determine 10 qualifying spots. The winner of the Federation Nation Championship also is invited to the Elite Series.

Elite anglers who are in good standing can qualify by using one of three exemptions. Anglers who have participated in 10 or more Bassmaster Classics, won a Bassmaster Classic or won a Bassmaster Angler of the Year title can choose to use one exemption to gain entry into the Elites.

The full list of qualifiers can be found below.

To view and download photos of Elite Series anglers, visit www.ESPNOutdoorsmedia.com.

Bassmaster Elite Series sponsors: Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series include Toyota Tundra, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Evan Williams Bourbon, Ramada Worldwide and Costa Del Mar.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com. Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.

News exclusives, audio and video clips of bass fishing's biggest stars, loads of discounts and more are all part of BASS Insider, an exclusive membership, now available at www.bassmaster.com.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, staging more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages and sanctions bass fishing tournaments for every skill level culminating with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Standings

-------------------------------------------

Place Name St Pts

-------------------------------------------

1 Skeet Reese Calif. 2827

2 Kevin VanDam Mich. 2709

3 Aaron Martens Ala. 2437

4 Terry Scroggins Fla. 2423

5 Jared Lintner Calif. 2357

6 Todd Faircloth Texas 2350

7 Scott Rook Ark. 2334

8 Brent Chapman Kan. 2279

9 Steve Kennedy Ala. 2271

9 Tommy Biffle Okla. 2271

11 Greg Hackney La. 2262

12 Fred Roumbanis Calif. 2241

13 Jeff Kriet Okla. 2236

14 Gary Klein Texas 2234

15 Ishama Monroe Calif. 2229

16 Cliff Pace Miss. 2224

17 Peter Thliveros Fla. 2211

17 Boyd Duckett Ala. 2211

19 Kelly Jordon Texas 2203

20 Chris Lane Fla. 2190

21 Kevin Wirth Ky. 2168

22 Stephen Browning Ark. 2156

23 John Murray Ariz. 2145

24 Edwin Evers Okla. 2143

25 Derek Remitz Texas 2131

26 Timmy Horton Ala. 2127

27 Takahiro Omori Texas 2109

28 Michael Iaconelli N.J. 2065

29 Matthew Sphar N.Y. 2046

30 Mike McClelland Ark. 2035

31 Alton Jones Texas 2033

32 Casey Ashley S.C. 2026

33 John Crews Va. 2016

34 Kevin Short Ark. 2013

35 Mike Wurm Ark. 2009

36 Gerald Swindle Ala. 2002

37 Kotaro Kiriyama Ala. 1986

38 Mark Menendez Ky. 1980

39 Dave Wolak N.C. 1970

40 Randy Howell Ala. 1957

41 Jeff Reynolds Okla. 1956

42 Mark Tyler Okla. 1955

43 Brian Snowden Mo. 1942

44 James Niggemeyer Texas 1941

44 Jason Williamson S.C. 1941

46 Jason Quinn S.C. 1936

47 Shaw Grigsby, Jr Fla. 1923

48 Scott Campbell Mo. 1920

49 Matt Reed Texas 1911

50 Bill Lowen Ohio 1909

51 Dean Rojas Texas 1904

52 Rick Morris Va. 1895

53 Davy Hite S.C. 1891

54 Bernie Schultz Fla. 1866

55 Kenyon Hill Okla. 1864

56 Britt Myers S.C. 1856

57 Ben Matsubu Texas 1854

58 Ray Sedgwick S.C. 1853

59 Bradley Hallman Okla. 1849

60 Denny Brauer Mo. 1841

61 Yusuke Miyazaki Texas 1836

62 Paul Elias Miss. 1833

63 Mark Tucker Mo. 1828

64 Marty Robinson S.C. 1817

65 Pete Ponds Miss. 1801

66 Morizo Shimizu Calif. 1791

67 Rick Clunn Mo. 1780

68 Jeremy Starks W.Va. 1779

69 Russ Lane Ala. 1777

70 Jami Fralick S.D. 1761

71 Kurt Dove Va. 1723

72 Jeff Connella La. 1720

73 Ken Cook Okla. 1708

74 Jim Murray Ga. 1666

75 Preston Clark Fla. 1652

76 Jimmy Mize Ark. 1627

77 Lee Bailey Ala. 1623

78 Bryan Hudgins Fla. 1618

79 Charlie Hartley Ohio 1611

80 James Kennedy La. 1594

81 Glenn Delong Ohio 1583

82 Greg Gutierrez Calif. 1562

83 Ken Brodeur Conn. 1557

84 Grant Goldbeck Md. 1553

84 Bill Smith Ky. 1553

86 Paul Hirosky Pa. 1543

87 Terry Butcher Okla. 1529

88 Guy Eaker N.C. 1526

89 Kevin Langill N.C. 1518

90 Matt Amedeo Ohio 1493

91 Mark Rogers Fla. 1480

92 Marty Stone N.C. 1466

93 James Charlesworth Fla. 1462

94 Jon Bondy Canada 1428

95 Dave Smith Okla. 1426

96 Zell Rowland Texas 1409

97 Doc Merkin Ill. 1375

98 Darrin Schwenkbeck N.Y. 1373

99 Frank Scalish Ohio 1361

100 Steve Daniel Fla. 1335

101 Keith Phillips Ala. 1332

102 Jimmy Mason Ala. 1318

103 Bradley Stringer Texas 1244

104 Eric Nethery Ga. 1225

105 Charlie Youngers Fla. 1209

106 Rick Ash Pa. 1165

107 Byron Velvick Texas 1141

108 Elton Luce Jr Texas 929