Bassmaster recently outlined plans for its 2014 Elite Series, including dates and venues for each event. If you consider yourself both a die-hard angler and a die-hard spectator of professional fishing competitions, then the Bassmaster Elite Series is full of must-see events. Wondering which Bassmaster Elite Series event you should try to plan a trip around? Looking to plan your 2014 weekends around Bassmaster competitions? We've got you covered. Read on and check out our full outline of the upcoming year's Elite Series events.
March 13-16: Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia: Where better to commence the Bassmaster 2014 Elite Series than at the place where B.A.S.S. got its humble start nearly 46 years ago? Lake Seminole played hosted to the first Bassmaster tournament ever back in 1968, and has remained a staple for Elite Series events ever since. This will be the first B.A.S.S. event to take place on Seminole since 2010, and we're betting some of the anglers who have won at the spot before - including Gary Klein and Mike Iaconelli - will be happy to return.
March 20-23: St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida: Some of the biggest fish in the history of Bassmaster competition have been caught in this Florida river. It's also one of the most beautiful fishing locales on this year's Elite Series tour. Northern anglers - and spectators - tired of the winter will be happy to spend a weekend in the tropical warmth of Florida.
April 3-6: Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri: Table Rock Lake has seen a storied history as far as B.A.S.S. events are concerned. Some anglers probably love this fishing spot: Aaron Martens scored a 9-pound largemouth here back in 2005, a fish which pushed him over the edge and won him a Bassmaster Angler of the Year award. Other anglers probably abhor Table Rock: in 2006, an Elite event took place there in September, a notoriously slow time for fishing in Missouri. Numerous seasoned pros spent that weekend with nary a catch.
May 1-4: Toledo Bend Reservoir in Many, Louisiana: Toledo Bend Reservoir has been a B.A.S.S. staple - and a favorite nationwide fishing spot - since the early 1970s. It's a massive body of water (185,000 acres, to be exact) and contains spots seemingly geared toward anglers with all manner of strategies and fishing methods. No one on the Elite Series trail will be sorry to fish here.
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May 15-18: Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas: If some of the locations on the Elite Series schedule this year are Bassmaster mainstays, then this Arkansas lake is on the new end of things: only a single Elite Series event has been held here, back in 2009.
June 11-15: Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tennessee: Elite anglers will get almost a full month to prepare for this lake, which hasn't seen a B.A.S.S. event in 20 years. Our guess is as good as yours on what to expect here: a Bassmaster Classic hosted on Chickamauga Lake saw comparatively low fishing weights. However, Bassmaster seems to know something about this body of water the rest of us don't: they recently ranked it as the sixth best bass fishing lake of 2013.
August 7-10: Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Yes, this is the very same river that George Washington and his crew are seen crossing in the iconic painting, meaning that it will be a historic spot for the Bassmaster Elite Series to take its anglers as the summer begins to fade. We'll see how it stacks up as a Bassmaster Elite destination.
August 21-24: Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York: It's not the prettiest fishing spot, marred somewhat by smokestacks and signs of nearby industrialization. However, the deep water - up to 400 feet in certain parts - should play host to plentiful large and smallmouth bass, making the Cayuga Lake a fine spot for a fishing competition. It's also the last spot for participants to rack up points for the Angler of the Year award, which should make this late August weekend especially contentious.
September 18-21: Angler of the Year Championship: The location for this final event of the Bassmaster Elite Series season has not yet been announced. You know the drill though: the top 50 point leaders will go head to head, with the winner taking the Angler of the Year title for 2014.