Bassmaster Elite SeriesSept. 8-11     Elite No. 9    Mississippi River    La Crosse, Wis.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Some of America’s top-ranked bass fisheries — plus a new wrinkle in tournament formats and an extra event — await the nation’s top professional bass anglers competing in the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series.

The lineup will take anglers to 10 fisheries in nine states, and it includes 10 Elite events, an increase from nine Elite tournaments in 2015.

The world’s premier bass tournament circuit kicks off in Tulsa, Okla., March 4-6, when the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, widely known as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” unfolds on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

Two weeks later, the Elite Series gets underway on Florida’s St. Johns River, a hugely popular stop for veteran professionals. From there, the circuit winds through eight more states before concluding in the $1 million Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship in mid-September at a site to be announced later.

“We believe the 2016 Elite Series lineup of lakes is the best we’ve ever put together,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Our Elite anglers will find a lot to love about it, and we are expecting to attract new fans in new places this year. That’s the key to growing the sport.” Akin noted that the Elite Series has set new attendance records each of the past three years. The previous record of 128,600 from 2014 was shattered in August. With one event remaining in the season — the 2015 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin — attendance for the season has already reached 156,765.

Most of the 2016 tournament destinations are included in the Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list for 2015…CONTINUE

Dates    Tournament    Fishery    Host Community/State   

March 4-6    Bassmaster Classic    Grand Lake    Tulsa, Okla.

March 17-20    Elite No. 1    St. Johns River    Palatka, Fla.   

April 7-10    Elite No. 2    Winyah Bay    Georgetown, S.C.

April 21-24     Elite No. 3    Bull Shoals/Norfork    Mountain Home, Ark.

April 28-May 1     Elite No. 4    Wheeler Lake    Decatur, Ala.

May 12-15     Elite No. 5    Toledo Bend    Many, La.

June 8-12     BASSfest    TBA

June 23-26     Elite No. 7    Cayuga Lake    Union Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 11-14     Elite No. 8    Potomac River    Charles County, Md.

Sept. 8-11     Elite No. 9    Mississippi River    La Crosse, Wis.

Sept. 15-18     AOY Championship    TBA