BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — St. Croix Rods, handcrafter of premium casting, spinning, saltwater, ice fishing and fly rods, will serve as the title sponsor for the wildly popular Bassmaster Opens Series in 2022, officials announced today. Additionally, the St. Croix Rods Rewards program will award an extra$1,000 to a qualifying angler who wins a St. Croix Bassmaster Opens tournament fishing St. Croix rods or award $500 to the highest-finishing Top 10 angler fishing St. Croix rods.
“St. Croix exists to give every angler the upper hand, and that philosophy extends well beyond simply providing them with the Best Rods on Earth,” says St. Croix Vice President of Marketing Jesse Simpkins. “We couldn’t be more pleased to extend our support to the Bassmaster Opens Series, which provides hope and opportunity for so many talented and aspiring tournament anglers. It’s a chance to prove to themselves that they can compete with the very best and a realistic pathway they can follow — applying their skills along the way — that can quickly ascend them to the ultimate levels of bass-fishing competition.”
The popularity of the Opens tournaments has boomed in recent years with the expansion of live coverage options adding new audiences and increased participation numbers.
In 2022, an unprecedented 83 anglers have registered for all nine St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series tournaments as they compete for one of the circuit’s 12 coveted Elite Series invitations and nine berths into the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
“The Opens have always been a critical proving ground for tournament anglers,” said Hank Weldon, tournament director for the Bassmaster Opens. “But now the series is not only a way for the sport’s biggest names to requalify for the Elites, it also combines Elite invitations, Classic spots and a ton of coverage for new anglers on FOX Sports and the B.A.S.S. platforms. All of that has led to record-breaking registration numbers as anglers try to get one of the 225 boater spots for each event.
“We’re thrilled to welcome St. Croix onboard this year as our title sponsor. The competition is going to be fierce.”
B.A.S.S. first added Bassmaster Opens LIVE final day on-the-water streaming coverage during the 2020 season. That expanded to live broadcasts from Championship Saturday of each of the division final tournaments on FS1 and the FOX Sports digital platforms in 2021, which peaked when 852,000 viewers watched live as Nick LeBrun claimed the title during the Bassmaster Open on Grand Lake. FOX Sports will continue broadcasting divisional final Championship Saturday coverage in 2022.
The 2022 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series season will feature nine tournaments in three divisions covering nine states. Tournament action starts Feb. 3-5 with the Bassmaster Southern Open on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Kissimmee, Fla.
For more information, visit Bassmaster.com/Opens.