BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After an incredible 2023 season that set records for both attendance and fan engagement, saw six first-time Elite Series champions and a Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race that came down to the season’s final day of competition, B.A.S.S. has announced the 2024 Elite Series field. An accomplished field of young rookies courtesy of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, a surprise qualifier from the B.A.S.S. Nation — the first Elite from the state of New Hampshire — and two legends of the sport highlight the roster.
“I can’t wait for the 2024 season to start and think the schedule sets up really well for big catches, big drama and big excitement,” said the Elite Series Tournament Director Lisa Talmadge. “The Elite Series field is absolutely stacked, and fans are going to love following their favorite anglers, including the legendary Rick Clunn, who is celebrating 50 years in our sport, as well as meeting this talented crop of rookies.”
Enthusiasm reached an all-time high for the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens in 2023 as B.A.S.S. unveiled a new “Elite Qualifiers” division that required anglers to fish all nine events across three divisions to qualify for one of nine spots on the Bassmaster Elite Series. The result was a hotly contested series culminating in a stacked rookie class of new Elites.
Highlighting the rookies is Opens Angler of the Year JT Thompkins, who amassed an incredible seven Top 25 finishes en route to claiming the AOY title. Along with Thompkins, John Garrett finished second followed by Trey McKinney in third. Robert Gee, Tyler Williams, Wesley Gore, Logan Parks, Ben Milliken and Kyle Patrick all earned Elite Series berths as well.
Eight of the nine anglers moving on to the Elite Series are under the age of 30, with Thompkins (21), Williams (21) and McKinney (18) being the three youngest of the group. The rookie class is packed with talent from the Bassmaster youth series ranks Garrett, Gee and Parks fished in college — Parks was a member of the Bassmaster High School All-American team and College Team of the Year — while McKinney and Thompkins both competed in the Junior and High School ranks.
Also joining the ranks of the most prominent circuit in sportfishing is Tim Dube, who finished second to Will Davis Jr. at the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. Davis, who took a win at the 2023 Bassmaster Elite at Lay Lake, is the first angler to win the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in back-to-back seasons, which guaranteed him a spot in the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series. Since Davis had already qualified, his double qualification opened the door for Dube, the first New Hampshire native to qualify for the Elites.
Each year, B.A.S.S. also adds up to two Legends to the Elite field and the two anglers claiming those spots in 2024 have both already had historic careers. Four-time Bassmaster Classic champion, 1988 Angler of the Year and 16-time B.A.S.S. winner Rick Clunn celebrates his 50th year of professional fishing next year. Over that time, Clunn has earned 247 Top 30 finishes in B.A.S.S. events as well as won the U.S. Open twice and the Redman All-American. In just five seasons competing in major B.A.S.S. events, Jordan Lee has amassed more than $1.1 million in earnings through wins in the 2017 and 2018 Bassmaster Classic and dominant performances in both the Elites and the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, notching 21 Top 10s and 36 Top 30 finishes.
The 2024 Elite Series season kicks off at the Gamakatsu Bassmaster Elite on Toledo Bend Feb. 22. From there the tournament trail will wind through seven states as anglers battle each other — and big bass — for cash and prizes and attempt to qualify for the 2025 Bassmaster Classic.
Each tournament will begin with the full field of 103 anglers on Days 1 and 2 before the field is cut to 50 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 and valuable Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year points on the line.
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Field
Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C.
Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala.
Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C.
Drew Benton, Blakely, Ga.
Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark.
Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala.
Brandon Card, Salisbury, N.C.
Hank Cherry, Lincolnton, N.C.
Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla.
Joey Cifuentes III, Clinton, Ark.
Rick Clunn, Ava, Mo.
Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C.
Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas
Drew Cook, Cairo, Ga.
John Cox, DeBary, Fla.
John Crews, Salem, Va.
Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala.
Will Davis Jr., Sylacauga, Ala.
Greg DiPalma, Millville, N.J.
Bob Downey, Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Tim Dube, Nashua, N.H.
Seth Feider, New Market, Minn.
Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Jacob Foutz, Charleston, Tenn.
Marc Frazier, Newnan, Ga.
Kyoya Fujita, Minamitsuru, Yamanashi, Japan
Cooper Gallant, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
John Garrett, Union City, Tenn.
David Gaston, Sylacauga, Ala.
Robert Gee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Wesley Gore, Clanton, Ala.
Buddy Gross, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada
Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La.
Justin Hamner, Northport, Ala.
Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas
Jamie Hartman, Newport, N.Y.
Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala.
Derek Hudnall, Zachary, La.
Cody Huff, Ava, Mo.
Mike Huff, Corbin, Ky.
Mike Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J.
Taku Ito, Chiba, Japan
Carl Jocumsen, Toowoomba, Australia
Chris Johnston, Otonabee, Ontario, Canada
Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada
Jonathan Kelley, Old Forge, Pa.
Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala.
Kenta Kimura, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
Koby Kreiger, Alva, Fla.
Caleb Kuphall, Mukwonago, Wis.
Logan Latuso, Gonzales, La.
Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala.
Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C.
Brandon Lester, Fayetteville, Tenn.
Lee Livesay, Longview, Texas
Wes Logan, Springville, Ala.
Ed Loughran III, Richmond, Va.
Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind.
Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla.
Trey McKinney, Carbondale, Ill.
Mark Menendez, Paducah, Ky.
Ben Milliken, New Caney, Texas
Brock Mosley, Collinsville, Miss.
Paul Mueller, Naugatuck, Conn.
David Mullins, Mt. Carmel, Tenn.
Bryan New, Saluda, S.C.
Kyle Norsetter, Cottage Grove, Wis.
Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho
Luke Palmer, Coalgate, Okla.
Logan Parks, Auburn, Ala.
Kyle Patrick, Cooperstown, N.Y.
Chad Pipkens, DeWitt, Mich.
Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz.
Jacob Powroznik, North Prince George, Va.
Cliff Prince, Palatka, Fla.
Jay Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis.
KJ Queen, Catawba, N.C.
Alex Redwine, Blue Ash, Ohio
Tyler Rivet, Raceland, La.
Matt Robertson, Kuttawa, Ky.
Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn.
Pat Schlapper, Eleva, Wis.
Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md.
Bernie Schultz, Gainesville, Fla.
Hunter Shryock, Ooltewah, Tenn.
Bryant Smith, Roseville, Calif.
John Soukup, Sapulpa, Okla.
Caleb Sumrall, New Iberia, La.
Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala.
JT Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C.
Joseph Webster, Hamilton, Ala.
Kyle Welcher, Opelika, Ala.
Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas
Alex Wetherell, Middletown, Conn.
Brad Whatley, Bivins, Texas
Jake Whitaker, Hendersonville, N.C.
Tyler Williams, Belgrade, Maine
Jason Williamson, Aiken, S.C.
Matty Wong, Honolulu, Hawaii
Chris Zaldain, Fort Worth, Texas
Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew’s, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC
Bassmaster Conservation Partners: AFTCO, Yamaha Rightwaters
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series scored by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.