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Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center News

Toyota Bassmaster Angler Of The Year Championship

Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title has been coveted by Bassmaster Elite Series anglers and revered by fans almost as much as the GEICO Bassmaster Classic crown. The AOY title is earned through a challenging series of nine tournaments on geographically diverse rivers, reservoirs and natural lakes.

After traveling throughout the year for the eight regular-season Elite Series tournaments, including BASSfest, the Top 50 anglers compete in a ninth tournament — the Toyota Bassmaster AOY Championship. Starting in 2014, the AOY Championship became the final stop on the Elite Series circuit where only the Top 50 anglers in the AOY points standings competed for the title.

In 2015, the 50 finalists will gather for the three-day championship and a fan appreciation day at Sturgeon Bay in Sturgeon Bay, WI, Sept. 17-20. Fans will be able to enjoy the Sturgeon Bay competition in addition to a full schedule of activities including daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo and the special fan appreciation day.

The Top 50 anglers will challenge one another for shares of a $1 million prize fund. Their final AOY ranking will consist of the points accrued by their finishes in the seven previous Elite events, plus BASSfest, and the point totals based on their finish in the championship.

The top angler in the AOY standings after the championship will be rewarded with a $100,000 paycheck. The remaining 49 anglers will share the rest of the prize purse, with their final AOY ranking determining how much of the $900,000 they will take home. Also at stake will be a minimum of 36 berths in the 2016 Classic, which will be awarded to Elite anglers on the basis of AOY rankings.

“Having Elite Series anglers earn points at BASSfest this year the way they do at regular-season events will add that much more competition to the tournament trail,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “With all eight Elite Series events feeding into the AOY Championship as the culmination of a prestigious season, B.A.S.S. has gone even further to ensure that this truly is the best of the best challenging one another on the water for worldwide notoriety as the Angler of the Year. And with an increase in the prize purse this year to $1 million, thanks to Toyota, fans are sure to see the anglers performing at their best level to capture a part of that award.”

With the entire field of 50 fishermen competing all three days at the AOY Championship, and their earnings based on how they finish the season in AOY points — not on where they wind up in the championship standings — you can be sure that the competition the new $1 million prize purse will be stiff.