Champions Tour Whitefish Chain Preview

Champions Tour Open Will Qualify Final Six Anglers for Championship

The weekend of August 5th and 6th is going to be action packed for the Classic Bass Champions Tour presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards. On Saturday, regular season Champions Tour Anglers will be competing on Gull Lake, where six spots will be awarded to the Champions Tour Championship.

On Sunday, the Champions Tour will shift gears to the Whitefish Chain near Crosslake, MN for the Classic Bass Champions Tour Open event. This tournament will be made up of anglers that have qualified from other various circuits around Minnesota, including the NorthStar Tournament Trail, Full Throttle Open, Fishers of Men, MN BASS Nation, MN BASS Federation, Dick Hiley St. Jude Bass Classic and Denny’s Super 30. We will also see anglers competing that have received invitations from Champions Tour sponsors such as Skeeter Boats, Skeeter Boat Center, Minn Kota/Humminbird and Kruger Farms.

The format of the Champions Tour Open will be identical to all other events this season. We will have 24 anglers trying to catch as much weight as possible via fish of 12 inches or more. Each angler will have a Minnesota BASS Nation High School angler with them serving as the boat official, who will weigh each bass and record the weight.  The angler will then immediately release that bass back into the Whitefish Chain of Lakes.

The Open event on the Whitefish Chain will be an interesting one. The diversity of structure on this chain of lakes is very unique. You have deep clear water, shallow dirty water and everything in between depending on which basin you’re in. Both smallmouth and largemouth swim in these waters, but we expect the high majority of fish weighed to be of the green variety.

We caught up with Champions Tour angler Jeff Bosshardt, long time tournament fisherman and big fan of Whitefish. “The Whitefish Chain is one of my favorite lakes to fish, there are a ton of fish in it and you can catch them in a lot of ways, it will be a fun event!”, said Bosshardt. “It will be interesting to see if smallmouth play a role at all. The Whitefish Chain is a big body of water, so it will be very intriguing at how the lake gets divided up for the first and second half of the day.”

Docks and deeper water weed edges should be the main focus for most fishermen. We see two strategies that have the potential to shine, with the first being to stay shallow and cover lots and lots of water. Skipping docks and any other shoreline structure should load the boat with numbers of fish, but likely smaller fish. The other option is to search for pods of deep water bass. The jig worm, drop shot and Texas-rigged soft plastics could shine on the offshore structure of the Chain.

This event is the fourth and final opportunity for participants to qualify for the Classic Bass Champions Tour Championship which will be held on Friday, September 1st at to be announced. The top six anglers from each of the four Champions Tour events this season will be competing in Championship, for a total of 24 anglers.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Classic Bass Facebook page where we will be announcing the full field of Championship anglers, along with the Championship location on Sunday, August 6th around 4:45 p.m.

Tournament day looks like this…

  • Boat Check: 5:45 a.m. – Moonlight Bay Restaurant & Bar
  • Mandatory Rules Meeting: 6:00 a.m. – Moonlight Bay Restaurant & Bar
  • Round One: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch break: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Moonlight Bay Restaurant & Bar
  • Round Two: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tournament Ends: 4:00 p.m. – Moonlight Bay Restaurant & Bar

 Here are the anglers that will be participating in the Open event on the Whitefish Chain

  • Adam Bartusek
  • Arnold Helgerson
  • Bob Downey
  • Brad Leuthner
  • Brian Simon
  • Brian Skluzacek
  • Charlie Brandt
  • Connor O’ Connor
  • Eric Turkowski
  • Glenn Walker
  • Jeff Bosshardt
  • John Janousek
  • Justin Rowe
  • John Vig Jr.
  • Joel Willert
  • Kara Wattenun
  • Matt Pasma
  • Matt Pretzel
  • Matt Thompson
  • Michaela Anderson
  • Michael Walters
  • Nathan Nipper
  • Tim Dedeker
  • Tony Groskreutz



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