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B.A.S.S. officials revealed the schedule for the 2021 BassPro.com Bassmaster Opens Trail, which includes a three-day stop at Grand Lake in Grove from October 21-23.

“Grove is so very excited to be a stop on this year's Bassmaster Open Trail,” said Grove Area Chamber of Commerce President Donnie Crain. “We will be looking forward to having some of the best anglers in the nation competing here in our community and fishing the waters of Grand Lake O' the Cherokees. While we cannot guarantee every angler will catch enough fish to win the Open or that the weather conditions will be perfect, we can guarantee that they will all enjoy a world-class fishing tournament venue at Wolf Creek Park and the good, old fashioned Okie hospitality that Grove & Grand Lake is famous for providing our visitors.”

See the full schedule at http://bit.ly/2021BassmasterOpens.

This year’s event will open with a later start date than usual and a change in format from the past three seasons. Instead of two divisions with four tournaments, this year’s Opens circuit will include three divisions — Southern, Central and Northern — with three events in each.

All nine tournament winners will earn an automatic berth to the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk if they fish all events in their division. Additionally, the top three finishers from each division’s points standings will receive an invitation to fish the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series, as will the top three from the overall standings accumulated in all three divisions.

“We’ve only been done a couple of weeks, but I’m already so excited about the 2021 schedule we’ve put together,” said Bassmaster Opens Tournament Director Chris Bowes. “This last season, with all of its stops and starts, was the hardest of my life. But I’m so proud we were able to get it all in. And every event was critical in a season that saw our Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year race decided by just one point. Now, after a short break, we can once again expect to see some of the most competitive Opens we’ve ever had.”

Since the 2020 Opens schedule was pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn’t finish until the first week of December. As a result, the 2021 Opens schedule will begin in March instead of its traditional January start date.

Grand Lake is included in the Central Opens Division, which also includes stops at Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, Alabama and Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. The Grand Lake event will be held October 21-23.

Lewis Smith Lake is known as one of the top spotted bass fisheries in the country, while Pickwick offers the typical Tennessee River mixture of largemouth and smallmouth. Grand Lake has been the site of two Bassmaster Classics, most recently in 2016.

“You talk about variety,” Bowes said. “The three tournaments we have scheduled for the Central Division will test anglers’ versatility about as much as three events can. Anglers who can go from a spotted bass haven to a Tennessee River fishery to a diverse setting like Grand Lake — and do well in all three — will have proven their abilities beyond the shadow of a doubt.”

The payout per event will be $250,400 (based on a field of 150 anglers), giving the nine-event circuit a total payout of more than $2.25 million. In a change from previous seasons, the full field will fish the first two days, with the winning co-angler being named after Day 2. The final round will feature the Top 10 pros.

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