While the total payout for the Elite 50 series will remain at $1.6 million, in 2005 BASS will pay $400,000 per event rather than a lesser amount at each event and larger cash prizes at the end of the series.
The four Elite 50 events for 2005 will be held at Smith Lake, Ala., on April 20-23, Lake Dardanelle, Ark., on May 18-21, Lewisville Lake, Texas, on June 1-4 and Lake Wissota, Wis., on June 15-18.
Fifty anglers will qualify to fish the Elite 50 series in 2005. They include 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Takahiro Omori, the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens, the 2005 Toyota Rookie of the Year David Wolak, the top 20 anglers on the all-time BASS money list and the top 27 anglers in the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year point standings over the past three seasons.
In 2006, the Elite 50 series will give way to three "majors," the Bassmaster American, the Bassmaster Legend and the Bassmaster Memorial.
Each major will feature no entry fees and a first-place prize of $250,000.
The top 10 anglers in the points standings after the conclusion of the Elite 50 series will qualify for the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic.