The Bassmaster Classic takes place over three days. All
fish are caught under catch-and-release rules, must
measure at least 12 inches, and must be alive at the
time they are presented for weigh-in or a penalty will
be assessed. There is a cut after the second day, in
which only the 25 top anglers, based on total weight,
advance to the third day. The highest total weight after
three days wins the competition.
Contestants can only fish in specified areas at the
competition venue. This is usually a lake, but the 2005
competition was held at Three Rivers (Allegheny River
and Monongahela River which forms the Ohio River) in
Pittsburgh, with some competitors using tributaries such
as the Beaver River and Youghiogheny River dozens of
miles from the confluence.
In 2009 the classic
used a 100 mile stretch of the Red River in Shreveport,
Louisiana. In 2011, the Classic was held on the
From its inception to 1976, the Classic was held at a
"mystery lake," unknown to competitors until they were
aboard an aircraft bound for the site.
Founder Ray Scott
changed the practice for the 1977 Classic, announcing
the site in advance so that fans of the sport could plan
ahead to attend.