Ultimate Bass

Bassmaster Northern Open Division’s Top Two Make 2010 Bassmaster Classic

As the top two finishers in the season’s Bassmaster Northern Open division standings, Frank Scalish of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Bassmaster Elite Series veteran Kotaro Kiriyama each earned a berth in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.

As the top two finishers in the season’s Bassmaster Northern Open division standings, Frank Scalish of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Bassmaster Elite Series veteran Kotaro Kiriyama each earned a berth in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.

Scalish, who finished the weekend’s Northern Open on Lake Erie in third place Saturday, will be fishing his second Classic, while Kiriyama, who finished 15th on Lake Erie, will compete in his 10th Classic.

“When I came down here, my only goal was to make the Classic,” Scalish said. “Mission accomplished.”

The two pros – along with the rest of the top seven in the final Northern Opens standings – have also been offered a shot at BASS’ highest level of fishing, the Bassmaster Elite Series. Both accepted the invitation.

The Opens were Kiriyama’s means of requalification this year as he didn’t not requalify based on his Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standing.

Scalish finished the season with 880 points, 120 ahead of Kiriyama. Scalish placed third at both the Erie event and the inaugural Northern Open at Chesapeake Bay. In the second Northern Open on New York’s Lake Champlain, he placed second.

For Kiriyama, a 20th-place finish at Lake Champlain was a thorn, but he managed second place at Erie and fifth at Chesapeake Bay, good enough to secure a spot in both the Classic and the Elites.

It looked like Scalish had the Erie Open wrapped up until Jonathon VanDam – nephew of 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam – weighed in the heaviest stringer of the tournament, a 24-pound, 8-ounce bag of smallmouth, Saturday.

Day 1 leader Pete Gluszek of Mount Laurel N.J., also finished the final Open ahead of Scalish. While VanDam wasn’t a threat to Scalish’s chances for a Classic or Elite Series berth, Gluszek was.

Gluszek fell just short of a Classic appearance. His last Classic appearance was 10 years ago in 1999 on the Louisiana Delta. He will be offered an Elite Series invitation by virtue of his third-place finish in the Open standings.

“This is the fourth time I’ve been one spot out of the cut,” he said. “Of course I wanted to make it (to the Classic), but I guess I’m happy where I am; this is what I do.”

Other pros who will be invited to fish the Elite Series: J. Todd Tucker of Moultrie, Ga., who will fish his sophomore season in the Elites; Aaron Hastings of Boonesboro, Md.; Brian Bylotas of Olyphant, Pa.; and Steve Oleksyn of Rochester, N.Y.

Sponsors of the 2009 Bassmaster Opens: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.

2009 Northern 3 – Sandusky, OH – Northern 3 – Sandusky, OH Boater Points

After Lake Erie, Sandusky, Ohio Ending 09-26-2009, Day 2

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Place Name St Pts
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1 Frank Scalish Ohio 880
2 Kotaro Kiriyama = Ala. 760
3 Pete Gluszek N.J. 742
4 J Todd Tucker Ga. 700
5 Aaron Hastings Md.= 684
6 Brian Bylotas Pa. 656
7 Steve Oleksyn N.Y. 647
8 Matt Greenblatt Fla. = 631
9 Jeremy Starks W.Va. 619
10 Byron Haseotes= Mass. 615

About BASS

For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.



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