BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Falcon Rods, which has designed and built specialty rods since 1990, will serve as the title sponsor for the hotly contested Bassmaster Rookie of the Year award.
“We’re excited that Falcon Rods has decided to encourage and reward up-and-coming anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series by sponsoring Rookie of the Year,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. CEO. “The 10 rookies who qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series this year are incredibly strong and include highly decorated and successful college anglers, former champions on other tours and celebrated international competitors.”
The 2022 Elite Series field will feature 13 new anglers this season; however, any angler who has combined earnings of at least $500,000 with B.A.S.S., FLW and MLF is not considered a rookie.
The 10 talented rookies who qualified through the Bassmaster Opens includes Japanese anglers Masayuki Matsushita and Daisuke Aoki, who finished second and third respectively in the 2021 Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year overall points race. The rookie anglers who qualified through the Central Opens are former Bassmaster College Classic Bracket winner Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., Jay Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., and Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala. Another former Bassmaster College Classic Bracket winner, Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., and Josh Douglas of Isle, Minn., qualified via the Southern Opens. Jonathan Kelley of Old Forge, Pa., and Alex Redwine of Blue Ash, Ohio, earned invitations through the Northern Opens to round out the rookie class of Opens anglers.
Matty Wong of Ventura, Calif., will also join the rookie class after winning the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Louisiana’s Ouachita River.
The Falcon Rods Rookie of the Year award will be presented to the rookie who ranks highest in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year race by the end of the season.
The 2021 Rookie of the Year race came down to the last event, where the ultimate ROY winner Josh Stracner climbed over four other anglers — including Bryan New, who won the season-opening AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River — in the final event to claim victory.
“We are excited to work alongside B.A.S.S. and support what is always a dynamic competition among up-and-coming pros,” said Chris Beckwith, Falcon Rods Vice President of Marketing. “There’s no doubt that some of the 2022 Bassmaster Elite rookie class will be future household names.”
The Falcon Rods Bassmaster Rookie of the Year points race is currently underway at the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite on St. Johns River.