After some deliberation I am pleased to announce that all those involved in the scouting and ranking of California bass fishermen will continue to apply the same standards that have been in place since the Top 40 List was first conceived.

All fishermen who call California their primary residence will be eligible for consideration, regardless of their participation preferences, be it as recreational anglers, guides, big bass specialists or tournament anglers. Any lawful methods of take (at the time and in the specific waters fished) may be utilized in order to assess anglers’ relative performances.

And yes, Michael Josephson, “Character counts.”

As a point of clarification regarding tournament angling,” individual” or non-shared weight event performances will be given added consideration over shared weight events. Success in multiple circuits will outweigh single tour success, unless a circuit features exceptional, national competition. Obviously, year end tour rankings provide a benchmark that is also relative to the Top 40 positioning.

Also, though they may choose not to employ all of the latest tools at their disposal, competitors in the Bassmaster Elite Series will remain eligible for consideration in 2012. 

Hey, it’s very early in the year, but I am expecting great things from bass fishermen all across the Golden State.