The exciting conclusion to the 2023 Bass Pro Tour season feels like it was only yesterday, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to 2024. With the BPT campaign in the books, the invitees for next year’s REDCREST, Major League Fishing’s championship event, are now (nearly) set.
REDCREST 2024 will feature an expanded field of 50 anglers competing for the top prize of $300,000 on Alabama’s Lay Lake. For the first time, the event will include pros from outside the BPT roster. The six winners of the 2023 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals events, as well as Invitationals Angler of the Year Ron Nelson, all landed berths in REDCREST. Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American champion Emil Wagner earned himself a spot, too, as will the winner of the Toyota Series Championship and the highest-placing Abu Garcia College Fishing angler at the event, which will be contested on Table Rock Lake Nov. 2-4.
They will be joined by the top 41 finishers in the 2023 Angler of the Year standings on the Bass Pro Tour. The 39 highest points-earners received automatic invitations, then two more landed spots thanks to Dakota Ebare and Bryan Thrift double-qualifying. Ebare both finished among the top 39 in the points and won the Invitationals event at Clarks Hill, while Thrift won’t need his automatic bid earned by winning REDCREST 2023, as he also wound up safely among the top 39.
This will mark the first BPT event on Lay Lake, but the Coosa River impoundment is no stranger to major tournaments, having hosted four Bassmaster Classics. Here’s a look at 48 of the 50 anglers who will be invited to duke it at the fifth iteration of REDCREST.