Bowmanville angler qualifies for 2023 Bassmaster Elite Series

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Published October 11, 2022 at 11:26 am

Dreams do come true, at least they have for 24 year-old Bowmanville angler Cooper Gallant, who earned a regular spot on next year’s Bassmasters Elite Series – the lucrative pinnacle of fishing in the U.S. – with a third place finish in the Southern Open Division Championship this weekend.

“I’m speechless. I literally go to bed every night and wake up every morning, dreaming of one day fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series and WE made it happen today,” Gallant said. “Thanks to all my friends, parents, brothers, family and sponsors for the continued support. You have no idea how much it means to me.”

The Bassmaster Elite Series is the highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments. Competitors must qualify for the series through the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens and anglers who are already on the Elite Series must re-qualify each year by maintaining enough points throughout the season. The pro anglers compete all season for the opportunity to win points toward the Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year award and to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.

The series was founded in 2006.

Gallant’s Day 2 haul at the St. Croix Bassmaster Southern Open at Lake Hartwell was 14 lbs six ounces for his five fish limit, giving him 27 and a half pounds for the two days, good for 14th overall against the top bass anglers in the world.

Most importantly, the result gave him 546 points and third place in the qualifying rankings. With division winner Bryan New already an Elite Series Pro, Gallant qualified second and earned an invite to the 2023 Elite Series.

The St. Croix Bassmaster Opens is a series of tournaments that tier up to the Bassmaster Classic and the Bassmaster Elite Series. It is divided into three regions: Northern, Southern and Central.

Gallant, who has been fishing bass tournaments since he was 12 and has earned just under $100,000 fishing in the past couple of years, has a tournament win (the Southern Open at Lake Cherokee) and three top 10 finishes this year. He just missed a spot on the big tour in 2021 when he finished fifth in regional qualifying.

“There’s something to be said about making it too early,” he said last year. “I have a lot to learn. The more I fish in the U.S. the better I’ll be able to do in the Elite Series if I ever end up making it there.”

Gallant, who turns 25 October 30, can now scratch that goal off his bucket list.

Tournament videos and other content is available on his website, https://www.coopergallantfishing.com/

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