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Bass Pro Shops Report

Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships

Bass Pro Shops today announced a new era in the sport of fishing with the introduction of the Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships.

Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris had a dream to create “the ultimate owner’s appreciation event” while benefitting conservation. The first-of-its-kind tournament invites owners of Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Triton, Sun Tracker, Tahoe and MAKO brand boats to compete in two-person teams. With proceeds benefitting conservation and the future of fishing, the event is being created exclusively for amateurs including serious weekend tournament anglers, parents, grandparents, and youngsters, giving everyday anglers, friends, and families the chance to win big!

  • The prize totals are staggering: Competitors will be rewarded with a total guaranteed purse value of $4.3 million. The national championship team wins a $1 million cash prize – the largest cash payout of any single freshwater fishing tournament in history. Conservation wins too, with a minimum of $1 million going to improve fish habitat.
  • Build your own team with a fishing buddy or family member: Registration is open exclusively for amateur anglers, creating a thrilling opportunity for families and friends from all walks of life to compete together on the water. To help grow the sport, regional and international qualifier events will feature division payouts for youth, family teams, all-female teams, veterans, and more. Additional prizes will be offered for the biggest bass and other categories that add to the collective excitement. Johnny is awarding one lucky junior angler (ages 11 – 18) a $250,000 scholarship toward a conservation-related area of study. Events will offer fun for the whole family with activities and entertainment.
  • Rewarding customer loyalty and supporting conservation: As a thank you to loyal customers, the event is open to owners of the world’s foremost boat brands – Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Triton, Sun Tracker, Tahoe and MAKO brands. For over 50 years, these celebrated brands have come to represent the #1 bestselling boats in North America. Along the way, they made first-time boat ownership more affordable for thousands of families.


BASS Report

B.A.S.S. Kayak Series Logo

After a wildly successful inaugural campaign in 2020, B.A.S.S. officials were excited Friday to announce the regular-season schedule for the 2021 Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX.

The trail, which averaged 144 anglers per event during its inaugural season in 2020, will visit five lakes in five different states before culminating with the B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series Championship, which will be held in conjunction with the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at a site to be determined.

The field of anglers who qualified for the National Championship during the 2020 season will compete in a rescheduled two-day event June 9-10 at the Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth, Texas. Additional information on that tournament will be released at a later date.

"Despite facing a lot of challenges, we had a great first season for the
B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series in 2020," said B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon
Stewart. "We knew the popularity of kayak fishing had exploded; that was
the reason behind starting the trail. But I'm not sure we realized just how incredibly popular the sport was until we held a few events and saw how many hardcore kayak enthusiasts showed up.

"That has us really excited about this upcoming season."

The season's first event will be held on one of the country's premier big-bass factories, Lake Fork in Alba, Texas, on March 13. Fork was the site of an Elite Series event in 2020, and champion Patrick Walters blew the field away with a four-day November catch of 104 pounds, 12 ounces.

Walters wasn't the only angler to clear the century mark at a Bassmaster event on Fork last year. When the Kayak Series stopped on this fishery last March, Arkansas angler Cody Milton bested the field with a five-bass limit measuring 100 1/2 inches. That propensity for producing giant bass is why Lake Fork ranked 16th on Bassmaster Magazine's Best Bass Lakes of the Decade in 2020.

Here's the 2021 schedule:

  • March 13, Lake Fork, Alba, Texas
  • May 1, Lake Eufaula, Eufaula, Ala.
  • July 24, Pickwick Lake, Counce, Tenn.
  • Aug. 7, Upper Chesapeake, Cecil County, Md.
  • Sept. 25, Upper Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wis.

Entry fees for all five regular-season events will be $250, and each will pay 30 places. Based on a full field of 150 kayaks, the total purse for each event will be $30,000. Registration will begin online Jan. 11 at Bassmaster.com.


BASS Report

Bassmaster Classic and Outdoors Expo Moved To June 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Due to the ongoing public health emergency and associated limits on large gatherings, B.A.S.S. officials announced Thursday that the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk and Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo originally scheduled for late March would be moved to June 11-13, 2021.

"It's our hope that this delay will allow us to alleviate many of the challenges ó including any potential capacity restrictions and travel complications ó related to hosting both the tournament and Outdoors Expo in the current pandemic environment," said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. "We look forward to seeing thousands of fans, along with our partners and industry friends, at the 51st Bassmaster Classic.

"Our team will be working with the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth to make this historic trip to Texas an incredible and memorable event."


BASS Report

Bassmaster College Series 2021 Regular-Season Stops Announced

Talented teams from across the country can officially start marking their calendars after B.A.S.S. officials announced the 2021 schedule and a format change for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops today.

The circuit will include four regular-season events, plus a Wild Card tournament and season-ending National Championship. Each two-angler team will not only be vying for Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year honors, but one skilled angler will advance from the College Classic Bracket with a berth to the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

“There are thousands of young anglers who are hungry to compete — and as we’ve seen with so many former college anglers now competing at the highest levels of bass fishing, it’s changing the sport from top to bottom, ” said Hank Weldon, Tournament Director for B.A.S.S.’s College Series. “The 2021 season offers these college teams an opportunity to test their skills on a variety of fisheries.”


By Louie Stout

Have you set your tournament schedule set for 2021? Send us the details and we will post them on our Lake Drive Marine Events Calendar.

Our Events Calendar has become the No. 1 spot anglers visit when looking for open events on Michiana lakes. Get yours posted there as soon as possible so anglers can plan ahead. It also helps groups avoid multiple tournament conflicts on a given lake.