B.A.S.S. announced the schedule for the 2019 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School and Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops events, along with the addition of a new Junior Bassmaster Division.
Photo by B.A.S.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2018
New Junior Division Unveiled As B.A.S.S. Announces College And High School Slates For 2019
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Just when it seemed B.A.S.S. couldn’t possibly provide more competitive opportunities for anglers, the organization announced today that it will be adding a Junior Bassmaster Division to its annual slate of events in the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series.
High school tournaments are scheduled for Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C., on March 2; Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., on March 30; Norfork Lake in Mountain Home, Ark., on April 28; and Lake Shasta in Redding, Calif., on May 11. A field of up to 50 junior division teams will compete in each event with accompanying coaches or team captains.
“This is another aggressive step toward giving more young people a chance to fish competitively,” said Hank Weldon, B.A.S.S. senior manager for college and high school. “More parents are realizing that children who fish often avoid a lot of the more harmful aspects of our culture — and by creating a division for second- to eighth-graders, we’re helping parents start them out even earlier.”
Another new feature for the high school circuit will be maximum field size of 250 boats.
The schedule itself should be exciting to anglers of both age groups, with stops on lakes like Hartwell, the site of three previous Bassmaster Classics, and Guntersville, which is nationally known for producing big largemouth bass throughout the year.
“We are very excited to once again host the great folks from B.A.S.S. in Anderson County and Lake Hartwell,” said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson. “The future in bass fishing is our high school anglers, and we look forward to the opportunity to host them all in our community.”
In addition to the announcement of the high school schedule today, B.A.S.S. officials unveiled the schedule for the 2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops. That lineup includes stops at North Carolina’s Lake Norman on Feb. 21-23; Smith Lake in Cullman, Ala., March 21-23; Bull Shoals Lake in Mountain Home, Ark., April 25-27; and the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, N.Y., June 20-22.
As past Bassmaster Elite Series events there have shown, a tournament on the St. Lawrence River during summer could create a dynamic atmosphere for college anglers. In August, a new Elite record was set for the heaviest daily limit of smallmouth bass — 27 pounds, 12 ounces.
“We could not be more excited about this opportunity,” said Benjamin Seaman, president and founder of the bass fishing club at Clarkson University, which will host the St. Lawrence River event. “With the Adirondack Mountains and St. Lawrence River Valley in our backyard, Clarkson University is well known among outdoor enthusiasts for its access to great hiking, mountain biking, hunting and fishing — especially world-class bass fishing.”
Unlike past years, when college tournaments were only open to anglers from corresponding regions, all events will be open to competitors from across the country. Teams will still accumulate points during the season toward an overall Team of the Year title.
“Our hope is that every college angler who wants to compete will now have a chance,” Weldon said. “You’re not limited to fishing a certain conference or region. If you want to travel to any one of these events — or all of them — you’re free to do that.”
The Bull Shoals college tournament will take place just prior to the high school event on Norfork Lake, giving Mountain Home four bass fishing-filled days in a row.
“Mountain Home and the Twin Lakes Area is thrilled to host another B.A.S.S. event,” said Jeff Pipkin, president of the Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are grateful B.A.S.S. has chosen to bring the college and high school circuits to lakes Norfork and Bull Shoals in 2019.
“We fully support the educational benefits young men and women have to gain through the sport of fishing. Our entire community is equally excited to share why we call this beautiful place our home.”
Dates for the high school and college championships, as well as the annual College Series Classic Bracket, which qualifies one outstanding college angler for the Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, will be announced at a later time.
2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops Schedule
Event Lake State Date
Tour #1 Lake Norman North Carolina Feb. 21-23
Tour #2 Smith Lake Alabama March 21-23
Tour #3 Bull Shoals Lake Arkansas April 25-27
Tour #4 St. Lawrence River New York June 20-22
2019 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Schedule
Event Title Lake State Date
Eastern Open Lake Hartwell South Carolina March 2
Southern Open Lake Guntersville Alabama March 30
Central Open Norfork Lake Arkansas April 28
Western Open Lake Shasta California May 11
2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt
2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, ABU Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota
2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Mossy Oak Fishing, Phoenix Boats
2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series Title Sponsor: Mossy Oak Fishing
2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series Premier Sponsors: Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, ABU Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury
2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Academy Sports + Outdoors
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
Media Contact: Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. officials announced Wednesday that the B.A.S.S. Nation, the
popular grassroots organization with affiliated clubs in 47 states and 10 nations worldwide, will
once again hold three regional events and a year-end championship in 2019.
The Nation will visit Alabama’s Lake Guntersville for the Central Regional on April 17-19,
California’s Lake Shasta for the Western Regional on May 8-10 and Sebago Lake in Maine for
the Eastern Regional on Sept. 11-13.
The season will then culminate with the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, which will be held on
South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell at a date to be determined — most likely in October.
“We’re excited to have a schedule that includes well-known bass-fishing havens like Lake
Guntersville, Lake Shasta and Lake Hartwell,” said B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart.
“Obviously, the tradition that B.A.S.S. has with those three lakes speaks for itself.
“But we’re also really excited about holding a B.A.S.S. Nation Regional event at a great site like
Sebago Lake. It’s a place that we’ve visited for smaller divisional tournaments before, but a
place that maybe a lot of people aren’t as familiar with as some of the others.”
The timing of the Guntersville event — right in heart of spring — should make for good weather
and excellent fishing on a 69,000-acre Tennessee River fishery that is known for producing giant
largemouth. The tournament will feature a field of 190 boats with 418 anglers, including
Guntersville has hosted 22 major B.A.S.S. tournaments, including the 1976 and 2014
Bassmaster Classics and Bassmaster Megabucks events in 1990 and 1992.
“All you have to say is ‘Guntersville,’ and bass fishermen perk up,” Stewart said. “Bass anglers
of all skill levels understand what an opportunity it is to fish a lake like Guntersville, especially
during the spring.”
The Lake Shasta tournament, which will be held in Redding, Calif., will have a field of 110 boats
with 242 anglers — and history says it could be a spotted bass slugfest.
“When we were out there for the Nation Regional in 2017, anglers were saying you could pull
up to any place you wanted to, throw any bait you wanted to throw and expect to catch fish,”
Stewart said. “We had some incredible fish weighed in, mostly big spots. We hit it just right —
and hopefully we will again.”
The final regional of the year, on Sebago Lake, will feature 180 boats with 396 anglers leaving
from Point Sebago, Maine. The 30,000-acre fishery, which is the state’s second-deepest lake at
316 feet, has excellent populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as landlocked
salmon and lake trout.
Unlike 2018, when the site of the Nation Championship was announced well after the regional
lineup, Lake Hartwell has already been identified as the site of the 2019 year-end event. The
56,000-acre fishery on the Georgia/South Carolina border has hosted three Bassmaster Classics,
including the 2018 event that drew a record total attendance of 143,323.
The event will be hosted by Visit Anderson.
“Our team at Anderson county could not be more excited about hosting the 2019 B.A.S.S.
Nation Championship again at Green Pond Landing and Lake Hartwell,” said Neil Paul, executive
director of Visit Anderson. “Our community enjoys a tremendous amount of success whenever
we’re hosting the great folks at B.A.S.S. We owe a great deal of credit to B.A.S.S. for their part
in helping to make Lake Hartwell a championship fishery and Green Pond Landing one of the
top facilities in the nation.
“We look forward to welcoming the anglers, their families and the entire B.A.S.S. Nation in
The Top 3 finishers from the 2019 Nation Championship will earn a spot in the 2020 Classic, and
the overall Championship winner will receive an invitation to fish the 2020 Bassmaster Elite
“When we refer to the B.A.S.S. Nation as a grassroots organization, we mean exactly that,” said
B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “It’s an organization that gives anglers from all walks of life an
opportunity to fish at the highest level of professional bass fishing.
“That’s what makes it truly special — and that’s why it’s still growing after 50 years.”
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In order to remain competitive on the water, whether it’s on the Bassmaster Elite Series or your local trail, you have to continue to study the sport. Of course I always want to win, but sometimes I even feel like I learn more when I fail than when I succeed – and with all of the resources available there’s no shortage of opportunity to pick up new information.
Take our recent tournament on Lake Martin, for example. After two days on the water and a subpar finish, I tuned into Bassmaster LIVE on Saturday just like many of you did. The coverage taught me a lot about where I went wrong. It turns out that even though the score sheet seemed to indicate that I was out in left field, I really wasn’t that far away from doing much better. I didn’t key in on the right color crankbaits and I was a bit off on my areas, but overall it was good to know that I had something of a clue out there. I would’ve rather been fishing on Saturday, but since I wasn’t I took it as an opportunity to learn.
If you’re going to learn, there’s no better opportunity than the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. You’ll have more than 50 of the world’s best anglers out there, and with no points on the line, everyone is going to try to fish their strengths. I don’t care if you’re the most versatile fisherman on tour, there are always certain techniques that we gravitate to, and at the Classic you’ll get a master class in everyone’s strengths.
A lot of time during the regular season that might not happen. I could go into a tournament looking to crank or flip for the win, but if it isn’t working after a couple of days of practice I may try to salvage my event by doing something else. That probably won’t happen at Hartwell – no one is going to pull out a shakey head just to fill out their limit.
With all of the coverage – Bassmaster LIVE, the Bassmaster blog, online photo galleries, etc. – it’ll be virtually impossible for the anglers to hide their little secrets, so why even try? There’s no glory in second, and for the Classic trophy it’s worth it to lay it all out on the line.
If you’re a weekend angler, it’s a chance to learn from the best of the best on the sport’s biggest stage, but you can believe me when I say that when it’s all over I’m going to study how it’s won and how the winner dialed in his pattern. Prior to Casey Ashley winning the Classic at Hartwell three years ago, I’d never realized the potential of the underspin. It’s still not a major part of my arsenal, but I’ve used it on occasion since then with some success. By watching how he fished it, and learning from the subsequent coverage, it sped up a process that might’ve taken me years to learn on my own.
I’ll admit it – I was disappointed that I didn’t win the Classic last year at Conroe, and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t win this year at Hartwell. I don’t like leaving a tournament site without a trophy in the passenger seat of my truck. If I don’t win, though, I always try to dissect how the winner figured things out or executed better than I did. At some point down the road a similar situation may arise, and I’d love to be able to take some of their little tricks or tweaks or specialized gear and beat them at their own game.