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Posted By The Bass Hog

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. —Julyy 30, 2017--Nobody thought it was possible, Aaron Martens least of all. But on the final day of competition at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain presented by Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Martens massed a 23-pound, 5-ounce sack of bass and stunned the crowd, and the field, who all thought such a feat was impossible. He edged second-place finisher Seth Feider of Bloomington, Minn., by a little less than a pound.

“I'm still in shock,” Martens said, surrounded by reporters behind the stage, trophy at rest beside him on a chair. “I can’t believe I won. It still hasn’t set in yet.”

Martens, originally from California but now a resident of Leeds, Ala., wasn’t sure how much his limit weighed — it’s difficult to judge weight at a tournament where winners can be decided by ounces. But his bag included a 6-2 largemouth that was second only to Seth Feider’s 6-4 bass, which won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award of $1,500 for the tournament.

“I didn't know how much I actually had,” Martens said. “The only time all day when I thought I had a shot to win was when I saw 23-5 on the scales. The BASSTrakk (unofficial leaderboard) said I had 20-11. I thought I maybe had 22. But I just didn’t know. I overestimated BASSTrakk the first day, so maybe I got a little gun-shy and underestimated today. I’m still really in shock.”

For Martens, each B.A.S.S. win is a redemption of sorts. He’s widely regarded as one of the best anglers to compete in the modern era of bass fishing, and this marks only his ninth B.A.S.S. win across almost two decades of competition. Alongside those nine wins sit 13 gut-wrenching second-place finishes — four of which were at the Bassmaster Classic and seven were at Elite events.

Martens’ last win came at the 2015 Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay.

Martens also set a unique B.A.S.S. mark today: He climbed 19 spots on the final day to win an Elite event — a feat made possible because this weather-shortened event spanned three days, instead of four, and the Top 51 anglers fished the final day, instead of the traditional Top 12.

His winning pattern involved drop shotting a 4-inch Roboworm in Aaron’s magic red color on massive weed flats. The largemouth and smallmouth were mixed together and he caught quality fish of both species, although it was the largemouth that ultimately propelled him to victory.

He fished predominantly deep (20 to 30 feet) the first two days, but moved shallow today into 12 to 21 feet. He made a critical tackle change and switched to a 6'11" medium-heavy rod that allowed him to move hooked fish through the grass and to the boat. He noted that areas with several different weed types were best.

Brandon Palaniuk of Hayden, Idaho, retained his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with one event remaining in the season. He was awarded $1,000 for leading at the end of the event.

“I don’t think about the race — I just think about catching them the next day,” Palaniuk said. “Every guy wants to win an Angler of the Year title, but I know for me, mentally, I fish a lot better not knowing where I am in the race. It’s not like I don’t care. It’s more like a racecar driver — if you’re worried about the guy behind you, you’re looking back and slowing down. I’m not going to do that. I’m going full speed ahead.”

Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., won the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award of $500 for leading the tournament on Saturday’s second day of competition.

Palaniuk was also awarded the Toyota Bonus Bucks Award of $3,000 for being the highest-placing eligible entrant in the program.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

BEMIDJI, Minn. —August 3, 2017--Ninety of the best collegiate student/angler teams representing 59 of the nation’s universities will meet for the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, August 10-12 on Minnesota’s Lake Bemidji.

College anglers can compete in one of five regionals and in a wild card qualifier for the opportunity to advance to the national championship.

After three days of championship competition, the best team will be crowned national champions.

Bemidji State University and Visit Bemidji will join with B.A.S.S. as the host of this prestigious competition.

“Both here at Bemidji State and across the community, people are truly proud and excited to welcome these collegiate anglers,” said Scott Faust, director of communications and marketing for BSU. “It’s an honor to share the quality of our fishing and the beauty of northern Minnesota.”

From there, the Top 4 teams will advance to the College Bracket to be held at an undisclosed location, Aug. 14-16. At that point, team members will fish solo and be pitted against one another in a bracket-style, win-and-advance competition.

The eight anglers will vie for a berth into the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, scheduled for South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, March 16-18.

“Visit Bemidji is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and Bemidji State University for the 2017 Bassmaster College Series National Championship,” said Susan Goudge, executive director for Visit Bemidji. “The event will be second to none with our university campus being located on the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji.”

Goudge said the scenic lakes and local amenities provide an ideal venue for the nation’s top college anglers.

“Lake Bemidji and area lakes are naturally connected to multiple waterways that include the Mississippi River,” she said. “Bemidji, First City on the Mississippi, looks forward to welcoming the fishing teams, families and B.A.S.S. staff to our beautiful community. And, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all the young anglers.”

Following the tournament briefing Tuesday night, Yamaha Pro Night will take place when several of the stars on the Bassmaster Elite Series will offer seminars. Pros will include Minnesota native Seth Feider, Dustin Connell, Josh Bertrand, Justin Lucas and 2017 Classic champion and former college champion Jordan Lee.

Lee will also be the keynote speaker during Sponsor Night, which is set to take place Wednesday evening before official competition kicks off Thursday morning.

The 2012 Bassmaster college champion Matt Lee, the older brother of Jordan Lee, said fishing at the college level and winning the national championship helped mold and prepare him for a career as pro angler on the Elite Series.

“I sat there in the briefing before the 2012 college championship began, and I was thinking about how difficult it would be to win that tournament,” Matt said. “But I was ready for it, and it was a dream come true to actually win it. That time really prepared me to make smart decisions on the water, interact with the media and fans and what it meant to be a champion.”

Matt also said finishing college is paramount.

“As much as I wanted to skip out on finishing school and start fishing the Bassmaster Opens working for an Elite invite, earning my degree was critical,” he said. “You never know what life is going to throw your way, and having a degree will lay the groundwork for a successful life regardless if you decide to fish as a pro or not.”

For more information, visit

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

July 17, 2017--At a press conference held last week in the FLW booth at ICAST in Orlando, Fla., U.S. Angling announced the members of the 2017 USA Bass team, which will be competing in the 2017 Bass World Championship on the Vaal River in South Africa Oct. 2-8.

Members of the team include team captain Scott Martin, David Dudley, Mark Rose, David Fritts, James Watson, Scott Canterbury, Fred Roumbanis and Lionel Botha. They’ll compete against 15 other national teams from countries such as Russia, Spain, Italy and Mexico.

The Bass World Championship is an Olympic-style event where countries compete for medals. According to U.S. Angling, it’s part of a growing effort spearheaded by the Confederation Internationale de Peche Sportive (CIPS) to make bass fishing an Olympic sport. An application for recognition has already been submitted to the International Olympic Committee.

“We are thrilled that these accomplished anglers have agreed to represent our country in these championships,” says U.S. Angling President Joel McDearmon. “The angling world will be watching as this team expands bass fishing’s popularity worldwide. We are determined to showcase America’s mastery of the sport and bring home the gold.”

“I am thrilled to be part of the group that will help make bass fishing an Olympic sport,” adds USA Bass Board of Director member and Team Manager John Knight. “It is going to take a huge effort from American anglers and the fishing industry to make this happen.  This great sport is ready to span the globe and join the Olympics.”

U.S. Angling is a 501c3 charitable organization that supports a number of fishing teams that compete in world championship events around the globe. According to a press release distributed by U.S. Angling prior to ICAST, the organization is also planning a Pan American event to include Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba and others to help garner support for bass fishing as a future Olympic sport.


For more information, visit

Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog

July 26, 2017--COLUMBIA, S.C. – No summertime gathering of fishing enthusiasts is complete without barbeque, and there is no better barbeque on earth than in South Carolina. FLW partnered with the South Carolina BBQ Association to add some South Carolina flavor to the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina, August 11-13. The BBQ Festival, presented by WIS-TV 10, will feature multiple award-winning BBQ teams from around the state offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local South Carolina charities.

“We are proud to sponsor this year’s Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup Championship,” said Lyle Schulze, WIS-TV Vice President and General Manager. “Great fishing, great BBQ and great country music will make for a fantastic weekend in August. We are looking forward to being a part of this huge event in Columbia.”

Teams currently registered to compete in the event include:

  • J.T.’s BBQ, Summerville, S.C.
  • All Smoked Up, Lexington, S.C.
  • Up In Smoke, Rock Hill, S.C.
  • Doko Smoke, Blythwood, S.C.
  • The Saucy Pig, Greenville, S.C.
  • Can’t Quit Smokin’, Blythwood, S.C.
  • Blowin’ Smoke LLC, Columbia, S.C.
  • Fire Tower BBQ, Piedmont, S.C.

In addition to the BBQ Festival, country music acts will also be showcased throughout the weekend on the Bass & BBQ Festival stage, outside the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Artists scheduled to perform include:

Friday, Aug. 11

  • 2-2:45 p.m. – Chase Mitchell

Saturday, Aug. 11 & Sunday, Aug. 12

  • 2-2:45 p.m. – The Blue Pickups

The FLW Expo and Bass & BBQ Festival and country music concerts are free and open to the public Friday, Aug. 11, Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Lake Murray to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2017. Hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, the tournament will feature 53 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for the sport’s biggest award – $300,000 cash.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

July 24, 2017--CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Adrian College duo of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Lake Chautauqua presented by Bass Pro Shops Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the Adrian bass club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete at the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“We were fishing on the north end of the lake,” said Graham, a sophomore, double majoring in environmental studies and geology. “We found a stretch of bank with no docks with a long rocky flat. About 40 yards off of the bank the rock would meet the grass, and we just worked the grassline all day long.”

“It was really one of the only green grassy areas that we were able to find,” said Martin, a senior majoring in business administration. “The lake has been sprayed recently, and there was quite a bit of brown, dead grass. But the fish were in the green stuff.”

“Jarrett was throwing a (Rebel) Pop-R off of the front all day and I was throwing a fluke off of the back,” Graham said. “We doubled up at least seven times.”

The fluke was a Bugsy's Baits USA Sic Minnow. The duo estimated they caught around 20 keepers throughout the day – around 13 smallmouth and seven largemouth. Their five-bass limit that they brought to the weigh-in scale consisted of two smallmouth and three largemouth.

“I think the key for us was the cloud cover,” Martin said. “If it would have been sunny, the fish would have been hiding in the shade. But, the way the clouds were, the bass were in the mood to eat all day and were extremely active.”

“I think the Pop-R was the key,” Graham added. “We have a lot of confidence in that bait and it produced the two biggest fish of the day for us.”

This YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Lake Chautauqua was the second regular-season qualifying tournament for Northern Conference anglers in 2017. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event will be the Northern Conference regular-season finale, scheduled for Sept. 9 on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

July 5, 2017--FLORENCE, Ala. – The Mount Ida High School duo of Hunter Davis and Tyler Allenbrand, both of Mount Ida, Arkansas, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2017 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama with a three-day total of 53-6. The win earned the team trophies, the title of national champions and each angler a $5,000 scholarship to their college of choice.

A field of 142 teams competed in the event, which launched from McFarland Park in Florence. The Mount Ida duo won by a 1-pound, 14-ounce margin over the second place team of Cal Culpepper and Mason Waddell from Georgia’s Harris County High School, who weighed in a three-day total of 51-8.

Coached by professional Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mark Davis, Hunter’s father, the youngsters from Arkansas fished two different areas to amass their heaviest stringer of the tournament. The younger Davis and Allenbrand were dragging ¾-ounce Strike King football jigs and Strike King Menace Grub trailers (green pumpkin) slowly across the bottom.

The top 10 teams on Pickwick Lake finished:

  1st: Mount Ida High School, Mount Ida, Ark. – Hunter Davis and Tyler Allenbrand, both of Mount Ida, Ark., 15 bass, 53-6, $10,000 Scholarship

  2nd: Harris County High School, Hamilton, Ga. – Cal Culpepper, Hamilton, Ga., and Mason Waddell, Waverly Hall, Ga., 15 bass, 51-8

  3rd: North Mississippi Student Anglers – Hunter Nanney, Dumas, Miss., and Jake Kimbrough, Smithville, Miss., 15 bass, 50-11

  4th: Fannin County High School, Blue Ridge, Ga. – Dalton Tankersley, Morganton, Ga., and Zack Nicholson, Epworth, Ga., 15 bass, 47-9

  5th: Obion County Central High School, Troy, Tenn. – Blake Robb, Martin, Tenn., and Cody Gregory, Troy, Tenn., 15 bass, 43-1

  6th: Tulsa Bass Club, Tulsa, Okla. – Taylor Hamburger, Tulsa, Okla., and Hunter Harrison, Jones, Okla., 14 bass, 42-4

  7th: North Forsyth High School, Cumming, Ga. – Glenn Worley, Dawsonville, Ga., and Paul Marks, Cumming, Ga., 15 bass, 42-3

  8th: Oviedo High School, Oviedo, Fla. – Fisher Omans and Steven Steinard, both of Oviedo, Fla., 11 bass, 35-1

  9th: East Rowan High School, Salisbury, N.C. – Hunter Harwood, Gold Hill, N.C., and Paiton File, Salisbury, N.C., 12 bass, 32-0

  10th: Arkansas Student Angler Federation – Cade Gartman and Jay Morgan, both of Trumann, Ark., 10 bass, 29-9

Complete results for the remaining teams and photos from the event can be found at

The 2017 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship was a two-person (team) no-entry fee event for students in grades 7-12. The tournament featured the top anglers from the 2017 TBF High School Fishing State Championships and Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Open events.

Full schedules and the latest announcements are available at and

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will return to Lake Murray Country, Aug. 11-13, to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2017. Hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, the tournament will feature 53 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for the sport’s biggest award – $300,000 cash.

The Forrest Wood Cup has been held at Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina, twice, in 2008 and 2014. Michael Bennett of Lincoln, California, won the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup fishing with a frog. Bennett ran all around the lake, targeting shade and a variety of shallow cover, fishing new water each day. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup went to local favorite Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, who fished points and some upriver brush the first couple of days, but relied mostly on offshore schooling bass to earn the win.

“The key factor in this year’s event will be catching a 5-pounder every day,” Gagliardi said. “The lake is fishing really good – similar to 2014 – but there are also some differences. There is a lot more grass and vegetation this year. The fish are a little bigger, and there won’t be co-anglers fishing in this tournament. But the patterns will be similar to 2014, and guys will be doing a lot of the same things to catch fish.”

Blueback-chasing schoolers and shallow bluegill eaters dominated the 2014 event, and topwater baits were the predominant tactic, but a few other patterns emerged, including drop-shotting, dragging on offshore structure and fishing a mayfly hatch far up the Saluda River.

“I think that guys fishing shallow will have a good chance, but the offshore guys should do well, too,” Gagliardi continued. “Everybody is going to be able to fish to their strengths and I think that it is likely that we will see a 20-pound limit or two.”

At the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup, Gagliardi earned the win over Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury of Odenvile, Alabama, by just 1-ounce. Canterbury – known for being one of the best shallow-water power fisherman on Tour – will also be one of the 53 anglers competing this year and is considered by many competitors to be a favorite in the event.

Anglers will take off from Dreher Island State Park located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity, at 7 a.m. EDT each morning at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Each day’s weigh-in will be held at the Colonial Life Arena located at 801 Lincoln St., in Columbia, beginning at 5 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center located at 1101 Lincoln St. in Columbia, each day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes games, activities and giveaways provided by more than 40 FLW sponsors, the opportunity to shop the latest tackle and outdoor gear from more than 100 exhibitors, Ranger boat simulators, a casting pond and a trout pond for children, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with top professional anglers, including Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and Byron Velvick. FLW’s namesake Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, will also be greeting fans.

On Saturday and Sunday the first 500 children 14 and under each day who are accompanied by an adult will receive a voucher to redeem for a free Kid Caster’s no-tangle, rod-and-reel combo courtesy of WLTX 19 after the evening’s weigh-in. 

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

May 23, 2017--DUBLIN, Va. – The Madison County High School duo of Connor Hughes of Brightwood, Virginia, and Brian Canterbury of Madison, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 9 pounds even to win the 2017 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Virginia Open tournament on Claytor Lake. The win advanced the team to the 2017 High School Fishing National championship, held June 27-July 1 at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama.

According to post-tournament reports, the duo caught their fish targeting bedding fish and rocky banks in the mid- to lower-end of the lake with a Yamamoto Senko.

A field of 14 teams competed in the no-entry fee, tournament which launched from Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin. In FLW/TBF High School Fishing competition, the top 10-percent of teams competing advance to the High School Fishing National Championship.

The top team on Claytor Lake that advanced to the 2017 High School Fishing National Championship was:

  1st:       Madison County High School, Madison, Va. – Connor Hughes, Brightwood, Va., and Brian Canterbury, Madison, Va., (five bass, 9-0)

Rounding out the top 10 teams were:

  2nd:     New Kent High School, New Kent, Va. – Tyler Colgin, New Kent, Va., and Justin Bostic, Providence Forge, Va., (five bass, 6-14)

  3rd:      Broadway High School, Broadway, Va. – Austin Knicely, Harrisonburg, Va., and Anthony Lookadoo, Rockingham, Va., (five bass, 6-13)

  4th:      Pulaski County High School, Dublin, Va. – Landon McDaniel, Dublin, Va., and Paul Southern, Pulaski, Va., (five bass, 6-11)

  5th:      Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, Va. – Sean Gunter and Landon Siggers, both of Danville, Va., (five bass, 6-10)

  6th:      Buckeye Boss Hawgs – Briar West, Newport, Ohio, and Wyatt Oliver, Newport, Ohio, (three bass, 5-1)

  7th:      Dan River High School, Ringgold, Va. – Andrew Turner, Sutherlin, Va., and Ezra Johnson, Keeling, Va., (four bass, 4-7)

  8th:      New Kent High School, New Kent, Va. – Bryce Henley, Lanexa, Va., and Edward Davis, West Point, Va., (one bass, 3-8)

  9th:      Franklin County High School, Rocky Mount, Va. – Peyton Brown, Rocky Mount, Va., and Timmy Massey, Moneta, Va., (three bass, 2-11)

  10th:    Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, Va. – Chance Richie, Dry Fork, Va., and Evan Frazier, Dry Fork, Va., (two bass, 2-11)

Complete results from the event can be found at

The 2017 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Virginia Open was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12, open to any Student Angler Federation (SAF) affiliated high school club in the United States. The top 10 percent of each Challenge, Open, and state championship field will advance to the High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2017 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. At the 2016 World Finals more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.

Full schedules and the latest announcements are available at and

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

June 1, 2017--MARBURY, Md. – The seventh and final regular-season event of the 22nd season of the FLW Tour, the most competitive circuit in professional bass fishing, is coming to Marbury June 15-18 for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar. Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament will feature 320 pros and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

The FLW Tour last visited the Potomac River in 2015, when pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, took top honors with a four-day cumulative weight of 60 pounds even. This year, local pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, said he expects a lot more weight to come from the tidal fishery.

“I believe the weights will be substantially higher than when the Tour visited in 2015,” said Schmitt, who has 20 career top-10 finishes on the Potomac River in FLW competition. “The grass has really improved over the last two years and there’s a lot food in the system for these fish. The bass haven’t had to expend a lot of energy and have gotten big in a short amount of time.”

Schmitt said areas like Chicamuxen Creek, Wades Bay, Aquia Creek and Nanjemoy Creek will be popular because they tend to harbor the cleanest water.

“I think a lot of competitors will work their way into shallow, protected bays and cull through a ton of fish,” said Schmitt. “They’ll have to try to find that 4-pounder that sets them apart from the rest of the field – they’re out there.”

Schmitt said an assortment of baits including soft-plastic worms, jigs, frogs, stickbaits and swimbaits will be featured in this event. The Maryland veteran predicted the winner will need as much as 80 pounds of bass over four days to secure the win, a major increase in weight from just two years ago.

“If we don’t get any heavy rainfall or flooding prior to the event, I think we’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise,” said Schmitt. “This fishery can definitely produce 20 pound limits a day right now.”

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road, in Marbury. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, June 15-16, will be held at Smallwood State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, June 17-18, will also be held at Smallwood State Park, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are invited to come out and experience the free FLW Expo at Smallwood State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The FLW Expo is a great opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet-and-greet with top FLW Tour anglers, enjoy games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation Unified Fishing Derby at Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, on Saturday, June 17, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth (18 years of age and younger) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.

Courtesy of FLW Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--A half-century ago, when Ray Scott of Montgomery, Ala., wanted to entice outdoor media to cover his upcoming press conference, he didn’t soft-sell the event.  He invited the journalists to meet him in Springdale, Ark., and learn about “The Biggest, Most Important Happening In Bass Fishing History.”

The “happening” was the All-American Bass Tournament on Beaver Lake, Arkansas, an event many mark as the beginning of the modern era of bass fishing. The tournament was held June 5-7, 1967 — 50 years ago next week. The tournament was successful enough to launch the professional fishing careers of Bill Dance, Stan Sloan, Don Butler and others, and it inspired Scott, an insurance salesman turned promoter, to conduct a “tournament trail” of events across the country.

And it spawned the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society — B.A.S.S. for short — which would grow into the world’s largest fishing organization with more than 500,000 members and a magazine, Bassmaster, currently read by 4.5 million people each month.

Bassmaster’s June issue marks the milestone of tournament fishing with a cover story written by Bob Cobb, who contributed greatly to the All-American’s success.

“This article is special because it pulls back the curtains and offers never-before-released details of how Scott was able to pull off a bass tournament that probably should not have happened,” said Bassmaster Editor James Hall. “Secondly, it is written by Bob Cobb, the first editor of Bassmaster Magazine, who was standing in the crowd during the weigh-in of the All-American event. Cobb was there, and he is one of only a few people on this earth able to tell the story in vivid detail from firsthand experience.”

Cobb is quick to note in his article that other tournaments, including Earl Golding’s Texas State Bass Tournament and Hy Peskin’s World Series of Sport Fishing, predated Scott’s event by a decade or more. But it wasn’t until the All-American Bass Tournament was held that competitive fishing caught on and outgrew its regional roots.

Thanks to tournaments organized by Scott and, later, by others, the black bass has become America’s most popular sportfish, helping drive a freshwater fishing industry that generates $73 billion for the nation’s economy and provides employment for more than 500,000 people nationwide.

“The celebration of Ray Scott’s first tournament is vital to our sport,” Hall said. “Ray and his small band of supporters legitimized bass fishing competitions and spawned an industry. That’s a big, big deal. Almost every tournament organization today still uses the basic rules developed for the All-American event held 50 years ago. That effort became the constitution for bass tournaments.”

Cobb, who was outdoors editor of the Tulsa Tribune newspaper at the time, said he was initially skeptical of Scott, but he bought into his vision for bass fishing after the two met in person.

“Scott looked me in the eye and told me about his dream to make bass fishing more popular, to create bass angling heroes, to get the sport on TV and have fishing fans watch and learn how-to techniques — the secrets of bass angling pros — and how he wanted to create a ‘Take A Kid Fishing’ movement and youth angling program, to ensure the future of the bass fishing sport,”.

He said those goals became the founding principles of B.A.S.S., which was officially organized in early 1968, when Butler became the first member of the organization and when the first issue of Bassmaster was published. B.A.S.S. will mark the 50th anniversary of those milestones with a yearlong celebration of the history of bass fishing, beginning in January 2018.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.