Millions of dollars in prizes will be on the line this year when Bass Pro Shops hosts its first-ever amateur fishing tournament.
The outdoor sports shop announced the inaugural Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shop U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships on Monday. The tournament is in celebration of the store’s 50th anniversary. Anglers will compete for $4.3 million in prizes and the team that takes home the national championship will receive $1 million in cash.
“This tournament is our way of giving thanks and rewarding our customers with the chance to land the catch of a lifetime,” he said, according to the news station. “Beyond offering the ultimate prize in fishing, we’re excited to celebrate our heritage, raise funds for conservation, and have some big fun with people who love fishing as much as we do.”
Interested anglers can qualify for the event in two ways.
The first way to qualify is to enter one of eight regional qualifying events scheduled for the spring and finish in the top 40. The qualifiers will be held at Lake Okeechobee, Fla on March 13, Lake Ray Roberts in Dallas on April 17, Lake Mead, Nevada on April 24, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland on July 17, Lake St. Clair near Detroit on Aug. 21, Old Hickory Lake near Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 11, Grand Lake ‘O the Cherokees in Tulsa, Okla. On Oct. 15 and Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas on Nov. 17.
The championship event will be held at Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks of Missouri in November.
The second way to qualify is to win a competition organized by authorized, independent dealers of Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Triton, Sun Tracker, Tahoe and MAKO brand boats.
Winning teams from three major national collegiate championships will also be invited to compete in the championship.
The main $1 million prize is not the only prize to be given out during the competition. Prizes will be presented to youth, family teams, all-female teams, veterans, and many more by regional and international qualifiers. One junior angler between the ages of 11 and 18 will win a $250,000 scholarship to study conservation.
There will be 350 two-person teams competing for the ultimate prize in November, including teams from Japan, Spain, Germany, Romania, Mexico, and Holland. Teams will limit catches to five fish each day with overall weight being the deciding factor. The winning team gets $1 million in cash.
The angler with the biggest bass will win a 21’ fiberglass Ranger, Nitro or Triton bass boat or a Toyota Tundra truck, among other prizes.
Competitors can use our ConnectScale 3 to record the weight of their catches. The ConnectScale Bluetooth Digital Scale and Fishing App has a culling system that allows anglers to easily keep track of catches while the culling feature allows people to manage catches simply by weighing them and logging them automatically into the app. This helps reduce stress on the fish and keeps mortality rates down.
Entry fees for the Bass Pro Shop tournament are $450 for adults and $250 for kids between 12 and 17. Children 11 and under are free. Proceeds will benefit conservation with one-third of entry feeds supporting the national Fish Habitat Initiative, according to Fox News.
Hosting a fishing tournament with cash prizes doesn’t just have to be for the large retailers like Bass Pro Shop. You can host a fishing tournament as well with Connect Leaderboard. The fishing management software is easy to use and provides a great platform to fit all your needs.
As anglers start hauling in catches, they take a picture using their phones (or their ConnectScale 3 if it is a weight-based event) and submit them to the app. The app will log catches in areas of limited to no service and upload them when they get back in range.
The Connect Leaderboard has a catch verification feature which allows hosts to assign penalties and exclude catches for violation of rules. In-app notifications will let participants know when a rule has been violated or a penalty has been committed. A messaging system allows participants and hosts to easily exchange messages throughout the tournament.