The B.A.S.S. Bassmaster tournaments are the becoming more known, and getting much more coverage these days. The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, or B.A.S.S., was started by Ray Scott in 1967. BASS members number in the hundreds of thousands and give back to their local fisheries through education and conservation.
BASS has changed hands a few times since 1967, but the mission remains the same. The focus is to get more people interested in bass fishing, and put on competitions of the highest level in bass fishing. Now that ESPN owns BASS, tournament coverage is easy to find.
The tournaments include the Bassmaster Classic, which is the super bowl of fishing and is invitational. It has continued once a year since 1971. With a purse of $500,000 to the winner, the competition is fierce. A win at the Classic can rocket a new pro to the top. The endorsements and sponsors are soon to follow. Being a pro fisherman is quite tough without sponsorship. You have to travel state to state, and be away from family and home for weeks on end. That all cost money with hotels, gas, repairs and food. Having corporations provide gear and money is what keeps pro bass fishing alive.
Other tournaments include the Elite,Open,Womens and Federation Nation series. A champion from any of these also get an invite to the Classic. The Open and Federation Nation series are the way an amateur can break into the pros. The Womens series put it's first member in the 2009 Classic. The Elite series is the highest paying of them all. This is the stage for the best bass fishermen around. Winners of each event take home $100,000 in cash and merchandise bonuses on top of that. The entry fee for the Elite series is $46,000, but you must qualify first.
There is one other very exiting way to rub shoulders with the pros. For the 2009 Elite series, B.A.S.S has included their brand new Marshal Program. BASS members have the opportunity to go fishing with the pros. They will actually be riding along and not fishing. They keep an eye on the gear, and the pro, and gain loads of information in the meantime. It is a once in a lifetime chance to ask questions and see how the pros use their knowledge from start to finish. There is no pressure on the pro form a co-angler, and the Marshal ensures integrity and benefits from the experience. How could you loose?
What Do You Think About The Marshal Program?
A lot of co-anglers will be sitting on shore this year. Do you think it is better to let Marshals take their place in the Elite series?
This does give the average Joe a chance to fish with the best in the business. B.A.S.S. believes this will help the sport of bass fishing. What do you think?
For more information on membership, becoming an Elite Series Marshal, or tournament, visit the