Bass Pro Shops celebrates its 50e year, and amateur fishermen and the waters where they practice their profession will be rewarded.
Founder Johnny Morris today announced what he called the greatest fishing tournament in history – the Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops US Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships.
The tournament will have over $ 4 million in cash and prizes for anglers and is expected to bring in at least $ 1 million for conservation.
âIt’s just for amateurs,â Morris said. “It’s just for you.”
The tournament, which will be broadcast internationally on CNB, invites the owners of Tracker, Tidy, Nitro, Triton, Sun tracking, Tahoe and Mako branded boats to compete in teams of two people. The event is exclusively for amateurs, including serious weekend tournament anglers, parents, grandparents and youngsters.
The national championship team will win a cash prize of $ 1 million.
âNever before has there been a freshwater tournament like this,â said legendary angler Bill Dance. ” And that’s just the beginning. Participants will be rewarded with a total value of the Guarantee Scholarship (of) $ 4.3 million in cash prizes. “
But the big winners, Morris said, will be fish habitat.
“About a third of your registration fee will go directly to conservation (through) a fish habitat initiative that supports the freshwater habitats and lakes that are so important,” Morris said. about the National Fish Habitat Initiative. “Also, we’re going to match that to Bass Pro with another third party and then our great curator partners at Toyota will correspond to a third.
âWe will all be partners in this effort to conserve this tournament,â said the founder of Bass Pro Shops. “This is one of our big motivations – celebrating our 50th anniversary, having fun, having great prizes to get you excited, having a chance to win really big prizes and award recognition, but also doing a lot to support preservation.”
To develop the sport of bass fishing, regional and international qualifying 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.
In addition, Morris awarded a junior fisherman aged 11 to 18 with a scholarship of $ 250,000 for an area of ââstudy related to conservation.
Following a series of regional qualifiers starting this spring, 350 two-person teams will compete in the televised championship final this fall at Grand Lodge of Cedar on Table Rock Lake, home to the “Grandpa” Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, Missouri.
The competition will feature teams from Japan, Spain, Germany, Romania, Mexico and the Netherlands.
John Paul Morris, the founder’s son, joined him in making the announcement.
âWe’ve worked really hard on this and the bottom line is it’s just a great way to give back to our customers to show them a good time,â said young Morris. âWe are going to have eight qualifying rounds and if you are one of the top 40 in any of our qualifying rounds your entry fee will be fully paid for (in) the final round.
âBut more than the tournament, these are all fun events for the whole family,â he continued. âIt’s going to be a lot of fun, the prizes are almost triple if not more than triple that of the major national professional bass fishing tournaments and the coolest part is, it’s just for you. No pro allowed.
Here is the tournament program:
- Lake Okeechobee, Florida, March 13.
- Lake Ray Roberts, Dallas, April 17.
- Lake Mead, Nevada, April 24.
- Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, July 17.
- Lac Sainte-Claire, Detroit, August 21.
- Old Hickory Lake, Nashville, September 11.
- Grand Lake O ‘the Cherokees, Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 16.
- Last Chance Qualifier: Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas, November 17.
- Grand Championship Final for those who qualify: Table Rock Lake, Missouri, November 19.
Participation in qualifying tournaments is limited and will be determined by draw. Registration details are available at basspro.com/usopen. Registration opens February 10.
Bass Pro Shops is a chain of nature-themed department stores with a wide range of hunting, fishing and outdoor equipment. The chain includes stores in Leeds and Prattville.