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Tournament Bass Fishing

Updated on May 26, 2013

Fishing for a Living

Bass fishing is a great activity and tournaments are a way to make the sport more competitive. Tournaments are won by the angler with the 5 biggest fish for the day and their is generally a side pot for the single largest bass of the day as well, big fish honors are often just as much about bragging rights for catching the biggest fish as they are for the cash. One of the rules for tournaments that bass anglers pride themselves on is the requirement to bring the catch in alive and release the fish at the end of the tournament. This practice of catch and release and a focus on conservation as well as habitat creation has allowed fisherman from national tournament organizations to club levels to be active in managing their local fisheries for better catch results and healthy waterways. Tournament fishing is a fun way to participate in the sport of fishing and if you have never followed any of the professional events both Bassmaster and FLW are great organizations that compete across the country.

Professional Bass Fishing Anglers

Pros at the dock for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Tournament
Pros at the dock for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Tournament | Source


BASS - The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society a fishing club started in 1967 by Ray Scott in Montgomery Alabama with the goal of starting a legitimate fishing tournament trail and achieved the creation of a national organization with hundreds of thousands of members. The organization prides itself of promoting conservation practices and supports habitat improvement projects and actively supports the interests of anglers and the waters anglers enjoy. The tournament trail has grown as well from those early years in the late 1960's and the bass fishing tournament scene has developed into a unique business all of its own driving innovations in fishing and boating. Professional fisherman have developed new tools and techniques that have inspired younger anglers to continue to pursue catching fish and enjoying the lakes and rivers that are abundant across the country and often filled with large mouth and small mouth bass.

The Bassmaster Tournament trail consists of several different series based on the level of angler skill.

Elite Series - These are the true professionals fishing for large sums of money at the most competitive level the sport has to offer.

College - This is a series for anglers to compete with a team for their school

Opens - The Opens provide aspiring elite series pros a shot at qualifying for the tour. These tournaments will also have many elite series pros competing along with local talent.

Federation - The federation is the chance for the average fisherman that enjoys fishing with his local club the chance at fishing at the next level.

Tournament Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Getting the Net WetJimmy Houston Fishing in a TournamentA Couple of Big FishBlast Off at 2012 ClassicWeigh In Stage at the Bassmaster Classic
Getting the Net Wet
Getting the Net Wet | Source
Jimmy Houston Fishing in a Tournament
Jimmy Houston Fishing in a Tournament | Source
A Couple of Big Fish
A Couple of Big Fish | Source
Blast Off at 2012 Classic
Blast Off at 2012 Classic | Source
Weigh In Stage at the Bassmaster Classic
Weigh In Stage at the Bassmaster Classic | Source

FLW Outdoors Tournament Circuits

FLW Outdoors supports a wide range of professional and amateur level tournaments across the country. FLW also hosts a Walleye fishing tournament circuit that visits some of the best walleye fisheries in the country every year.

The Walmar FLW Tour is a professional series of events that is attended by many well known fisherman from across the country. The best anglers each year finish the season by competing in the Forrest Wood Cup which has a grand prize of $500,000.

Everstart Series is designed for anglers from various regions to compete on local bodies of water. The regions that hold fishing tournaments include: Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas, and Western. Each circuit fishes 4 tournaments and top finishers can have the chance to get into the Forrest Wood Cup Championship event and earn a spot on the FLW tour.

Each of these series provides opportunities for amateur anglers to also fish. Co anglers fish from the back of the boat and get the chance to compete for the chance to win money as well as learn from some of the best bass fisherman in the country.

The Classic and Forest Wood Cup

Bassmaster Classic Location 2013:
Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, Oklahoma, USA

get directions

2013 Forrest Wood Cup Location Presented by Walmart :
Red River, Louisiana, USA

get directions

Elite Series Tournament Schedule 2013

Bassmaster Classic Starts it Off

The Bassmaster classic now starts the season off, this is an exciting way to get the season to a great start. The classic is the biggest fishing tournament in the bass fishing world. The tournament is always located near a larger city that has a stadium type venue to hold the crowds for the Bassmaster classic show. This years classic was located in Grand Lake in Tulsa Oklahoma, which was won by Cliff Pace with a weight of 54.12lbs.

Fishing Tournament Schedule 2013

Bassmaster Elite
FLW Tour
February 7 - 10, 2013
Lake Okeechobee
February 22 - 24, 2013
Grand Lake - Tulsa OK *Classic*
March 7 - 10, 2013
Lewis Smith Lake
March 14 - 17, 2013
Sabine River System
March 21 - 24, 2013
Falcon Lake
April 11 - 14, 2013
Beaver Lake
April 18 - 21, 2013
Bull Shoals Lake
May 2 - 5, 2013
West Point Lake
May 9 - 12, 2013
Alabama River
May 16-19, 2013
Lake Eufaula
June 6 - 9, 2013
Grand Lake
June 20 - 23, 2013
Mississippi River
June 27 - 30
Lake Chickamuga
August 8 - 11, 2013
St. Lawrence River
August 15 - 18, 2013
Red River, Shreveport, LA *Forest Wood Cup*
August 22 - 25, 2013
Lake St. Clair
Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour 2013 Professional Bass Fishing Tournament Schedule

FLW or B.A.S.S.

Which Schedule Fishes Better Lakes

See results

Tournament Basics

Most bass fishing tournaments follow the same basic rules. While every organization will have their own set of rules if you know these basics you can feel comfortable entering an event and reviewing the rules for that organization.

In order to win an event you need to catch the biggest limit of fish. Keep the fish alive in a live well because dead fish will result in a penalty. If there is a big fish bonus pool than you can also cash a check by weighing in the biggest single fish of the day.

Basic Tournament Rules

  • 5 Fish Limit - 12" inch minimum sized fish measured from head to tail
  • Catch all fish during tournament hours, in legal areas of the lake on artificial lures
  • No rods over 8' in length
  • Fish must be hooked inside of the mouth
  • Good sportsmanship towards other anglers
  • Do not come into the weigh in late

Tournament Blast Off


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