AL Bass Nation The Bass Fishers Nation Wed, 06 May 2020 03:05:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 AL Bass Nation 32 32 Alabama Well Represented with Two Members in the 2020 Bassmaster High School All-American Team Wed, 06 May 2020 03:05:15 +0000 Meet the 12 outstanding high school anglers have been selected as members of the exclusive 2020 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. Click to see the full article.

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B.A.S.S. Names Top Student Athletes to 2020 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team Tue, 14 Apr 2020 21:27:21 +0000

April 14, 2020
B.A.S.S. Names Top Student Athletes To 2020 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Forty nine of the most outstanding high school anglers from across the country have been named to the 2020 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The students were selected for the honor based on their success in bass tournament competition, academic achievement and leadership in conservation and community service.

“The Bassmaster High School All-American program continues to be the most prestigious in the country,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Academy Sports + Outdoors sponsorship of the program adds to that prestige. The All-State selection and honorable mention are a high honor, not only in recognition of the recipients’ fishing skills, but just as importantly, their scholastic, conservation and community service achievements.”

To be considered for the All-State Fishing Team, a student must have been nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher were eligible.

B.A.S.S. received more than 300 nominations from across the nation. From these, judges selected 49 student anglers from 33 states to make the All-State Fishing Team. In addition, 54 students received Honorable Mentions recognizing them for their tournament success as well as community service and academic achievement.

“Congratulations to all 49 anglers on being selected to the prestigious title of All-State or Honorable Mention,” said Hank Weldon, senior manager of the B.A.S.S. High School program. “It’s always so impressive to see the accolades of each applicant. Every parent and angler should be very proud of joining the team.”

A second panel of judges will review nominations of the 49 All-State team members and select the 12 members of the 2020 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. As in All-State judging, criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments, involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities.

The 12 finalists will compete in a one-day Bassmaster All-American High School Bass Tournament held during the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event, a fan-favorite festival which is currently scheduled to take place June 5-9 on Lake Fork out of Quitman, Texas.

Elite Series anglers will serve as teammates and “coaches” of the student anglers in the tournament. The high school standouts will be honored on the main Texas Fest stage at the weigh-in.

Below is the list of the 49 All-State anglers and 54 Honorable Mentions, in order by state:
Aaron Cherry, Kinsey
Tucker Smith, Shoal Creek
Jack Alexander, Mountain Brook (Honorable Mention)
Ethan Greene, Eufaula (Honorable Mention)
Hayden Marbut, Vestavia Hills (Honorable Mention)

Arizona Isaiah Rios, Phoenix (Honorable Mention)

Hayden Adams, Texarkana
Zachary Ward, Cabot
Aiden Baiza, Walnut Ridge (Honorable Mention)
Tyner Redden, Greenbrier (Honorable Mention)
Weston Villines, Rogers (Honorable Mention)

Colorado Jack Harpole, Littleton

Ryan Corcoran, Cromwell
Dylan Napoleone, Beacon Falls

Delaware Ethan Stubbs, Lincoln (Honorable Mention)

Seth Slanker, Lake City
Jackson Swisher, Lake City
Ryan Garrett, Tampa (Honorable Mention)
Chase Hubble, Plant City (Honorable Mention)
Ryan Padgett, Lake City (Honorable Mention)

Brooks Anderson, Marietta
Owen Moss, Jasper
Brayden Batchelor, Greensboro (Honorable Mention)
Caleb Hudson, Evans (Honorable Mention)

Idaho Cooper Rohlmeier, Meridian

Wyatt Pazdro, Minooka
Laindree Richardson, Benton
Landon Albright, Goreville (Honorable Mention)
Grant Olsen, Gardner (Honorable Mention)
Maxwell Trotter, Decatur (Honorable Mention)

Colsyn Head, Poland
Scott Sledge, Greenwood
Casey Cornelius, Indianapolis (Honorable Mention)
James Printz, Fishers (Honorable Mention)

Jackson Toale, Independence
Coleton Usher, Atkins
Jace Whittle, Marion (Honorable Mention)

Brady Daniels, Louisburg (Honorable Mention)
Cole Evans, Louisburg (Honorable Mention)
Nicholas Huston, St. John (Honorable Mention)

Will Carnes, Stanford
Jackson Kulijof, Greenville
Alex Dunaway, Winchester (Honorable Mention)
Allen Powe, Winchester (Honorable Mention)

Bryant “Brother” Martin, Crowley
Peyton Matherne, Walker
Forrest Lagarde, Abita Springs (Honorable Mention)
Wade Roberts, Lake Charles (Honorable Mention)
Hunter White, Sulphur (Honorable Mention)

Tyler Williams, Belgrade

Zach Malinowski, Richmond (Honorable Mention)
Morgan Ware, Midland (Honorable Mention)

Easton Fothergill, Grand Rapids
Nehemiah Glenn, Lakeville
Matt Boerboom, Inver Grove Heights (Honorable Mention)
Joseph Gorman, Farmington (Honorable Mention)

Eli Hughey, Moss Point Lake Norsworthy
Brandon Gabriel Bush, West Lincoln (Honorable Mention)
Dalton Smith, Brandon (Honorable Mention)
Jonathan Williams, Moss Point (Honorable Mention)

Emily Freeman, Ozark

Carter Doren, Las Vegas (Honorable Mention)

New Jersey
Matthew Ruffolo, Upper Saddle River (Honorable Mention)

New York
Rein Golub, Pittsford
Garrett Lawton, Pulaski

North Carolina
Caz Anderson, Hayesville
Carson Palmer, Richfield

Mitchell Johnson, Dayton
Kobe Thompson, Crooksville
Mark Emmerling, Negley (Honorable Mention)

Cole Kilpatrick, Yale
Dakota Page, Catoosa
Hunter Meadows, Norman (Honorable Mention)

Michael Postlewait, Astoria
Luke Van Norman, Roseburg (Honorable Mention)

Gavin Enders, Mifflinburg
Dylan Fogarty, Mechanicsburg
Austin Aikins, Lower Burrell (Honorable Mention)
Carson Forrester, Chambersburg (Honorable Mention)

South Carolina
Jack Hunt, Townville
Nicklaus Romero, Tega
Cay Justin Kanute, Clover (Honorable Mention)
Lillian Smith, Abbeville (Honorable Mention)

Drake Hemby, Brentwood
Matthew Vandagriff, McMinnville
Mercedes Ellis, Gleason (Honorable Mention)
Josh Lee, Karns (Honorable Mention)
Tyan Massengale, Soddy Daisy (Honorable Mention)
Westin Moss, Jasper (Honorable Mention)

River Johnson, Huntington
Maverick Winford, Humble
Ben Burns, Lucas (Honorable Mention)
Nathan Lusty, Arlington (Honorable Mention)
Brenton Peters, Huntington (Honorable Mention)
Logan Schwartz, Brenham (Honorable Mention)

West Virginia
Trevor Albanese, Berkeley Springs
Sam Ambrose, Berkeley Springs
Hunter DuVall, Berkeley Springs (Honorable Mention)
Casey Gates, Berkeley Springs (Honorable Mention)

Tucker Cory, Amherst
Tyler Cory, Amherst
Jacob Bigelow, Cecil (Honorable Mention)

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. -30- Media Contact: Emily Harley, B.A.S.S. Communications Manager, 205-313-0945,

If you would rather not receive future communications from B.A.S.S. LLC, let us know by clicking here.
B.A.S.S. LLC, 3500 Blue Lake Drive, Suite 330, Birmingham, AL 35243 United States

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Feb. 21st – Deadline for Bassmaster High School All-American Nominations Sun, 02 Feb 2020 01:24:20 +0000
Nominations Now Open For 2020 Class Of Bassmaster High School All-Americans – Deadline February 21, 2020!!!
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. is seeking nominations for the best and brightest high school bass anglers in the country.
The Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors recognizes the 12 most outstanding high school anglers in the nation. The program is designed to reward young athletes for their performance in tournaments, leadership in their communities and involvement in conservation efforts.
Applications for the team, which is now in its sixth year, will be accepted today through Feb. 21.
To be considered, a student must be nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10 through 12 with a current grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible.
Judges will select up to two student anglers in each state. These All-State Fishing Team members will become semifinalists in the selection of the 12-member Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. Criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments and involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities.
The anglers chosen will compete in a one-day Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament to be held in conjunction with the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event — one of nine regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments being held this year. Elite Series anglers will serve as “coaches” for the student anglers in the one-day fishing event near Emory, Texas. The high school standouts and Elite Series coaches will be honored before the weigh-in crowd.

“The continued and growth and success our High School All-American program has had over the past six years never ceases to amaze me,” said Hank Weldon, senior manager of the Bassmaster High School program. “We are so proud to offer a platform that not only recognizes successful student athletes on their accomplishments on the water, but on their academic success and community involvement as well. We can’t wait to see what this 2020 class of anglers has in store.”
All students who compete in high school fishing events are eligible, regardless if they are affiliated with B.A.S.S. or another fishing organization.
Notices have been sent to youth fishing directors of the B.A.S.S. Nation and other organizations, as well as leaders of state high school fishing programs. Adults can nominate students by filling out an online form at Nominations must be submitted before midnight on Feb. 21. Please send all questions to

Scholarship Opportunity Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:38:35 +0000 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — For the third consecutive year, B.A.S.S. and Alabama Power are partnering to award two $5,000 scholarships this year for students currently attending, or planning to attend, a technical school or community college in the state of Alabama.

The applicant must reside in an Alabama Power service area and be a member of a B.A.S.S. High School Club or the B.A.S.S. Nation, a worldwide network of affiliated B.A.S.S. clubs whose members are active in conservation initiatives and youth programs.

“Alabama Power not only keeps the lights on in our home state of Alabama,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin, “but it also brightens the future of young people in the state through these innovative scholarships. All of us at B.A.S.S. are proud to take part in this effort to help young people achieve their dreams.”

The award can be used to cover tuition, textbooks or living expenses.

Applications can be found at An official academic transcript, a letter of introduction and two letters of recommendation are required to apply. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with B.A.S.S. This initiative provides a great opportunity to teach students the importance of environmental stewardship, while also equipping them with the right resources to be valuable contributors to our skilled workforce in Alabama,” said Zeke Smith, Alabama Power Executive Vice President of External Affairs.

Recipients will be notified by Monday, Dec. 9 and will be featured on

Briarwood Team Achieves Rare National Title Repeat Fri, 16 Aug 2019 02:02:20 +0000

By Greg McCain

Winning a championship on a national stage is a rare occurrence, the pinnacle of bass-fishing success at the high school level.

Given the fleeting nature of high school careers and packed, highly competitive tournament fields, only the best anglers get to heft the trophy on the final day. Only select teams even get to compete for a title, much less earn the opportunity to repeat as champions.

Two Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation high school anglers achieved that rare possibility in recent weeks, however. Briarwood Christian’s Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith, winners of the 2018 championship at the same venue, repeated their national title on Kentucky Lake in early August.

Morris and Smith, captained by Briarwood alumnus J.T. Russell, outlasted a field of 300 boats and won their second straight B.A.S.S. high school national championship. Staged out of Paris, Tenn., Aug. 8-10, the tournament is officially named the Mossy Oak Fishing High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

“In fact, we were just talking about how unlikely it is to repeat,” said Briarwood fishing team sponsor Jay Mathews, also the athletic director for the Birmingham school. “It just doesn’t happen. The fish have to cooperate, and even to win it once is unreal and a great accomplishment. There are things out of your control that you just can’t help. To repeat is almost beyond comprehension.”

Added Smith, a member of the 2019 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, “To be honest, I didn’t know if we had a chance to go there and repeat. To get there and find out that we still had the chance was really eye-opening. We just kept grinding, made some good decisions, and caught some key fish. I was surprised when we came out of the gates with 19 lbs.”

Kick-started by a six-pounder in the tournament’s opening minutes and culminated by a late flurry on Day 3, Morris (age 18) and Smith (age 17) brought a 50-1 total to the scales. That winning weight included the big bag of the tournament, 19-11 on Day 1. They followed with a solid 17-11 limit on the second day of competition, giving them a lead of over four lbs. over a local team from nearby Henry County High School going into the final round.

While the overall totals looked good, each day proved to be a grind. They milked their shallow-water patterns, including catching a few fish in the magical creek that produced most of their fish in 2018.

Overall, the fishing was much more difficult this year. In fact, Briarwood only had a single fish in the boat at the mid-day break on Day 2. A key move to some current-influenced boat docks provided the late bites, including a five-lb. largemouth caught on a spinnerbait. Morris said the team caught the majority of their keepers on a bladed jig each day but needed their whole arsenal to fill out limits.

“We felt good with the four-lb. lead, but we also knew that anyone could catch a mega-bag on Kentucky Lake,” said Morris, who was an honorable mention member of the Bassmaster High School All-America team this year.

The final day proved gut-wrenching despite the lead. In the closing moments of competition, Morris and Smith still had only four fish in the livewell. They would not have beaten Henry County without two key late catches.

“On the final day, (Mathews) told us we were starting out with a 4½-pounder in the boat,” Morris said, “to just relax and fish. That we had that cushion and needed to catch five. But when we got down to the end and still only had four fish, it was tough.”

Added Smith, “It was super stressful. Each of the first two days, we had gotten five to seven bites. We didn’t get the bites on the last day.”

A final stop proved pivotal. The team returned to the boat docks close to where they had finished their limit the previous day. When they arrived, the current was gone but the fish were still there.

“J.T. told us, ‘you’ve got seven minutes to make this happen. Get it done.’ ” Smith said.

Morris pitched a jig to the structure around the dock, felt the bite immediately, and soon had a three-pounder, the day’s biggest bass, in hand. A few moments later, Smith caught another keeper that culled, and they took off on the 15-minute run back to the launch. They arrived with only about a minute to spare.

The late fish allowed them to drop 12-11 on the scales and edge back into the top spot.

“It was something magical,” Morris said. “I guess it was just meant to be, but we put a lot of hard work and effort into making it happen.”

The workman-like performance was typical of the team, Mathews said.

“Once the tournament starts, they put their heads down and just fish,” he said. “Once they do get into fish, they are skilled enough to take advantage of the situation. They don’t miss bites. Our motto has kind of been ‘put your head down and fish.’ That’s exactly what they had to do on Kentucky Lake.”

The three-day effort culminated another successful season not only for Morris and Smith but also for the whole Briarwood team. Mathews said the overall team won three regional tournaments and one state championship in the various circuits that they fish. In general, high school tournaments continue to flourish across the state.

“(Morris and Smith) weren’t always the top finishing team for us this year,” Mathews said. “They fished with a target on their backs most of the year. They handled that spotlight well.

“They are part of a trend that I see in Alabama. All the teams compete but also get to know each other well and support each other, even when they are competing against each other. There’s a very healthy sportsmanship that the students and teams demonstrate toward one another.”

While Russell downplayed his role in the consecutive titles – “I just drive the boat,” he said – his contributions didn’t go unnoticed.

“He was such a great help eliminating the stress of the week,” Smith said. “He makes us laugh on the boat. When we get down, he’ll tell a joke. He’ll spit one out and help us relax. He does so many different things that contribute to our success.”

Smith also thanked various sponsors that contribute to Briarwood’s success. Mark’s Outdoors in Birmingham is a long-time supporter of the team and high school fishing in general. Drake Performance Fishing is another sponsor as are Temple Fork Outfitters rods (for Smith) and Hammer rods (for Morris).

The thoughts of a three-peat for the same Briarwood team won’t be a possibility. Morris fishes his first college tournament this weekend as a member of the University of Montevallo Outdoor Scholars Program. He and Russell will compete as a team for Montevallo in various college events this year.

For Smith, the idea of winning a third straight national title is an intriguing thought. He will team with a young angler for competition this year at Briarwood, which has been coached by Curtis Gossett since July.

“A three-peat would be insane,” Smith said. “It can’t happen for Grayson because he’s off to college. But I’ve thought about it since I have one more year of high school. If we can make it happen, we’re going to try and make it happen.”

Greg McCain is a freelance outdoor writer with current credits in Alabama Outdoor News, Great Days Outdoors, Alabama Game & Fish, and CrappieNOW digital magazine in addition to producing content and photos for this website. He is a member of the Belgreen Bass Club, an Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation club near Russellville.

Briarwood’s Christian Tucker Smith & Grayson Morris win back-to-back High School Championships!! Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:49:28 +0000 PARIS, Tenn. — Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith completed a wire-to-wire win on Saturday to secure their second consecutive victory in the Mossy Oak Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The duo, representing Briarwood Christian School of Birmingham, Ala., caught a three-day total of 15 bass that weighed 50 pounds, 1 ounce to earn a landmark win on Kentucky Lake here in the northwest corner of the Volunteer State.

The victory marks the first time a high school duo repeated as national champion.

The winners earned a $4,500 a scholarship, which will go toward their college education. Morris, 18, recently graduated from Briarwood and will compete for the University of Montevallo (Ala.) bass fishing team. Smith, 17, is a rising senior at Briarwood.

Morris and Smith staked an early lead in this year’s championship. Their limit of five bass on Thursday that weighed 19-11 was the heaviest of the tournament, and it gave them a lead of almost 2 pounds on the 300-boat field. They followed with an equally sound 17-11 limit on Friday which increased their margin to more than 4 pounds.

Morris and Smith came back to the pack on Saturday with a limit that weighed 12-11. Things could have been much worse for them, however, as they didn’t complete their limit until there was only 15 minutes of fishing time remaining. That followed the same anxiety-building pattern the duo faced all week, though late bites each day carried them to the championship.

“We had three fish at 10 o’clock today, which was better than the first three days,” Morris said. “So we thought we were making some progress. Tucker caught our fourth fish about an hour later, but then it just shut down completely.”

To catch their fifth keeper, Morris and Smith moved to an area with moving current. The change of scenery was key, and with only minutes to go, Morris caught the team’s fifth bass — a 3-pounder he boated with a 3/8-ounce jig (green pumpkin with a black/blue trailer). A moment later, Smith caught another bass that gave the team its only upgrade of the day.

“It wasn’t much of a cull, but it eased our nerves a little bit,” Smith said.

The Briarwood team certainly needed those final strikes, because Mercedes Ellis and Gage Sherrod of Tennessee’s Henry County High were ready to apply pressure at the scales. The locals caught the big bag on Saturday, a 15-4 limit, that left them a mere 1-12 out of first place in the final standings.

Morris and Smith spent most of the week fishing in the back of the same creek they mastered en route to the 2018 title. They threw dark-colored jigs and chatterbaits and caught their best bass in water as shallow as 2 feet. They worked the creek banks incessantly, trying to excite bites. There weren’t many of them this week, but Morris and Smith eventually found the right ones.

“We weren’t going to leave anything out there,” Smith said. “If we were going to finish second, we weren’t going down without a fight.”

Kentucky Lake was difficult on anglers this week. Only four of the final 12 teams caught limits Saturday, and three of the 12 didn’t catch a weighable fish. On Friday, 129 duos failed to weigh a fish, and on Thursday, 97 teams zeroed.

While many teams struggled, Ellis and Sherrod used their knowledge of the lake to amass 48-5 over three days. They weighed the heaviest bags on both Friday and Saturday.

Rounding out the top five teams are Tyler Finley and Hunter Jones, Mount Pleasant (Tenn.), third, 41-10; Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, Northlake Christian School (La.), fourth, 37-14; and Daelyn Whaley and Lilly Smith,  Abbeville High(S.C.), fifth, 32-8.

B.A.S.S. awarded nearly $24,000 in college scholarships to the Top 12 teams in the championship.  In addition, Bethel University offered more than $500,000 in total scholarship money to the top 24 anglers should they decide to fish at the school located in nearby McKenzie, Tenn.

Taj White and Ethan Ryan of the Arizona High School B.A.S.S. Nation won $875 in scholarship money for catching the Big Bass of the Tournament – a 6-14 largemouth they weighed Thursday.

Morris and Smith were awarded an additional $875 in scholarship funds for having the Big Bag of the Tournament. The money was originally awarded to Hunter Owens, a Natchitoches Central High School student (La.) who was part of the tandem that finished fourth in last year’s high school championship.

Owens was killed in a car accident earlier this year and B.A.S.S. wanted to award the unused scholarship to a deserving team. It was decided before the 2019 championship to present the money to the duo with the heaviest bag this week on Kentucky Lake.

The Carroll County (Tenn.) Tourism Authority, Henry County (Tenn.) and Bethel University hosted the championship.

Story and photo courtesy of

AFTCO and B.A.S.S. Nation conservation grants Sat, 06 Apr 2019 15:40:30 +0000 AFTCO has a long-standing history of supporting conservation efforts by donating 10 percent of company profits every year since 1973 through it’s 10% Pledge. Historically the efforts were focused on saltwater related causes, but in the last year AFTCO has made tremendous efforts to broaden it’s efforts by giving back to freshwater fisheries in a partnership with B.A.S.S. Nation.

In 2018, AFTCO launched the AFTCO x B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant Program and is excited to carry on the program for it’s second year in 2019. The program was kicked off recently at the B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit held during the GEICO Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, Tenn.

Grants ranging up to $5,000 will be awarded to the best proposals. Funding will be available for a broad range of conservation-related projects for B.A.S.S. Nation states, clubs, high school or college teams.  Qualified projects must directly involve youth in such a way as to teach the importance of resource stewardship and the leadership role that anglers play as conservationists. Each project must have an endorsement of the local fisheries management agency, and work to accomplish goals of mutual benefit. The project must have an evaluation component to determine success. A project may be part of a larger project and working with partners is strongly encouraged.

“​I have admired AFTCO’s commitment to conservation for many years,” ​ said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, “and I am very glad to see them step up with these B.A.S.S. Nation grants as they dive into the freshwater bass market. Bill Shedd and his family, the entire company, understand the importance of grass roots efforts to protect and enhance our fishery resources.”

The application deadline is May 15th, 2019, with an announcement of the winners at the annual fishing industry trade show, ICAST, in July. You can access the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant Application here.

AFTCO also plans to continue its support of B.A.S.S. banquets through the donation of performance fishing shirts, gift cards and more. Contact for more details on banquet support.

All questions about the program or application process should be directed to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland:

Shimano/B.A.S.S. College Scholarship Fall/Spring 2019/2020 Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:48:55 +0000 Ladson, S.C. – A key initiative to its ‘Varsity Program’ focusing on high school and college age anglers, Shimano will again award more than $20,000 to both graduating high school seniors and those already enrolled in undergrad and graduate programs. The scholarships are intended to provide needed financial assistance to future leaders in conservation, fisheries and wildlife sciences and management.

Editor’s note: Shimano Varsity application

Now in its third year, “the goal with our scholarships is to encourage and support young anglers to pursue a college degree in fishery management, scientific research and related natural resource professions,” said Phil Morlock, Vice President for Government Affairs/Advocacy for Shimano North American Fishing Inc. “At Shimano, we understand the important role anglers have played as conservation leaders for well over a century. As B.A.S.S. members, we know these students have a first-hand appreciation for environmentally sustainable use and science-based management of natural resources. Where fishing happens, conservation happens.”

The Shimano/B.A.S.S. scholarship partnership is also intended to increase angler awareness of the critical decline in resource management professionals who fish within state, regional, provincial and federal agencies. The future of fishing will continue to rely on the combination of education, training and practical experience which this partnership encourages.

“We are very grateful to Shimano for their commitment to conservation and the future of fishery management through this scholarship program,” said Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director. The first two years’ scholarship recipients were a mix of undergraduate and graduate student anglers from number of different universities around the country. “We looked for the applicants who wanted to become practicing fishery management biologists; the ones who wanted to be involved in taking care of the resource they enjoy. This year again, our goal will be to find those students who not only want to learn and understand the biology, the science – but who can also understand the users, the anglers – because they are anglers too.”

Shimano’s Varsity Program also helps young anglers learn about fishing tackle and techniques, provides industry networking opportunities at Shimano “Career Seminar” events and stresses the role anglers have in fishing conservation and advocacy.

Successful applicants will be notified by July 1. The award is made directly to the student winner and can be used as needed for tuition, textbooks or living expenses.

For more information about on the ‘Shimano Varsity’ program, visit

Headland cranks into High School Classic win Mon, 18 Mar 2019 01:26:28 +0000

March 16, 2019 – Knoxville, Tenn. – Mobility was the key for Gracie Herbold and Aaron Cherry of Headland Bass Team, who caught a five-fish limit that weighed 16 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Classic presented by Academy Sports and Outdoors on Watts Bar Lake. The event is held in conjunction with the Geico Bassmaster Classic presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Hailing from Headland, Ala., the winners found their bass in creeks. Herbold said their bites varied from the mouths to the backs of the creeks, but the key was targeting chunk rock, which held heat.

“It really just depended on where the fish were,” Herbold said. “A lot of times, they were just cruising, and we picked them up.”

Cherry said he and his partner fished Strike King Redeye Shad Tungsten 2-Tap and Strike King 2.5 squarebill crankbaits. Red proved to be the best color for both.

“I think they would have eaten either one, you just had to get it in front of them,” he said.

The key to doing that was a run-and-gun strategy, which took them to 20 different spots.

“He caught three fish back to back in one little area, but for a lot of the time, it was just one every now and then,” Herbold said. “We had a very long lull in the middle of the day where we didn’t catch anything.”

Cherry noted that they caught two good bass late in the day and ended up culling a smaller one.

“I think the sun got up and warmed those rocks,” he said. “The last one I caught was probably in about 3 inches of water. They were really shallow warming up.”

Cherry, who caught most of his fish on the Redeye Shad, said the key to a proper presentation was letting the bait hit bottom and then slow roll it back. The bites, Herbold said, were convincing.

“You knew when they bit,” she said. “The fish would run straight at you, so you had to reel very fast to catch up.”

The event comprised 10 teams from the 28 that fished the 2018 High School season. The qualification format took the top two teams from each of the four 2018 High School Opens, the top two from the 2018 High School National Championship and the 2018 Tennessee state championship team. One of the 11 eligible teams was unable to participate.

To see more photos for this event click here…


Scholarships awarded by Alabama Power/B.A.S.S. to two Alabama students Tue, 15 Jan 2019 21:31:58 +0000 January 7, 2019

Brenton Godwin (left) of Stapleton Ala., and Grey Terry (right) of Tuscaloosa, Ala., were the recipients of the Alabama Power/B.A.S.S. scholarship.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Two Alabama students were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship from B.A.S.S. and Alabama Power, the companies announced today.

“We are proud to partner with Alabama Power to support students who want to further their education in a trade,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “And, we’re even more pleased to provide additional scholarship opportunities for students.”

Brenton Godwin of Stapleton and Grey Terry of Tuscaloosa are the recipients.

Godwin is currently a senior at Baldwin County High School (BCHS) in Bay Minette, Ala., and plans to attend Coastal Alabama Community College.

“I plan on starting my college career at Coastal Alabama Community College, then transferring to Auburn University to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Poultry Science Production,” said Godwin. “While in college, I aspire to fish at Auburn on the collegiate level.”

He has been an active member of the Baldwin County Fishing Team for the past three seasons, as well as several activities at school and in his community. He participates in Key Club, French Club, Technology Student Association, Future Farmers of America, National Honor Society and the BCHS Varsity baseball team.

Terry, a senior at Northridge High School, has been a student in the welding program at Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy and Shelton State Community College’s Dual Enrollment Welding class.

“My goal is to complete an Associate’s Degree at Shelton State and pursue a career in welding,” Terry said. “Since I began taking these courses, I have learned so much about the importance of skilled trades.”

“Congratulations to Brenton and Grey for this acknowledgement of their environmental stewardship and hard work in the classroom,” said Zeke Smith, Alabama Power executive vice president of External Affairs. “These scholarships continue to help students develop the high-demand skills needed for a career in the future workforce of Alabama, and we are proud to partner with BASS to make it happen.”

Applications were open to students currently attending, or planning to attend, a technical school in the state of Alabama.

Applications for the 2019-2020 school year will open early this year. Visit for details.