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10 Most Popular Bass Fishing Tournaments

Bass fishing has been a popular pastime for decades. While some tournaments are small and last only a day, many offer large prizes and hundreds of people sign up to compete.

Bass Pro Shop Big Bass Tour awards stage

Many tournaments are widely publicized, making them one of the more public forms of bass fishing. These tournaments are often televised, offering a platform for the sport to be seen by millions.

In fact, many people who don’t fish at all tune in to watch tournament fishing.

There are many tournaments to choose from all across the country, but these are 10 of the most popular bass tournaments in the US:

1. Bassmaster Classic

Every year since 1971, the top anglers have gathered for a chance at winning one of sport’s most elusive titles; that of being called “Bassmaster.”

It is held each year in February or March. It consists of 3 days of fishing and a final cut where anglers are ranked from 1 through 50.

In order to enter the competition, a fee of around $20,000 is required.

Fishing is divided into 3 categories: shallow water, deep/roller and large/smallmouth bass.

The requirements for participating in the competition are that each angler must have participated in at least five Bassmaster tournaments, or two co-anglers may participate with a professional member.

2. F.L.W. Pro Circuit Championship

One of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing, this tournament typically has around 1500-2000 anglers. The winners of each division are awarded $100,000 with over $2 million dollars in total sponsors prize money available.

The competition includes fishing for 6 days and 24 hours prior to the competition, registration is required.

Participation in “Throwdowns” is a requirement to compete in the tournament. Furthermore, the competition is only open to members of the FLW pro staff.

3. Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Series

This is a series of 4 tournaments that are organized in each state, one for each season.

Each tournament has different requirements to participate in the tournament, but anglers must have an active membership to compete in any event.

While some tournaments require registration, others do not.

Typically, the top 10 contestants that have participated in at least three events are allowed to compete in the final event, where they are ranked.

Each competitor is allowed entry into three qualifying events and the top 40 will be invited to participate in the final championship round.

The winner of each state championship can earn up to $5,000 dollars.

4. Bass Pro Tour (Major League Fishing)

This is a professional fishing league that was created by Bass Pro Shops and the Outdoor Channel.

Seasons consist of 8 tournaments where each angler competes for a chance at $200,000.

Each tournament has a different number of competitors, with 10 being the maximum. The minimum age to compete in this event is 18 years or older. This program does not require a membership to participate.

5. Bassmaster Elite Series

This is an elite series of tournaments that require qualification through the Bassmaster Opens. Anglers must be a member of B.A.S.S (the Bassmaster Angler of the Year point system).

These make up four events per year, with each event having 500 competitors.

Each “Elite” competitor is allowed to fish in three qualifying events per year. Around 25 competitors are chosen to compete in this series.

The winner of each tournament is awarded $40,000 dollars. Each event has a different number of fishermen competing, with the maximum being 9.

Big mouth bass in net

6. Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series

This bass tournament is held in five different freshwater lakes throughout the state of Alabama.

The first day of competition is a practice round where points are recorded. The second day of the competition consists of two rounds. The competitors are split into groups and compete in either six or seven separate tournaments. Each group has 1-4 competitors. Depending on the number of competitors, there are 2 or 3 rounds.

The competitor with the highest aggregate score determines the winner for that group. The winner is awarded a cash prize, and there are also prizes for second and third place.

There is a registration fee that must be paid in order to participate in the event. This tournament is open to all Alabama state residents and only participants who have a valid Alabama fishing license may compete. The cost to enter the competition is $50.

7. Bassmaster Opens

This series consists of three different events that are held throughout the year. Moreover, the first Opens event of the year is considered a qualifier for the Bassmaster Classic. The winner of each event is awarded $10,000.

Each tournament has three different divisions that have their own prize money. The winner of each division is awarded $10,000. Each division winner can opt to fish against each other for a $100,000 prize. You must have an active membership to compete in any event.

Each open is a week-long event where the top 10 anglers are awarded points for their performance. The angler with the most points at the end of all three events is declared the winner of the series. The winners are awarded a cash prize, and there are also prizes for second place. There is an entry fee of $25 for each event.

8. Anglers in Action

This tournament consists of two rounds, one practice round and one competitive. The top 25 anglers are brought to the Ohio River for the first day of competition.

There are two divisions in this event, one for boaters and one for kayakers.

The practice round is a chance for the angler to get familiar with the conditions and catch bait. The next day, the top 20 anglers compete for a cash prize.

There is an entry fee of $20 to participate in the practice round, and $30 to enter on the final day of competition.

9. Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Tour

This national tournament series was created by Bass Pro Shops and the Outdoor Channel. There are five tournaments in this tour, each with a $75,000 cash prize.

The first day of competition consists of qualifying rounds where each angler is scored on the size and weight of their fish. The top 8 anglers from each round advance to the final day of competition.

The angler with the highest weight is declared the winner and receives a payout. The top 3 anglers also receive a cash prize.

Anybody can enter this competition as long as they have a valid membership to Bass Pro Shops. There is an entry fee of $35 for the first round of competition and $25 for the final day.

10. The Big Bass Bash

This is a one-day tournament held at Raystown Lake. The first and second rounds of the competition consist of the top 16 anglers. There are 4 qualifiers that are used to determine who advances. The final day of competition consists of a single round where the top 8 anglers compete for a cash prize.

The first and second place winners also receive a custom award and the angler with the highest weight is awarded $2,000.00. There is an entry fee of $50 to participate in the competition.


Bass fishing is not only an exciting hobby, but also a serious professional sport. Bass fishing tournaments all have certain criteria that must be met to enter the competition, but they are a great source of entertainment and fun for many people.

Furthermore, many qualifying tournaments are associated with large cash prizes. Bass fishing is not only a source of entertainment, but it can also help some people to pay bills and support their families. Therefore, the next time you go bass fishing, consider entering a local competition.


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