Anglers looking to compete in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops or the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Opens soon will have the opportunity to register for a host of exciting tournaments scheduled for 2019.
For the first time, teams in both high school and college events will be required to register online. Anglers must be active members of their school fishing team and be up to date with B.A.S.S. Nation and B.A.S.S. memberships to participate.
The registration window for both circuits is set to open on January 9 at 9 a.m. Central Time on Bassmaster.com.
Cost to enter is $40 per boat for a college event and $50 per boat for a high school open. More than 100 percent of that money will be given back over the course of the season in the form of payouts to the bass fishing programs from participating schools.
Registration will continue until a field of 250 boats is reached in each tournament. Teams who meet requirements will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We’ve had more than 250 boats in recent events,” said Hank Weldon, senior manager of college, high school and junior fishing for B.A.S.S. “Capping the field at 250 boats ensures we have quality competition, but it’s just the right amount to be efficient and make ensure that everything runs smoothly.”
Weldon anticipates that the spots in each tournament will fill quickly, so interested teams are encouraged to register early to ensure they have a spot in the events in which they want to compete.
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops will feature four regular-season stops this year. They include tournaments at Lake Norman in North Carolina on Feb. 21-23; Smith Lake in Alabama on March 21-23; Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas on April 25-27; and the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York on June 20-22.
The Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Opens will be held March 2 on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina; March 30 on Lake Guntersville in Alabama; April 28 on Norfork Lake in Arkansas; and May 11 on Shasta Lake in California.
The top teams from both the college and high school circuits will advance to championship tournaments to be held on yet to be determined fisheries later in 2019.
This season will mark the ninth year of the Bassmaster College Series, which continues to grow since its inception. Garrett Enders and Cody Huff of Bethel University won the college national championship after catching at a three-day total of 41 pounds, 6 ounces on Oklahoma’s Lake Tenkiller last July.
Campbellsville University’s Nick Ratliff got a spot in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods after winning the College Series Classic Bracket on Milford Lake in Kansas last August. Anglers who excel in the college series are the only persons who have a chance to fish in the college bracket event, and thus have a chance to earn entry to the Classic.
Tyler Craig and Spencer Lambert of the University of Louisiana-Monroe won the inaugural Team of the Year title after proving their versatility on four different fisheries during the 2018 series, and interest in that race is expected to be high once again in 2019.
This will mark the fifth year for the high school opens. Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith of Alabama’s Briarwood Christian School won the high school national championship on Kentucky Lake in 2018 with a three-day total of 50 pounds, 8 ounces.
A first for the upcoming year is that B.A.S.S. will organize a series of regional-level events for juniors. A 50-boat tournament is planned for junior anglers at each high school open in 2019, though juniors will not register through the high school online portal.
Registration details for junior events will be released sometime in January 2019.
“The junior level of fishing is the grass roots of B.A.S.S., so I’m really excited to see us having four different regional events for them,” Weldon said. “They are the future of bass fishing, and I only expect those types of competitions to grow in the coming years.”
For more information, call B.A.S.S. Headquarters at (205) 313-0900.