BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Some of America’s best bass fishing waters and other lesser-known fisheries will play host to competitors in the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation divisionals.
Two Eufaulas (lakes in both Alabama and Oklahoma) will be the site of divisionals, as well as Virginia’s Kerr Reservoir and New York’s St. Lawrence River. Waters such as Montana’s Noxon Reservoir and Indiana’s Lake Monroe that don’t have a long history with B.A.S.S. tournaments but have great competition potential are also on the schedule.
Anglers who have qualified for the divisionals will have the great fortune to compete on these lakes, and the top competitor from each state will advance to the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
“I think what I like most about B.A.S.S. Nation divisionals is the opportunity to go to places that you don’t often think of as well-known tournament destinations, such as Noxon in Montana and Lake Monroe in Indiana,” said Jon Stewart, director of the B.A.S.S. Nation, “and then turn around and go to fisheries like Lake Eufaula and the St. Lawrence River that are very popular.
“It should be another great year on the Nation trail,” Stewart added.
The first divisional of the season is the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula, April 16-18. Lake Eufaula is steeped in B.A.S.S. history. The fishery will likely always hold the record for the heaviest catch — 138 pounds, 6 ounces — over a three-day tournament because the daily limit (15) was so high in 1969. Eufaula was the site of multiple tournaments in the early days of B.A.S.S. More recently, pro Ryan Ingram won a Bassmaster Tour event on Eufaula in May 2006 with a three-day total of 41-8. Eufaula ranks No. 41 on Bassmaster Magazine’s current list of “100 Best Bass Lakes.”
Next up is Noxon Reservoir in Trout Creek, Mont., for the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Western Divisional. This fishery is in the northwest corner of Montana, very close to Idaho and only a 2-hour drive to Canada. Montana has hosted B.A.S.S. Nation divisionals, but it has not hosted other levels of B.A.S.S. tournaments. Competitors will vie for the Western title May 21-23.
Then the schedule takes the B.A.S.S. Nation 1,800 miles southeast to McAlester, Okla., for the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional on Lake Eufaula, June 4-6. Like the other Eufaula in Alabama, the Oklahoma fishery played host to many early B.A.S.S. tournaments, including the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in 1970.