One of the most dynamic and exciting opportunities B.A.S.S. has created for junior anglers is the Junior Bassmaster World Championship (JWC). Just like mom or dad competing in the B.A.S.S. Nation club competitions, this program allows junior members the opportunity to compete at a club, state and divisional level, ultimately qualifying them for their Bassmaster Junior World Championship of their own.
The competition format mirrors the B.A.S.S. Nation tournament structure. Junior Bassmasters compete on a club and state level for the chance to advance to their respective Divisional competitions. The exposure youth anglers gain to all levels of Nation competition has added versatility to the skills of these developing young anglers. Youth competitors now have a chance to qualify as members of their adult state team. Juniors are mentored by Nation anglers and learn the elements that are central to the passionate B.A.S.S. Nation membership.
The qualifying ladder for the JWC provides youth with a firsthand look at competition venues they can pursue when they reach adult competition age. The junior competitor who emerges as the top-performing angler in his or her state advances to one of six Nation divisions. Click here to view a map showing the six geographic divisions.
The first B.A.S.S. Nation divisional of the year typically takes place in March or April with the remaining five Divisional competitions taking place throughout the spring and summer. The top-performing anglers from each of six divisionals then qualify for the JWC Championship, to be held in conjunction with the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. The championship contenders fish for scholarship money totaling $21,000 and the distinction as the top youth anglers in the sport.
Junior clubs are sponsored by adult Nation Clubs with members of the adult clubs acting as mentors and educators for these young anglers. Junior members gain skills from how-to clinics, educational workshops based on conservation, good fishing ethics, catch-and-release and habitat restoration. Junior members also get involved with other youth tournaments, adopt-a-waterway projects, charitable programs and community service projects.
$21,000 in academic college scholarships are awarded to the 12 finalists.