The modern era of bass fishing was jumpstarted in the late 1960s when a team of professional bass fishermen joined Ray Scott’s B.A.S.S. Seminar Trail and traveled the United States, teaching advanced fishing techniques to thousands of knowledge-hungry anglers.
Those seminars were the forerunners of the Bassmaster University presented by Nationwide, which will be in session at this summer’s BASSfest in Dayton, Tenn., Friday, June 13.
Professional anglers competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series will serve as “professors” sharing their knowledge, tips and techniques on such topics as Crankbait Techniques for Tennessee Reservoirs, High Tech Ways to Hunt Bass, Swimbaits for Trophy Bass, Frogging for Summertime Bass and many more.
Deciding whether to attend Bassmaster University is easy; deciding which of the concurrent sessions to check out in five tent-enclosed classrooms will be the hard part. Classes will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with BASSfest and all seminars are free, as are the daily weigh-ins, expo, morning takeoffs and other activities during the five-day festival of fishing on Lake Chickamauga.
The centerpiece of BASSfest is the Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Chickamauga, which features 107 Bassmaster Elite Series pros along with 33 of the top anglers in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Allstate. The 107 Elite anglers in the field will be vying for Toyota Angler of the Year points, and all 140 competitors will be competing for cash and an invitation to compete in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, S.C.
Adding to the excitement is the fact that Chickamauga is one of the hottest bass lakes in America, ranking No. 7 on the Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list for 2014.
In addition, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional tournament will be held on nearby Watts Bar Lake, just upstream on the Tennessee River, on Thursday and Friday, June 12-13. A special “High School Experience” available to high school students who register in advance will be offered on Saturday, June 14. The experience gives aspiring pros a chance to rub shoulders with Elite Series professionals and to learn about tournaments and fishing from the pros and from B.A.S.S. staff.
Instructors at the Bassmaster University will be selected from the Top 50 anglers in the BASSfest tournament, so a list of pros won’t be available until shortly before the seminars begin. But “students” can be assured they’ll have access to some of the most knowledgeable and skilled bass anglers in the world.
Among other topics to be covered at the Bassmaster University are “Don’t Overlook Prop Baits,” “How To Take a Novice Fishing,” “Fishing Deep Structure,” “Ph.D. in Spinnerbaiting” and “Bass Tech — Motors.”
Visit Bassmaster.com/bassfest for more information about the event and Bassmaster University.