For more than 30 years, the B.A.S.S. Nation has been more than a name. It has been a community united by a sense of camaraderie and a spirit of belonging to something unique that carries from generation to generation. Over the years, members have decided to join the B.A.S.S. Nation for many reasons other than exciting tournament fishing. The vision of true pioneers in our history — Ray Scott, Don Butler and many others — established conservation and a focus on building youth programs in addition to fishing competitions as areas critical to the viability of the sport and our lifestyle. B.A.S.S. Nation members, as well as B.A.S.S. employees and sponsors, have given tirelessly to the sport and the vision of these pioneers.
Rising through the ranks of the B.A.S.S. Nation to compete in bass fishing's most prestigious tournament takes dedication and perseverance, but the rewards for advancing to the next level are great. The steps from local club to Classic are presented below:
CLUBS AND STATE CHAPTERS: Anglers qualify through their local clubs for the State Team Qualifier Tournaments. Local clubs along with the State Chapter determine the qualifying format on the state level. The State Chapters of the B.A.S.S. Nation hold State Team Qualifier(s) to qualify a 12-person team plus two juniors and two alternates. States determine the qualifier format for their state.
DIVISIONALS: B.A.S.S. invites each B.A.S.S. Nation state chapter to bring a 12-person team plus two juniors and two alternates to one of 6 (six) B.A.S.S. Nation Divisionals. Format of the divisional are determined by B.A.S.S. The purpose of the divisional is to qualify one person from each state for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. The divisional is a "team" tournament. Prizes are awarded to the teams only. The highest finishing person from each team will qualify for the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship.
B.A.S.S. NATION CHAMPIONSHIP: Currently 47 B.A.S.S. State Nations and seven B.A.S.S. International Nations compete within one of the 6 (six) divisions to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. The anglers compete individually in this tournament to determine a champion, however, the highest finishing angler within each of the 6 (six) divisions will earn a berth into the Bassmaster Classic.
BASSMASTER CLASSIC: 6 (six) anglers qualify through the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship to fish the Bassmaster Classic.
Conservation initiatives remain an important aspect of the B.A.S.S. Nation. In recognition of our members' dedication to the preservation of our sport's natural resources, conservation features and initiatives include:
Partnering with Pure Fishing's Berkley Conservation Institute to annually award the Berkley/B.A.S.S. Conservation and Recruitment/Retention projects of the year. The winning B.A.S.S.-affiliated conservation project receives $2000 and the winning B.A.S.S.-affiliated recruitment/retention project receives $1500 worth of Berkley fishing tackle.
B.A.S.S. was formed in 1968 to promote and encourage fishing. Recognizing that youngsters are the future of this great sport, B.A.S.S. took the lead of introducing and educating youth about conservation and the sport of fishing. Your membership in the B.A.S.S. Nation helps support the next generation of responsible sportsmen and women through mentoring, volunteerism and education. Additionally, the national B.A.S.S. office works to provide youth programs that collaborate with partners and agencies on the local, state and national level to further enhance or develop new outdoor youth programs nationwide and when/where possible, with the six International B.A.S.S. Nations. Whether youth are learning conservation or fundamental fishing skills, the Junior Bassmaster Chapters are enjoying spirited competition from club, state, divisional or Bassmaster Junior World Championship competition — it all leads to a healthier B.A.S.S. Nation future for years to come.