Once you've won a bass tournament or caught a 10-pounder, what challenge lies ahead with your favorite sport? Bassmaster editors have a dandy for you — they call it the BASS Slam and consider it a must for every serious fisherman's bucket list. Catch all eight species of black bass and you have accomplished a feat many anglers never even consider. Catch all species within a year, and you can consider yourself "The Chosen One." Bassmaster Editor James Hall, BASS Conservation Director Chris Horton and Bassmaster contributor David Jones plan on taking the challenge one step farther.
On Monday, the trio will embark on a BASS Slam trek that will cover seven states and over 3,000 miles to attempt a BASS Slam in five days. How likely are they to succeed?
Not very. But it should be fun to watch.
You can see the misadventure unfold right here as updates and photo galleries will be posted daily beginning Monday, June 29.
Toting only kayaks and a minimum amount of tackle, the three anglers will fish small bodies of water known for holding the pure strain species being targeted. As soon as one angler hooks a fish that meets the minimum length requirement for a BASS Slam, the other two fishermen will have only one hour to secure their own required species. Then, it's back on the road.
In an effort to keep costs as minimal as possible, the anglers will be camping their way across the southeast United States (unless they can con a friend into letting them bunk in a basement). With limited space, only one two-man tent will be packed. Whoever catches the smallest fish of the day will be relegated to sleeping in the bed of the truck. Early reports are that mosquitoes are quite dense along river bottoms this time of year.
An aggressive itinerary has been set (see below) with hopes that a Florida, Suwannee and Shoal can all be caught by the end of Day 1. By Day 2, hopes are that a Red Eye will be boated, and that night will fall with the group arriving in New Hope, Ala., where the next morning spots and smallies are on the agenda. Day 4 will be spent making the long haul to the south-central portion of the Lone Star State. Assuming a Guadalupe will be caught within a couple of hours, the kayaks will be loaded and the truck pointed towards Chalmette, La. Here, hopefully fighting off redfish, a northern will be caught. And then, back home to Florida.
On paper, it seems simple enough.
Lake Felter, Clermont, Fla.
(134 miles to...)
Santa Fe River, Columbia County, Fla.
(161 miles to...)
Kinchafoonnee Creek, Leesburg, Ga.
(151 miles to...)
Tallapoosa River, Sessions, Ala.
(240 miles to...)
Flint River, New Hope, Ala.
(794 miles to...)
Guadalupe River, Sattler, Texas
(516 miles to...)
And 614 miles back home.
Starting Monday morning, stories of how, where and when each species is caught will be posted. Horton will help with the identification of each catch and give insights into telling the basses apart.
Very specific gear is recommended for the river and stream dwelling fish, so tackle reports will be given by Jones.
Locations for best success rates, fishery updates and how many times a kayak is flipped will be Hall's beat.
Photo galleries will be updated each time a species is caught, illustrating the fishery, gear, successful angler, and who is stuck sleeping in the bed of the truck.