Registration for 2024 Bassmaster High School Combine opens May 7

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — One hundred young anglers will show their on-the-water skills when the fourth Bassmaster High School Combine presented by Skeeter returns to Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., Sept. 13-15. The weekend will feature skills challenges and recruiting visits to 25 potential colleges in hopes of reeling in scholarship money. The inaugural Combine kicked off in 2021 to great success, with the program generating $4.5 million in scholarships in its first two years. Heading into its fourth year, the program’s momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

“B.A.S.S. is constantly looking for ways to grow the High School and College platforms and give young anglers opportunities to excel not only in the sport, but also in the industry,” said Glenn Cale, B.A.S.S. Nation tournament manager — College, High School and Junior. “This is becoming a very popular event to attend for student anglers. The opportunity for these student anglers and their families to be under one roof for three days with some of the best colleges in the country offering scholarships in some form or fashion is awesome.

“These past three Bassmaster High School Combines have been a great success, and we’re looking forward to growing this experience for both these high school anglers and the coaches who attend,” Cale added. “This has truly become the preeminent event for colleges looking to find and recruit talent from across the country.”

Only schools offering bass fishing scholarships are invited to the High School Combine, and coaches from 25 colleges have already expressed interest in attending. The experience offers young anglers and college coaches a chance to leverage rare face time into finding the best fit for students ready to further both their education and their fishing at the next level.

The Bassmaster High School Combine presented by Skeeter will be a three-day event where anglers will perform multiple tasks to showcase their skills not only on the water, but also display their knowledge of the sport as a whole. Each of the disciplines will operate on a point system and will be timed by an official judge. Each angler will accumulate points to determine an overall winner. After the first day, colleges will have the opportunity to select anglers for a “second look” where they can further explore everything that angler has to offer and see if they would be the perfect fit for their fishing program.

After three challenges — Long-Distance Casting, Technical and Casting Accuracy — the 2023 combine’s overall points winner was Joe McNamara of Rockford, Ill. With a three-event total of 368 points, the junior at Boylan Catholic High School took home the Overall Skills Competition trophy. In addition to the Overall trophy, McNamara also tied for the win in the Technical Challenge with fellow competitor Eli French of Lucedale, Miss.

When McNamara heard about the Bassmaster High School Combine, he knew he wanted to be a part of the event to help put his fishing career on the fast track to success.

“There’s really no other event like this,” McNamara said. “We signed up the day that registration opened just to make sure we could be here.”

The Illinois angler took full advantage of being exposed to the top college fishing programs in the country by finishing inside the Top 10 in all three skills challenges and winning the Overall Skills Challenge by a convincing margin of 21 points.

“I just wanted to go out and do my best,” he said. “I knew that I had a chance to do pretty well, but I really didn’t expect to win.”

Once more, attendees will use the well-placed Ingalls Harbor and Pavilion on the shores of Wheeler Lake as base for the three-day event that won the Decatur Morgan County Tourism’s 2023 Event of the Year Award.

“Decatur is honored to partner with B.A.S.S. to continue serving as host of the Bassmaster High School Combine,” said Don Dukemineer, director of sports development for the Decatur Morgan County Tourism. “Now in our fourth year, our joint efforts with B.A.S.S. continue to strengthen this prestigious event in providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these anglers to showcase their talents. Ingalls Harbor and Pavilion offer the perfect set-up for this unique event, and we are thrilled with this beneficial relationship that highlights Decatur and Morgan County as a fishing destination.”

Registration for the Bassmaster High School Combine presented by Skeeter will open at 9 a.m. CT on May 7 at and remain open until 100 participants have registered. The $650 registration fee includes accommodations for two nights and four meals. Anglers can register at

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