BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2023 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship will be held on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Fla., December 6-9, filling the last spot in the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota. The Harris Chain last hosted this event in 2020.
“We’re happy to welcome back the Bassmaster Team Championship to Lake County,” said Ryan Ritchie, director of Discover Lake County (Fla.). “The Harris Chain of Lakes continues to provide a thriving environment for fish and an exciting area for anglers to compete. We couldn’t be more excited to keep showing Bassmaster all there is to offer in Lake County.”
Battling for that coveted berth in the Bassmaster Classic will be the grass-roots anglers competing at the Bassmaster Team Championship. The team portion of the event will be held Dec. 6-7 and will feature anglers from across the country. The winning duo will not only win a cash prize, but they’ll also lead the charge into the Classic Fish-Off which will take place Dec. 8-9.
“As a Commissioner and a resident, I am thrilled to welcome the 2023 Bassmaster Team Championship to our community,” said Commissioner Douglas B. Shields, Lake County Board of County Commissioners. “We look forward to showcasing Lake County’s natural beauty, excellent bass fishing and local hospitality to the visitors and anglers traveling for the competition.”
The Top 3 teams through Day 2 — six anglers in all — will have their weights zeroed and then compete individually in the Fish-Off. The competitor with the heaviest two-day total of the group will earn their spot in the Classic.
In 2022, that honor went to 27-year-old grounds foreman Collin Smith, who along with his 5 Alive Sunday Series teammate Brady Kimbrell, also won the team title and the $25,000 cash prize.
Since it was launched in 2014, the Team Championship has seen tremendous growth. Originally, 38 trails were signed up. That number grew to 62 trails (with more than 11,500 members) last season when the annual Team Championship drew 250 two-angler teams to South Carolina’s historic Lake Hartwell.