Nominations open for fifth annual C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It’s time to recognize one impactful individual in the sportfishing community and, in doing so, spotlight the selfless, give-back spirit woven through the tapestry of B.A.S.S. nation members.

B.A.S.S. and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation are accepting nominations for their annual humanitarian award, which recognizes efforts to engage and encourage underprivileged groups. The C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award will honor one B.A.S.S. member who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to serving groups such as special needs children, abuse survivors, veterans and others with substantial challenges.

Former Bassmaster Elite Jay Yelas exemplifies these values in his role as C.A.S.T. for Kids Executive Director. A highly decorated professional angler with 16 Bassmaster Classic appearances, including his 2002 win at Lay Lake, Yelas won the 2003 Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. He also received the 2003 ESPY as the most outstanding outdoor athlete.

“The significance of the award is it recognizes and honors all the B.A.S.S. members that do such a tremendous amount of community service and humanitarian work,” Yelas said. “Unfortunately, there’s only one winner each year, but there are thousands of tremendous individuals that serve less-fortunate populations and they really give back.

“That’s what this award is all about; it brings awareness to this (segment) of the B.A.S.S. membership. Most of the attention is given to the people that win or excel at tournament fishing, but this award is like a timeout that says, ‘Hey guys, there’s a lot of other people that are members of B.A.S.S. besides hard-core tournament fishermen.’ That speaks volumes to the nature of people that are B.A.S.S. members.”

Nodding to the pinnacle accolades within professional sports, Yelas said the C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award represents character-based achievements.

“Baseball has the Roberto Clemente Award, the NFL has the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award; this is fishing’s version of those honors,” he said. “It’s a great way to honor people of character within the organization.”

Expressing appreciation for his career in the sportfishing industry, Yelas said C.A.S.T. for Kids has shown him a wonderful balance to the business side of fishing. He’s hopeful that the award will continue to motivate others to look beyond personal goals and find ways of serving wherever needs exist.

The 2023 C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award honored Bob Wall of Baltimore, Md., during the 2023 Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, Tenn.

Wall devoted a lifetime to serving inner-city youth in Baltimore by providing fishing opportunities, most notably at Patterson Park. Tracing his love for city recreation to a volunteer commitment that began at age 11, Wall coordinated the annual Patterson Park Lake Fishing Rodeo for the children of Baltimore.

“We are privileged to have collaborated with the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation for several years. Recognizing a devoted B.A.S.S. member with this Humanitarian award is our way of celebrating the incredible community that stands united under the B.A.S.S. shield,” stated Chase Anderson, CEO of B.A.S.S. and C.A.S.T. for Kids board member. “Witnessing the impactful contributions of those nominated is truly inspiring and showcases the profound influence their efforts have on countless lives.”

To be considered for the award, a B.A.S.S. member must be nominated by March 1, 2024. Any member doing exemplary community service will be considered. The nomination form can be found at

Judges from both B.A.S.S. and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation will review all nominations as well as verify the humanitarian work of the honoree. It is important to note that, while C.A.S.T. for Kids focuses on giving special needs kids fishing opportunities, the nominations are open to B.A.S.S. members doing any form of good work to help a fragile population. The winner will be announced as part of the festivities surrounding the 2024 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Classic presented by Jockey Outdoors in Tulsa, Okla., March 22-24.