BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — National championships for the fastest-growing youth and high school fishing circuits in the country will be held on Tennessee fisheries, B.A.S.S. announced today.
The 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will head to Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn., while the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior National Championship for second- through eighth-grade anglers will be held on Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake in Huntingdon, Tenn.
As many as 275 high school teams are expected to compete July 29-31 for the high school championship crown. Each two-angler team is accompanied by a coach who runs the boat and can give advice on fishing techniques and patterns.
Student anglers qualify for the championship through four High School Opens held on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes, Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland, Alabama’s Lay Lake and Michigan’s Saginaw Bay.
“They are the best of the best among 13,000 high school B.A.S.S. members representing more than 1,300 high school fishing clubs nationwide,” said Hank Weldon, High School & Youth Series Senior Manager. “We are thrilled to give these high school anglers an opportunity to tackle Chickamauga — a fishery with a reputation for producing giant bass — as they compete for a national title.”
2021 will mark the first time the Bassmaster High School National Championship has been decided on Chickamauga Lake, which has previously hosted four major B.A.S.S. tournaments. The seven previous High School National Championship tournaments have been held on Kentucky Lake.
“We have had a fantastic partner in the Henry County Tourism Authority and both our anglers and their families have loved the experience of fishing Kentucky Lake, which has historically been one of the top lakes in the country,” said Weldon. “We look forward to future events on Kentucky Lake.”
The Briarwood Christian School duo of Tucker Smith and Hayden Marbut claimed the 2020 Bassmaster High School National Championship title with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 5 ounces. The National Championship victory was the third-straight title for Smith, who has continued fishing in college, and the first for Marbut, who was recently named to the prestigious Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.
The Bassmaster High School Series debuted in 2013 and has grown immensely since its inception. The program emphasizes sportsmanship, academics and conservation while giving young anglers a chance to improve and test their fishing skills in competition among their peers.
Another growing tournament program is the Bassmaster Junior Series, which will field up to 70 teams in that group’s championship Oct. 8-9 at Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake. As in the high school competitions, they will compete as two-angler teams accompanied by a coach. In 2020, Rhea County (Tenn.) seventh graders Turner Tharpe and Blake James came back from fourth place to win the championship with a two-day total of 13 pounds, 15 ounces and earn a $2,500 scholarship.
The Bassmaster High School Series National Championship tournament is being hosted by the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council and Fish Dayton. October’s Bassmaster Junior Series National Championship is being hosted by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.