We had caught several small bream on our cane poles when my cork disappeared. I raised the pole but the fish didn’t dig down and make tight little circles like a bream, it jumped! That little 11-inch bass came out of the water three times and was the most exciting fish I had ever caught. My fate was sealed. Catching bass would become a life-long passion.
Bass club fishing is a lot of fun. I have been in the Spalding County Sportsman club since 1974 and the Flint River Bass Club since 1978. Club fishermen compete at a little more relaxed level than in the money tournaments. The goal of each club fisherman in Georgia is to make the Top Six tournament each year.
Georgia clubs have the option of affiliating with either The Bass Chapter Federation, an FLW organization, or the Bass Federation Nation, a BASS organization. Each group has a Top Six tournament each year where the clubs send a six man team to fish against other clubs for a little money, bragging rights and a chance to go on to the next level.
For Federation Nation anglers the ultimate goal is to fish the Bassmasters Classic. Five federation anglers make it each year, one from each area of the country. At the Georgia Federation Nation Top Six at Seminole in early February the top 12 fishermen earned the right to go on to the Southern Regional at Santee Cooper, competing against 12 man teams from six other southern states.
At the Regional the top man on each state team then advances to the Federation Nationals. There, the top man on each regional team will get a chance to fish the Bassmasters Classic.
The FLW Bass Chapter Federation has a similar structure, with the top 12 from the state tournament advancing to a regional tournament. At the regional tournament the top angler from each state will get to fish the Walmart BFL All-American as a boater and the second place angler will get to fish as a non-boater.
The top angler from each state will also advance to the FLW National Championship. The top two anglers there will get an entry into the Forrest Wood Cup as a boater and no boater. The winner at the national championship will also get a “Living the Dream” package including paid entry to FLW Tour for a year and a wrapped boat and truck to use during the tournament season.
Georgia bass fishermen have amazing possibilities if they like tournament fishing. Consider joining a local club and start on your road to fame and success if you want to try tournament fishing.