Rusty Angler Celebrates the Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships

On February 1, 2021, Bass Pro Shops announced a new fishing tournament—the Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Championships. The prizes are large, with guaranteed prizes of $4.3 million. The championship team will win a $1 million cash prize—the largest payout of any freshwater fishing tournament. The tournament champion will also win a Toyota Tundra and Nitro Z20. The tournament runs through November 2021.

“This new tournament is very exciting,” said Russell Conner, owner of Rusty Angler, a website that offers fishing tips and techniques. “With registration open to amateur anglers only, this is a wonderful opportunity to promote and celebrate the sport of bass fishing.”

bass fishing tournament

The tournament is open to owners of Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Triton, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, and MAKO brand fishing boats to compete in two-person teams. There will be division payouts for youth, family teams, all-female teams, veterans, and more. Additional prizes will be awarded for the biggest bass and other categories. One junior angler between the ages of 11 and 18 will be awarded a $250,000 scholarship toward a conservation-related area of study.

After a series of eight regional qualifying tournaments in the spring, 350 two-person teams will compete in the November finale at Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. The finals will be broadcast live on NBC.

The eight national qualifying events are being held throughout the country, with 250 boats per regional event. The entry fee is $450 per person, $250 for youth ages 12-17, and free for kids under 12. Each entry includes a US Open Gift Bag for each team member, with goods valued at $150. All entry fees will benefit conversation efforts and the future of fishing.

Due to anticipated high demand, boat owners can only register for one qualifying event, with all entrants placed in an independently verified drawing to determine the 250 teams eligible for each event. Individuals who do not receive a slot in the regional qualifiers can register for a “last chance” qualifier to be held at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas.

To be eligible to register, one member of the team must be a current owner of a White River Group boat and an amateur. An amateur is defined as someone who has not competed as a boater/pro in an MLF Major or BASS Elite series event within the last two years immediately preceding the BPO event being entered, have never paid an entry fee greater than $2,500, and do not have lifetime earnings greater than $100,000.

To register, the owner of the boat must provide the boat serial number and either a current boat registration, bill of sale, or title. Registration can be done online at

“Bass fishing is a wonderful sport,” said Conner. “This tournament is an excellent way to shine a spotlight on the sport and give amateurs a fun and rewarding way to participate in the sport they love. In 2019, Rusty Angler published an article on bass fishing tournaments that might be helpful to first-timers eager to participate in the fun.”

Visit Rusty Angler for more bass fishing tips, techniques, and gear recommendations, including information on choosing appropriate bait, tackle boxes, lures, rods, and reels. The site also provides information on fishing for catfish, pike, panfish, trout, walleye, and inshore saltwater fish.


For more information about Rusty Angler, contact the company here:

Rusty Angler
Russell Connor
(800) 459-0519
4400 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 9-285
Scottsdale AZ 85251