Bassmaster High School series returning to Lay Lake
FROM STAFF REPORTS
BIRMINGHAM — B.A.S.S. officials recently unveiled the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors 2021 schedule, which will give young anglers an opportunity to compete on the same waters that have hosted sport fishing’s premier tournaments.
The Bassmaster High School Series will include four regular-season events. The one-day tournaments will be Feb. 27 on Harris Chain of Lakes, May 2 on Lake Cumberland and June 26 on Lay Lake, site of four Bassmaster Classics. A June 12 event will also be held on a northern fishery to be announced soon.
“We’re really pleased with this schedule,” said Hank Weldon, Tournament Director for B.A.S.S.’s High School and Junior Series. “2021 will not only feature the familiar waters of Lake Cumberland but also fisheries like Lay Lake and Harris Chain that have historically hosted major events. It is fun for both the anglers and their families to explore some of the country’s best bass lakes and the communities that surround them.”
Due to the soaring popularity of the trails, the field size will again be capped at 250 boats for high school. Each high school event will also include a field of up to 50 boats for competitors ranging from second to eighth grade as part of the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series.
“When you consider that we’ve had to cap the field size to keep the tournaments from being too big, that tells you all you need to know about the popularity of fishing at the high school level and even among younger anglers,” said Weldon.
When the High School Series kicks off on Harris Chain in February, it will be the first time the trail has visited the fishery, which has hosted 17 major B.A.S.S. tournaments and saw a record-breaking three-day weight set by the Bryan College duo of Cole Sands and Conner Dimauro in the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.
“We are thrilled to welcome the next generation of anglers to the Harris Chain of Lakes, a top fishing destination for anglers from across the nation,” said Lake County Chairman Sean Parks. “The event helps to promote the sport of bass fishing while highlighting the natural resources and charm of Lake County.”
The date and location for the High School and Junior Championships will also be announced at a later time.
B.A.S.S. highlighted the growth of the sport and the talent of high school anglers in unprecedented fashion in 2020 when back-to-back High School National Champions Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith, of Alabama’s Briarwood Christian School, became the first high school anglers to fish alongside the pros at the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk last March. Smith added an incredible third National Championship title to his resume in 2020. Both Smith and Morris are now competing on the Bassmaster College Series.
Online registration for the High School and Junior Series will open Jan. 12. For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.
2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors
Feb. 27: Harris Chain of Lakes, Leesburg, Fla.
May 2: Lake Cumberland, Russell County, Ky.
June 12: TBD
June 26: Lay Lake, Shelby County