Those We Honor

You’ll find more than just fishing celebrities in this list. One can make a significant impact
on the lives of many without ever being well known. It is important to honor all of
those who had a great influence on the great sport of fishing, whether famous or not.
Corporate advances tend to be much more visible to us. For it’s their products that
shape the evolution of the sport of fishing.

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation

Inducted 2021

Founded in 1974 Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation (MNBN) is a member of the B.A.S.S. Nation.  The B.A.S.S. Nation is a global network of locally organized clubs whose members participate in and support a range of activities, including tournaments, conservation initiatives and youth programs.  MNBN was the 2006 B.A.S.S. Nation Chapter of the Year.

MN B.A.S.S. Nation’s mission statement is:
– To stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major sport.
– To offer our State Conservation Department, our organized moral and political support and encouragement, to promote full adherence to, and enforcement of existing conservation regulations.
– To promote and encourage youth fishing and teach youth the importance of “Catch and Release”.
– To improve our skill as bass anglers through a friendly exchange of ideas and techniques used in tournament fishing.
– To function as a link between the Minnesota Chapters and B.A.S.S.

Bass fishing tournaments

Adult club tournaments are held throughout the state and the MNBN TOC invites the state’s top 200 anglers to compete for an opportunity to advance the B.A.S.S. Regional tournament, then qualify to advance to the B.A.S.S. Nation National Tournament, then to the prestigious Bassmaster Classic world championship.   For the members of the public, MNBN Team Trail started in 2018 is a sanctioned trail of the Bassmaster Team Championship. This trail features four tournaments on premier Minnesota waters capped off locally with a no entry fee Team of Year (TOY) Championship. Finally, the MNBN Team Trail will send at least one team to the National Team Championship to compete for an opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Classic!


  • Tournament of Champions annual donation ranging from $2,000 – $4,000 to a local charity
  • MNBN youth anglers graduated and started some of the first college bass fishing teams in the country
  • Coordinated and operated two national B.A.S.S. tournaments on Mille Lacs providing significant national publicity and economic impact.
  • Coordinated and operated three regional B.A.S.S. tournaments.
  • Coordinated and operated first ever B.A.S.S. College Bracket tournament
  • Coordinated and operated B.A.S.S. College National Championship

Contributions and partnerships with MN DNR

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation is a leader in setting standards and providing solutions with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Members have been appointed and volunteered in many committees such as AIS Advisory Committee, Bass Work Group, DNR Budget Oversight Committee, and Mille Lacs Advisory Committee. Members have made presentations at the DNR Roundtable regarding AIS and bass fishing initiatives.  Also, members have presented at the Bassmasters Classic Conservation Summit as an example of how to provide outreach and enhance relationships with local state agencies.

MNBN has significantly been involved with formulating policies for Minnesota bass tournaments.  This includes our organization self-managing our tournaments through our own tournament approval process.  We contributed to the initial MN DNR tournament permitting process and providing feedback to evolve it over time.


  • Developed AIS Best Practices published by the MN DNR
  • Contributed to Minnesota permitted tournament weigh-in best practices based upon principles from our weighmaster best practices initiative
  • Bass workgroup outcome of a catch and release bass season providing additional bass angling opportunities
  • Rulemaking for Mille Lacs, one of the nation’s premier smallmouth bass fisheries
  • Removal of Mississippi River (MN/WI) no culling rule
  • Lead and collected bass specimens to DNR for testing of largemouth bass virus


Bass creel surveys are submitted via a MNBN web application to provide data to the MN DNR. Qualitative measures such a number of hours fished, bass species and length are captured as well as qualitative measures such as “success level”.  Data is submitted to the MN DNR at the end of every year and then collated, analyzed, and distributed DNR Regional Managers.  Creel surveys provide valuable information such as 1) maximum size and mean weights, which are indicators of size structure and exploitation 2) catch per effort, which are indicators of standing stock and abundance 3) relationships to lake habitat condition, such as secchi disk, aquatic plants, shoreland condition, and other physical, biological, and chemical descriptors angler effort and success rates, which are indicators of potential exploitation rates.

MNBN has been a leader in recycling used plastic baits—ReBaits.  ReBaits collects used soft plastic fishing lures from fishing clubs and at fishing tournaments to keep discarding soft plastics from littering our waterways.  Also, three MNBN clubs have established collection bins at boat ramps.  Finally, the plastics are remelted and distributed to youth fishing groups.  In 2020 this distribution was expanded to Toys for Tots program.


  • Completed 4,135 completed surveys by 161 individuals from 308 water bodies and covering over 30,000 angling hours from 2003 through 2019.

Rebaits collects 85 – 280 pounds annually of soft plastic lures a year since 2013.

Youth fishing and engagement

Casting Kids teaches youth how to cast to targets from 5, 10, and 15 feet allowing three attempts per target where the best of three attempts is scored.  From 1995-2005 MNBN clubs averaged 20 Casting Kids events.  Venues included the Northwest Sport Show (Minneapolis Convention Center) and joint events with Pine Wood Derby bringing in over 300 youth per event.  MNBN held state

championships and the winner advanced to the national championship where top finishers were given college scholarship monies.

Today engagement is focused on youth clubs and tournaments.  Youth and high school team tournaments comprise more than 800 young anglers and grow is exploding.  Tournaments are held at local and regional levels and culminate in a Minnesota Tournament of Champions (TOC).

Bass fishing skill growth and attainment
Today we are able to engage youth initially through our youth clubs and then onto our high school teams.  Several of our anglers have advanced to fish prominent national bass tournaments and have reached the Bassmaster Classic.

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