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Opens profile: Hribar a self-starter


Most bass fanatics started fishing early in life thanks to a parent or another family member. Minnesota’s Andy Hribar, who currently holds fourth place in the Bassmaster Central Opens Angler of the Year standings, is the rare self-starter. He introduced himself to fishing at age 14 when his family moved from Texas to Minnesota.

Prior Lake, a small body of water a block down the street in Minnesota, became Hribar’s playground. Largemouth bass prowl this natural lake, and Hribar set out to catch them. What little he knew about bass he learned from reading Bassmaster and other fishing magazines.

“I would ride my bike to the lake and fish by myself,” Hribar said. “I’d throw Rapalas and crankbaits. I just loved it.”

His bass world expanded exponentially at age 15 when he got a job at Paradise Bait & Tackle, owned by Roy Jacobson. Jacobson fished for bass and took Hribar fishing in a boat several times over the next year. On Hribar’s 16th birthday, Jacobson gave him the day off, and they teamed up to fish Hribar’s first bass tournament. It was an annual event at Prior Lake.

They failed to make the money, but the experience was a life changer for Hribar. He convinced his parents to buy a fish and ski boat, which was used far more for fishing than skiing. Hribar launched it in local lakes at every opportunity so he could cast for bass.

He joined a B.A.S.S. Nation club that year called the Hawg Hookers. The following year he initiated his own club with some friends dubbed the Prior Lake Hooksetters. Now, at age 44, this lifetime B.A.S.S. member still competes in the club’s tournaments. He has qualified for three B.A.S.S. Nation Regionals.

Besides club events, Hribar also fishes local derbies in Minnesota with his regular team partner Jeff Wiita. Prior to fishing his first Bassmaster Open in 2019, this was the extent of Hribar’s bass tournament world.

The interim years were spent making a living, starting a family and fishing whenever he could. Hribar bought his first bass boat at age 18 with money he had saved from working at the tackle shop, a sporting goods store and by helping a neighbor frame houses.

“I spent $10 grand on a boat and $1,500 on a car to tow it with,” Hribar said.

He began working for a heating and cooling company the following year and started his own business in this industry at age 25. He married his wife, Stacey, in 1998, and they were blessed with their daughter, Alexis, in December of 2001.

Two years ago, Hribar sold his business and began fishing every division of the Bassmaster Opens in pursuit of his dream to become a Bassmaster Elite Series pro.

“I’ve slaved for a lot of years to get to do what I’m doing now," Hribar said. “I will either make the Elites or go back to work. I figure I’ve got five years to make it, depending on how much money I win.”

The Bassmaster Opens have forced Hribar to compete on waters across the country he has never seen before. He has learned on the fly how to find bass that live in habitats much different from those in Minnesota’s natural lakes. And, he had to learn new techniques.

Hribar is overcoming these challenges by relying on what he has done all his life — hard work.

“Fishing is pretty much all I do now,” he said. “If I’m not practicing on a tournament lake, I’m fishing somewhere else trying to learn new things. I haven’t been home in a long time.”

Hribar bought a bass boat two years ago for fishing the Bassmaster Opens that had 50 hours on the engine. The engine has now logged more than 1,000 hours.

At his first Bassmaster Open on the Harris Chain in 2019, Hribar met fellow competitor Dennis Fiedler, who is currentlyninnth in the Central Opens AOY standings. They hit it off and have become true bass bros.

“We’ve learned a lot together,” Hribar said. “We have a lot of trust and tell each other everything.”

Of the many things Hribar has learned since embarking on the Opens, tuning in to his electronics has been especially beneficial. He claimed that the forward-facing LiveScope sonar on his Garmin has been a real eye-opener.

“I’ve learned quite a bit just seeing how my baits are working and how the bass react to them,” Hribar said. “I use LiveScope a ton now. I caught every one of my bass with it at the Pickwick Open.”

Hribar has limited his professional bass quest to the Bassmaster Opens. His goal is to fish with the Elites, which he calls “the best of the best.”

His lone sponsor is All Terrain Tackle.

B.A.S.S. Northern Regional



Richard Lindgren, of Lakeville, Minn., is leading after Day 1 of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional on the Upper Mississippi River with 15 pounds, 9 ounces.

Minnesota team is currently in 2nd place.

Day 1 Results

team standings

Overall

boater individual standings
non boater individual standings

Team by Team

boater by team
non boater by team
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MN Fishing Hall of Fame
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The 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule features nine events across seven states.

Photo by James Overstreet/B.A.S.S.

July 20, 2021

 

B.A.S.S. Officials Announce 2022 Schedule For Bassmaster Elite Series

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — With this year’s Bassmaster Elite Series schedule barely written into the history books, B.A.S.S. officials are already looking toward a bright future with Tuesday’s announcement of the Elite Series slate for 2022.

 

The top professional bass fishing circuit in the world will once again kick off its season in warm, sunny Florida, with events on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Feb. 10-13, and the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Feb. 17-20.

 

From there, the trail will visit six more states in seven months while working its way to a season-ending event on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis., Aug. 26-29.

 

“We’re proud to have the kind of schedule that allows fans from so many areas to enjoy and celebrate the great sport of professional bass fishing,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “With events in seven states from Florida, north to New York, and west to South Dakota, it will be a true test of our anglers’ ability to compete on all types of fisheries.

 

“It’ll also provide an incredible variety of entertaining scenarios for our fans, both in attendance and watching live on the multiple platforms that are now available to them.”

 

This will mark the fourth-straight year the Elite Series has held its season-opener on the St. Johns River — a quintessential Florida fishery that features vast shoreline cover, big Florida-strain largemouth and breathtaking scenery with Spanish moss-covered trees, alligators and manatees. The 2021 event on the St. Johns was won by North Carolina rookie pro Bryan New with a four-day total of 79 pounds, 7 ounces.

 

The trip to the Harris Chain — a collection of eight lakes connected by rivers and canals — will be the first for the Elite Series since 2011. The fishery, which ranked 10th in the Southeastern Division of BassmasterMagazine’s list of 100 Best Bass Lakes released earlier this summer, has been a common destination for other B.A.S.S. events in the past, however, with the most recent being a Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open won by Keith Tuma this past spring.

 

“We’re thrilled to host the Bassmaster Elite Series on the Harris Chain of Lakes right here in Lake County,” said Steven Clenney, interim director of Visit Lake. “Our lakes have some of the best bass fishing in the country, and as Bassmaster tournaments return year after year to our area, it reminds us how thankful we are to have this resource in our backyards.”

 

After a pause for the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, March 4-6, the Elite Series schedule will resume right there inside the Palmetto State with the third regular-season event on the Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, S.C., March 17-20.

 

B.A.S.S. held 13 major events on the gigantic Santee system, which is comprised of Lakes Marion and Moultrie, from 1975-2009. Then after an 11-year hiatus from the fishery, the Elite Series held a tournament there in October of 2020 that was won by Idaho pro Brandon Palaniuk with 72-2.

 

“We are so excited to be able to bring the Bassmaster Elites back in 2022,” said Tiffany B. Myers, director of tourism, Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce. “It had been over 10 years since they came to Clarendon County prior to the 2020 tournament. It was a great event, but the pandemic drastically changed plans and logistics. So, we are thrilled to have another opportunity to bring them back during the ideal time of year and with a lot more spectators.”

 

After Santee, the trail will shift to Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn., April 7-10. “The Chick,” as it’s known by avid bass anglers from around the country, is a 36,240-acre Tennessee River fishery known for producing giant largemouth.

 

The next lake on the schedule — Lake Fork in Quitman, Texas — is perhaps known as the country’s largemouth mecca. The Elite Series will drop in on Fork May 19-22 for only the fourth major event B.A.S.S. has ever held on the giant-bass paradise. The lake was ranked No. 1 overall in the country for 2021 inBassmaster’s list of Top 100 Best Bass Lakes.

 

That stretch of the schedule should be especially attractive to Lee Livesay— the Texas pro who won the Elite Series’ most recent trip to Chickamauga in October 2020 and the trail’s most recent trip to Fork in April 2021. He won the latter event with a whopping total of 112 pounds, 5 ounces that was capped by a final-day catch of five bass that weighed 42-3.

 

Details on an event June 2-5 will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Another destination that has become a staple for the Elite Series, the St. Lawrence River (fourth overall, 100 Best Bass Lakes), will be the next stop. The event, which is likely to be dominated by big smallmouth, is scheduled for July 14-17 out of Clayton, N.Y. This will be the sixth-straight year the Elite Series has visited the St. Lawrence and the 21st time B.A.S.S. has called on the fishery to host a major event.

 

Unlike the 2021 season that ended in mid-July, the 2022 slate will push into August with events at two fisheries where fans have been clamoring for the trail’s return.

 

On Aug. 18-21, massive 370,000-acre Lake Oahe will host the next-to-last event of the season out of Mobridge, S.D. B.A.S.S. has visited Oahe only once, for an Elite Series event in 2018 won by Alabama pro Mark Daniels Jr. B.A.S.S. Nation angler and 2015 Classic qualifier Troy Diede recently caught a 7-4 smallmouth from Oahe that was certified as the South Dakota state record.

 

The season will conclude on Aug. 26-29 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. (16th Central Division, 100 Best Bass Lakes). The Elite Series last visited La Crosse in 2018 during a Midwestern stretch that was paired similarly with Oahe.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome back the Bassmaster Elite Series to the La Crosse region on the famed Upper Mississippi River,” said A.J. Frels, executive director of Explore La Crosse. “We expect phenomenal fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and the anglers will showcase the region at unprecedented levels thanks to the partnership between B.A.S.S. and FOX Sports. The Bassmaster LIVE coverage will promote and attract new audiences to our incredible fishery while on-site engagement, launches and weigh-ins are sure to draw big crowds. The greater La Crosse region looks forward to hosting the anglers, their families, fans and spectators in the area!”

After an exciting debut season in 2021, once more, all nine Bassmaster Elite Series events as well as the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will feature live television coverage on theFOX Sportsplatforms. Visit Bassmaster.com for more details.

2022 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule

Feb. 10-13, St. Johns River, Palatka, Fla.
Feb. 17-20, Harris Chain of Lakes, Leesburg, Fla.
March 4-6, Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, Lake Hartwell, Greenville, S.C.
March 17-20, Santee Cooper Lakes, Clarendon County, S.C.
April 7-10, Chickamauga Lake, Dayton, Tenn.
May 19-22, Lake Fork, Quitman, Texas
June 2-5, TBA
July 14-17, St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands, Clayton, N.Y.
Aug. 4-7,Make-up date
Aug. 18-21,Lake Oahe, Mobridge, S.D.
Aug. 26-29,Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wis.

Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor:Toyota

Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors:Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha

Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors:AFTCO, Bass Pro Shops, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Marathon, Rapala

Bassmaster Elite Series Conservation Partner:AFTCO

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (BassmasterandB.A.S.S. Times), website (
Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series,Basspro.comBassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX,Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeterand the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Omnia Fishing Signs on as Presenting Sponsor for the 2021 MNBN Team Trail

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN February 25, 2021 Omnia Fishing announced a partnership with Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation (MNBN) as the presenting sponsor of the 2021 MNBN Team Trail, which is a sanctioned trail of the Bassmaster Team Championship. This trail will feature 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!

 

“We are excited to announce Omnia Fishing will be the presenting sponsor for the 2021 MNBN Team Trail”, said Peter Perovich, MNBN President. “This is a great opportunity to have Omnia Fishing on board and we are looking forward to working with them”.

 

“We at Omnia are excited to partner with MNBN Team Trail for the 2021 season. We are a rapidly growing company taking aggressive steps to make shopping for fishing tackle smarter. While our goal is to be a major national retailer” said Pete Przepiora, Head of Merchandising at Omnia Fishing. “Minnesota is our home base, and we want to support the Minnesota anglers. The Team Trail has shown that they are on an upward trajectory. MNBN is doing a lot to protect and grow the sport of bass fishing in Minnesota. Simply--it just makes sense to support them”.

 

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation consists of over 500 members and is a member of B.A.S.S. Nation. Core principles include improving anglers’ bass fishing skills, promoting bass conservation, and engaging youth via grass roots bass fishing across Minnesota to anglers of all skill levels. For additional information on how you can become a part of Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation go to mnbassnation.org or follow us at twitter.com/MNBassNation and facebook/MNBassNation.

The Nationals as Experienced by Rich Lindgren

Follow along, as Rich takes us on a tour of his experiences on Pickwick for the Bass Nation Nationals.

Slideshow
2020 Northern Regional

2020 Regional Tournament


The 2020 B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional was held on Lake Vermilion in Minnesota. The Minnesota state team placed 3rd over all. Congrats to Rich Lindgren and Bryan Larson for continuing on to Nationals!



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MN B.A.S.S. Nation Tournaments




G-MAN's Advice to Aspiring Competitive Anglers
Wired2Fish Apr 6, 2018

Gerald Swindle has some great advice for anyone looking to break into the professional Bass Fishing Industry.  He shares what he believes are the most important things to focus on in your High School, College and Amateur career. 




The B.A.S.S. High School Nation is helping shape the future of the sport, one high school club at a time. The High School club members enjoy camaraderie and competition, as well as education and conservation programs.





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