The best anglers from around the country for the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors and the Bassmaster Junior National Championship on Lake Hartwell. Photo by Dalton Tumblin/B.A.S.S.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2023 national championships for the hugely popular Bassmaster High School and Junior Series will be decided on the renowned waters of Lake Hartwell. The 2023 Bassmaster Junior National Championship for second- through eighth-grade anglers will head to Anderson, S.C., July 21-22, while the Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will be held July 27-29.
“We are so excited to host the Bassmaster Junior and High School National Championships at Green Pond Landing and Lake Hartwell,” said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, which is hosting the events. “The leadership of Anderson County has provided us with a facility that is second to none and the resources to be able to bring championship events to our community, and we are grateful. In addition, our Anderson County team recognizes the confidence that B.A.S.S. has in our community to provide a first-class event for the anglers, their families, sponsors of the sport and the B.A.S.S. team. We look forward to another memorable event in Anderson County!”
This will be the first year for the Junior Series National Championship to venture away from west Tennessee, while 2022 marked the first time the Bassmaster High School National Championship has been held on Lake Hartwell. Young anglers from 39 states and Ontario, Canada, qualified to compete as part of the 315-boat field. That initial event was not only a success on the water but also accounted for more than 6,100 room nights and had a total economic impact of $1.5 million for Anderson, earning recognition as a 2022 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism (Mid-Market Division) by Sports Destination Management.
As many as 440 junior and high school teams are expected to compete. Each two-angler team is accompanied by a coach who runs the boat and can give advice on fishing techniques and patterns.
“We are thrilled to give young anglers an opportunity to tackle Hartwell — one of the most storied fisheries in Bassmaster history — as they compete for a national title,” said Glenn Cale, B.A.S.S. Nation tournament manager — College, High School and Junior. “I think people will be amazed not only by the knowledge these young anglers have of the sport, but by the size of the fish they bring to the scales. What they know and how they perform at such a young age really shows how the sport of competitive bass fishing is evolving and gives us a good idea of the kind of competition we’ll see at the higher ranks in the future.”
The Bassmaster High School Series debuted in 2013 and has grown immensely since its inception. The program emphasizes sportsmanship, academics and conservation while giving young anglers a chance to improve and test their fishing skills in competition among their peers.
The tournaments are being hosted by Visit Anderson.