STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The first ever Pan-American Bass Fishing Championship will take place Feb. 4-9 on Lake Okeechobee at the iconic Roland and Mary Ann Martins Marina & Resort. The Pan-American Sportfishing Delegation awarded this honor to USA Bass and preparations are under way with assistance from Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). The historic championship, part of a larger effort by the Confederation Internationale de Peche Sportive (CIPS) to make bass fishing an Olympic sport, will bring together anglers from all of the Americas as 41 nations are invited to compete.
“The international fishing community is thrilled about this event,” said tournament organizer and CIPS Vice President John Knight. “It fits perfectly into the global initiative to increase participation in bass fishing. Steps like this are making bass fishing the frontrunner when fishing becomes an Olympic sport.”
Knight is working with Roland and Mary Ann Martins Marina & Resort to make the tournament uniquely American.
“Mary Ann, Scott and Roland Martin are legends of the sport and huge supporters of USA Bass,” Knight said. “Bass anglers from across the Americas are excited about fishing such an important event on one the world’s most famous bass fishing lakes.”
FLW is working congruently with USA Bass and CIPS to grow the worldwide bass-fishing audience. FLW-sanctioned bass tournaments in Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain advance anglers to the Costa FLW Series Championship and Forrest Wood Cup, the Super Bowl of bass fishing.
Teams began arriving Feb. 4 for the opening ceremony followed by practice Feb. 5-6. Competition begins Feb. 7 with a 7:30 a.m. takeoff from the Clewiston Boat Basin followed by a 3:30 p.m. weigh-in at Roland and Mary Ann Martins Marina & Resort. Competition concludes Feb. 8 with a 7:30 a.m. takeoff from the Clewiston Boat Basin followed by a 3:30 p.m. weigh-in at Roland and Mary Ann Martins Marina & Resort. A medal presentation will follow the final weigh-in. Teams will depart Feb. 9.
USA Bass is part of U.S. Angling, a 501c3 charitable organization that supports the USA Bass team as they compete in Pan-American and World Championship fishing events around the globe. Businesses and individuals wishing to support the USA Bass team are encouraged to visit usabass.org for sponsorship opportunities.