After the shortest offseason break in the trail’s 16-year history, B.A.S.S. officials announced Thursday that the Bassmaster Elite Series will open its 2021 tournament slate Feb. 11-14 on the St. Johns River in Florida.
The season-opener will begin just over three months after the final event of a 2020 schedule that was reworked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a much later finish than usual.
“We’re as excited about this schedule as any that we’ve ever put together for the Elite Series,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “It features a good mix of venues that have become fixtures for B.A.S.S. and a few we’ve been to before but haven’t visited in a while.”
From Florida, the season will shift north Feb. 25-28 to Knoxville, Tenn., which has played host to two fantastic major B.A.S.S. events the past four seasons, including the record-breaking 2019 Bassmaster Classic. Like that Classic, the 2021 event will take place on the Tennessee River where largemouth and smallmouth will both likely come into play.
“The relationship that has developed between B.A.S.S. and the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission is absolutely amazing,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “The Elite Series is the world’s premier tournament circuit. We are honored to play host city for a second time, and look forward to welcoming the anglers, their teams and fans.”
“Knoxville was thrilled to host the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2017,” said Chad Culver, Senior Director of the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission. “It was the first time B.A.S.S. had been here since 1981. That event led to Knoxville hosting the 2019 Bassmaster Classic – the largest in event history. Needless to say, we could not be more excited to welcome B.A.S.S. back to the waters of Knoxville and East Tennessee.”
Elite Series action will pause for the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, which is set for March 19-21 on Lake Ray Roberts near Fort Worth, Texas. Then the schedule will resume April 8-11 on another Texas fishery, the Sabine River in Orange.
For the first time in history, all nine Bassmaster Elite Series events as well as the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will feature live television coverage on the FOX Sports platforms. Visit Bassmaster.com for more details.
2021 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule
Feb. 11-14, AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River, Palatka, Fla.
Feb. 25-28, Tennessee River, Knoxville, Tenn.
March 19-21, Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, Lake Ray Roberts, Fort Worth, Texas
April 8-11, Sabine River, Orange, Texas
April 22-25, Lake Fork, Emory, Texas
May 6-9, Neely Henry Lake, Gadsden, Ala.
May 20-23, Lake Guntersville, Scottsboro, Ala.
June 10-13, Pickwick Lake, Florence, Ala.
July 8-11, Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vt.
July 15-18, St. Lawrence River, Waddington, N.Y.
Aug. 19-22, Make-up date
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 (Bassmaster and B.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.com Bassmaster 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 presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
About Visit Knoxville Sports Commission
The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, established under Visit Knoxville in 2016, is responsible for bringing tournaments and sporting events to Knoxville and Knox County. The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission has had the honor of hosting top-tier events including the Sports ETA Symposium, USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships, USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series, and the largest BASSMASTER Classic in B.A.S.S. history. Visit Knoxville, a 501c3 organization, is the official Convention and Visitors Bureau for Knoxville and Knox County. For more information, visit visitknoxville.com/sports-commission/.