B.A.S.S. announced this week that Alabama's Pickwick Lake will host the 2018 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. The tournament will take place Nov. 8-10 out of McFarland Park in Florence.
“We’re really excited to be having the Championship at a venue with as much to offer as Pickwick Lake,” said Jon Stewart, director of the B.A.S.S. Nation, which has chapters in 47 states, nine countries and the province of Ontario. “When you go to Pickwick, especially during that really good stretch in the fall, you never know what it’s going to take to win.
“You’d better have a plan going in, plus a backup plan and a second backup plan, and you’d better consider largemouth and smallmouth because they’re both usually going to play.”
Pickwick has been the site of numerous B.A.S.S. events dating back to the early 1980s. Former pro angler and current Bassmaster LIVE host Davy Hite of South Carolina won a Bassmaster Elite Series event on the lake in 2011 with a 4-day total of 84-09.
The top 3 finishers from the Championship will earn a spot in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, which is set for March 15-17 in Knoxville, Tenn. The list of anglers who qualified for the Classic through the Nation Championship at the start of their careers includes Brandon Palaniuk, Mike Iaconelli and Paul Mueller.
The top 3 finishers will also receive the “Nation’s Best” package, which includes paid entry fees into the Bassmaster Opens division of their choice in 2019 and the use of a fully rigged Phoenix boat for the year.
The overall winner of the Championship will also receive an invitation to fish the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series. Last year’s Nation Championship winner, Caleb Sumrall of Louisiana, is currently fishing the Elite Series and has finished in the money at four of seven events this season.
“There may still be some people out there who don’t realize what a big event the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship really is,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “It allows anglers from all over the world to showcase their abilities – and for the top finishers, it could truly be a life-changing thing.”