12 (Really Good) Reasons To Fish The Big Bass Tour in 2021

Published on 12-21-2020

Building on a 2020 season in which the Big Bass Tour overcame various rescheduling obstacles to reach unprecedented success, the natural inclination would be to rest on one’s laurels. 

Instead, the Tour organizers have decided to push the envelope even more, extending the schedule to 12 events and making everything just a little bit bigger.

Tour competitors can look forward to a slate of familiar favorites at optimum times, stretching from the beginning of February through the end of October and guaranteeing over $1.8 million in prizes and payouts.

There are no barriers to entry (unless you’re a pro), no need to qualify. Show up at as many as you like and prepare to compete and win.

The schedule includes eleven premier fisheries, all scheduled for their optimal times. They are as follows.

Stop #1

Location: Harris Chain of Lakes (Florida)

Dates: February 5-7

Synopsis: The Harris Chain, which as its name suggests is an interconnected series of Central Florida lakes has hosted numerous prestigious pro events over recent decades because in continues to pump out giants. They’re at their fattest in early February and moving up shallow where they’re susceptible to a variety of techniques. That includes Florida standards like flipping, but each lake has a slightly different character, and no matter how you prefer to fish there’s water that fits your style.

Stop #2

Location: Lake Conroe (Texas)

Dates: February 26-28

Synopsis: Lake Conroe, about an hour from downtown Houston, may be the best urban trophy lake in the country, or the world for that matter. Double digit bass are weighed in throughout the year, but no time shines brighter than February, when they’re fat and thinking about the spawning ritual. It could take an 8- or 9-pounder to win every hour if things line up right, and a 10 is no guarantee of emerging as top dog.

Stop #3

Location: Lake Eufaula (Alabama)

Dates: March 5-7

Synopsis: Southeastern Alabama’s Lake Eufaula boasts 45,000 acres of legendary bass-holding cover, and thus marks the third member of our early season triumvirate likely to produce at least one 10-pounder. This Chattahoochee River impoundment extends for 85 miles, and your chances of catching the tournament winner are just as likely at one end as they are at the other.

Stop #4

Location: Clarks Hill Lake (Georgia)

Dates: March 19-21

Synopsis: Massive 71,000 acre Clarks Hill Lake, on the border between Georgia and South Carolina, is the third largest artificial impoundment east of the Mississippi. This damming of the Savannah River holds a population of blueback herring and those fish that haven’t moved shallow already should be chasing the prolific baitfish to fatten up.

Stop #5

Location: Lake Norman (North Carolina)

Dates: March 26-28

Synopsis: Lake Norman has one of the most prolific bass populations in the country, thanks to an outstanding population of largemouths that has been supplemented by the introduction of spotted bass. That means that even comparatively small fish can claim hourly prizes, so paying attention to the live leaderboard will be key. The lake’s many docks offer up lots of fish, but there are endless patterns and techniques that could produce our overall winner.

Stop #6

Location: Table Rock Lake (Missouri)

Dates: April 9-11

Synopsis: This Ozarks gem offers 52,000 acres of fishable waters, as well as substantial populations of largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass alike. While the green fish are expected to take home the top prize, all three species can be counted on to win hourly money. Whether you’re in the clear water by the dam or far up one of the rivers, this gorgeous impoundment in the backyard of Bass Pro Shops can make you a winner.

Stop #7

Location: Smith Mountain Lake (Virginia)

Dates: April 23-25

Synopsis: The jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains will take anglers on a winding journey through hills and valleys in search of both largemouths and smallmouths. There are 7- and 8-pounders for the taking, but typically a 5 or a 6 will get you paid well. The fish hit the banks hard this time of year, so prepare to go shallow, but it’s a fishery that offers all sorts of options, and don’t be surprised if the overall winner is doing something off-the-wall.

Stop #8

Location: Lake Murray (South Carolina)

Dates: April 30-May 2

Synopsis: This 50,000 acre impoundment of the Saluda River near Columbia has been a premier tournament venue for decades, producing many of our sport’s major stars and iconic moments. Like other lakes in this region, it has blueback herring, so once the bass are done spawning their prey do the same thing, making for some of the most epic topwater bites on the planet.

Stop #9

Location: Chickamauga Lake (Tennessee)

Dates: May 14-16

Synopsis: Our first TVA stop takes us to a 36,000 acre beast that punches bigger than its weight. While Guntersville rightfully gets lots of attention, in recent years the “Chick” has produced an increasing number of double digit bass. They should be done with the spawn and heading out to their summer haunts about now, which means they’ll be susceptible to being caught in a wide range of depths.

Stop #10

Location: Douglas Lake (Tennessee)

Dates: October 8-10

Synopsis: We’ll hit the Smoky Mountains just as the weather turns perfect and the fall bite begins in earnest. There are tons of 3-pound smallmouths and quality spots that could produce hourly checks, but it’ll likely take a big largemouth to claim the crown on this 30,000 acre East Tennessee impoundment.

Stop #11

Location: Lake Guntersville (Alabama)

Dates: October 15-17

Synopsis: Guntersville may be the most famous and most popular lake in the tournament world and with good reason – the fishery’s grass continues to pump out huge numbers of giant fish year after year. As we head into fall, a number of patterns open up, so whether you’re looking to flip a big weight or go offshore, there’s a way to catch a monster that’ll appeal to you.

Stop #12

Location: Smith Mountain Lake (Virginia)

Dates: October 22-24

Synopsis: The fall foliage should be in full swing by the time we return to the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, and that’s when the fall bite fully kicks into gear. Docks and shallow banks will play a role, much as they did in the springtime, but the angler who remains openminded may find alternative means of catching one of Smith Mountain’s lurking giants.

At each tournament, the first 250 anglers to register will receive a free Abu-Garcia rod.

Additionally, prior to the event every angler at every tournament will receive a sample of Berkley baits and/or line specifically tailored to that fishery. We’ve queried the Berkley pro staff about the best shapes and colors and you can be assured that you’ll have the tools to win when you hit the water.

2021 sponsors of the Big Bass Tour include: Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Minn Kota, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, Yeti, T-H Marine, Humminbird, Uncharted Supply, Sunglass Outfitters, Raptor, Berkley, Tempress and Lithium Pros.