USA Bassin Trail is an amateur bass fishing tournament trail that promotes a family-friendly atmosphere where singles, teams, co-ed, and youth can experience tournament fishing for a low cost, according to their website. The newly formed partnership will help develop online tournament opportunities using the ConnectOutdoors software.
The partnership came about because of the personal relationship between Scott Morris, Vice President of Tournament Operations with Connect Outdoors, and Kevin Yeary, National Tournament Director of USA Bassin Trail.
“I’ve known Kevin for several years and this partnership came about from my relationship with him,” Morris said. “I approached Kevin last year and asked if he would be interested in hosting tournaments virtually. Due to Covid-19 issues, they actually had tournaments shut down last year. It was a win-win situation.”
To start with, the two organizations are going to partner on the NextGen Virtual Bass tournament for junior and high school teams. This will help both organizations get a feel for how the tournament will operate and how it will look.
Kevin said he is looking forward to the partnership. And using the ConnectScale and fishing app is a lot more humane to the fish because of the catch and release system.
“I’m excited about it going forward to see where it leads,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids. It’s a good step in the right direction. I think it’s a great concept.”
Starting on March 5, the first round of the NextGen tournament will start and run for five consecutive weeks. The event will start on Friday at 6 a.m. and end on Sunday at 6 p.m. The tournament will use Connect Scale and the Connect Outdoors app to document catches. It will be a catch photo length-based event and the length will be converted to a weight and that weight will represent the final standings.
The regional event format for the NextGen tournament will be based on BASS and FLW rules. This means every team can have an adult captain who can operate the boat but is not allowed to fish.
Winners of the tournament will be published on the following Tuesday at 6 p.m. There will be a total of five rounds of the NextGen tournaments, which costs $50 per three-day event. The following dates are:
- Round 1- Mar 5 - Mar 7th and will run five consecutive weeks until the last event Apr 2-5th.
- Round 2- Apr 9 - Apr 11th and will run five consecutive weeks until the last event May 7-9th.
- Round 3- May 14- May 16 and will run five consecutive weeks until the last event Jun 11-13th.
- Round 4- Jun 18 - Jun 20 and will run five consecutive weeks until the last event Jul 16-18th.
- Round 5- Jul 23 - Jul 25 and will run five consecutive weeks until the last event Aug 20-22nd.
A team fishing at least five events out of the scheduled 25 events will qualify for the opportunity to fish in the NextGen championship in 2022 and win a $5,000 scholarship. If the team has all members older than 16 and fish 10 out of the 25 events, they could qualify for the USA Bassin National Championship and compete to win a new rigged BassCat boat.