BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bass fishing enthusiasts who want to learn from the world’s best anglers while exploring legendary fisheries can enjoy insider access to their favorite pros as marshals for the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series.
Not only will marshals learn tips for breaking down a fishery and fast-track their learning curve, but AFTCO will be hooking marshals up with apparel, gear, a gift card and other items with a total value of $75, plus a 20% off coupon for future purchases. For those dedicated few who serve as marshals for more than three events, they will receive a $100 AFTCO gift card.
"I enjoy doing it, for one, because I tournament fish as a co-angler ... and you get to learn a lot from the guys,” said Holly Keen, the marshal who had a front-row seat to Lee Livesay’s record-breaking day on Lake Fork in 2021. “If you’ve got questions, they’ll answer them. They’ll tell exactly what they think you should be doing under certain conditions, what to use and why."
Registration for B.A.S.S. Life and Nation members opens online on November 30. All other B.A.S.S. members may register online beginning December 7. Marshal spots are available for just $99.
According to Keen, the learning experience on the water with Elite anglers is invaluable.
“You’re going to get to learn because you’re watching them actually tournament fish,” Keen said. “If you take a guide trip, you’re going to spend anywhere from $600 to $700, if not more. (As a marshal) you’re not on a guide trip where they’re either casting or helping you do this or that. You get to watch how they put into play everything they use to catch fish during an actual tournament. So to me, it’s worth it.”
Marshals join different Elite anglers to spend two to three days on the water. They are not allowed to fish but are encouraged to take photos, send blog posts to Bassmaster.com and serve as an extra set of eyes for B.A.S.S. tournament officials and the Bassmaster LIVE crew, who frequently reach out to marshals for updates. Additionally, marshals operate the digital BassTrakk scoring system that enables fans to follow the action in real time.
Another benefit? Seeing the interplay and camaraderie among competitors on the water.
"It was cool to see the interaction between the anglers on the water,” said former marshal Doug Lezman. “Checking in on how others are doing, asking permission before cutting past someone to fish a certain spot and even talking about what baits are working. Pretty cool to see a bunch of guys competing with each other but also understanding that they all are trying to make a living by catching bass."
Every marshal is guaranteed to be on the water for the first two competition days. As the Elite Series field is cut throughout the weekend leading up to Championship Sunday, marshals are chosen for Semifinal Saturday based on how early they register for the event as well as their content contributions in the preliminary rounds.
To learn more and register for the Elite Series marshal program, visit Bassmaster.com.
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Schedule
Feb. 22-25, Many, La., Toledo Bend Reservoir
Feb. 29-March 3, Yantis, Texas, Lake Fork
March 22-24, Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, Tulsa, Okla., Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees
April 11-14, Leesburg, Fla., Harris Chain of Lakes
April 18-21, Palatka, Fla., St. Johns River
May 9-12, Columbia, S.C., Lake Murray
June 13-16, Decatur, Ala., Wheeler Lake
June 27-30, Cullman, Ala., Smith Lake
Aug. 8-11, Plattsburgh, N.Y., Lake Champlain
Aug. 15-18, Waddington, N.Y., St. Lawrence River
Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC
Bassmaster Conservation Partners: AFTCO, Yamaha Rightwaters
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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 500,000-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, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series scored by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.