American Bass Anglers is the largest tournament
trail dedicated to the weekend angler. The organization was
founded in 1975 and was formed for military bass fisherman
and called Military Bass Anglers Association or MBAA for short.
These founding bass fishermen were looking for alternatives
to the normal recreational activities associated with military
bases. Little did they know what it would turn into. The tournament
trail was limited to military personal only until the early
90s when non-military anglers were allowed to join. The organization
grew more rapidly due to this addition, but there still was
a perception among anglers due to its name that the organization
was still just for military anglers only.
In 2000 Morris Sheehan,
a life member and once angler of the year, bought the organization
and located its offices in Athens Alabama. Athens is located
between Nashville and Birmingham and is within 20 minutes
After purchasing the MBAA, Morris renamed the organization
American Bass Anglers and incorporated the company. This was
a move to let anglers nationwide know that the trail was open
to all fishermen. While opening up the organization to both
military and non-military anglers, ABA and its staff still
maintains a strong loyalty to its military and patriotic traditions.
The trail provides all anglers low entry fees, close to home
tournaments and a simple path to go to a same year championship.
Upon the creation of American Bass Anglers, Morris immediately
talked to Earl Bentz, founder of Triton Boats, and Triton became
the boat sponsor of American Bass Anglers. Morris knew companies
like Triton that are committed to the weekend angler would
be a strong driving force in the success of American Bass Anglers.
At the first ABA national championship, Morris showed just
how big ABA's and Triton's commitment was by giving away two
21 foot Triton bass boats rigged with big block outboards to
Angler of the Year Abe Abernathy and the 2000 National Champion
Phillip Anderson. These boats were loaded with sponsor products
like Lowrance electronics and T-H Marine accessories like the
famous Hot Foot and Hi-Jacker jack plates. Ray Scott was on
hand at the 2000 awards banquet and awarded the keys to the
new Triton bass boats.
ABA's formula for success is relatively simple: provide a nationwide
bass fishing circuit with low cost tournaments where anglers
can just show up and fish and offer a level playing field with
a simple points system so the weekend angler can win big prizes
at the season's end.
The formula continues to work well. The entry fee for American
Bass Angler draw events is just $55.00. The rules and point
system keeps the playing field level for anglers nationwide
whereas trails that use a point plus pounds system make it
impossible for anglers to have a chance to catch up toward
the end of the season. One bad tournament can ruin your season
with the point plus pounds system they use. The ABA approach
is to only count the anglers best four 1-day tournaments +
their best 2-day tournament for a national ranking in points
and thus allowing them to put a bad tournament behind them.
Anglers can fish as many tournaments as they want, but they
do not gain an advantage over someone that can't fish as many
events. The rules also keep the playing field level in that
no guides or professional fisherman are allow to compete in
the draw tournament events. Who wants to compete at a $55.00
entry fee level against someone that fishes for a living? Most
anglers don't. It all comes back to keeping a level playing
field for all anglers nationwide.
The American Bass Angler's directors that run these 1 and 2-day
events are very seasoned tournament directors and work hard
to make sure their tournaments are run exactly the same from
coast to coast. Many ABA members like traveling to new lakes
and competing in ABA draw events. They know that the director
in the district they visit will be running the tournament the
same way as their home district and the member can earn national
points no matter what district they fish. With over 640 tournaments
a year to choose from, a member can see lots of new bodies
of water and learn how to fish these lakes. This is also a
great way to meet other members and where life- long friendships
are formed. We often we hear of members traveling to meet other
members to go to new lakes together to fish a tournament there.
What a great way to see new water, fish with old friends, and
maybe make new friends.
There are several professionals that spent time getting ready
for the big leagues in the ABA. Davy Hite, for example, was
a national guardsman in South Carolina. Davy fished the MBAA
in the early 90s and then made the move to the professional
level. So you can also look at the ABA tournament trails as
a great way for members that aspire to move into the professional
ranks to learn to compete on different bodies of water without
the huge expense associated with fishing at the professional
level. It gives the members time to get ready for the big leagues.
The 2003 season will reach its finale at Kentucky Lake just
outside of Paducah, Kentucky. This year's draw trail national
championship will be the biggest and best the organization
has ever seen. There will be literally a ton of prizes and
awards given away including three 2003 Triton TR21PD bass boats
with the hottest outboard on the market, Mercury Marine's 225hp
Optimax and loaded with other sponsor products like Lowrance
electronics and T-H Marine accessories. Two of the three boats
will be given away to the national champion and the angler
of the year. The third boat will be given away by draw.
This special drawing will be held for all members that meet
the minimum qualifications to compete at the national championship,
which is competing in 4 one-day tournaments and one 2-day tournament.
This is a chance for a member to win the same huge prize as
does the tournament champion or the angler of the year. This
comes back to a level playing field. While we invite only the
top 500 point holders to compete at the national championship,
we know that many anglers cannot make the national due to family,
vacation or work related issues, but if they meet that minimum
qualification, they get a shot at a new top of the line fully
loaded Triton bass boat. That's right you do not have to be
at the national to win this boat. If you cannot make the national
make sure on October 7, 2006 at about 9pm cst to be by your
telephone because we could be calling you with some awesome
There are just too many advantages to fishing American Bass
Anglers for anglers out there to not take a close look at what
this organization provides such as: over 1000 tournaments across
the US, level playing field, simple points system, toll free
phone number to talk directly with a real person at headquarters,
low entry fees ($55.00) for a one-day tournaments, tournaments
designed by fishermen for fishermen, a national championship
the same year, great sponsor programs, a true national draw
trail, service team sponsors, non-boaters always welcome, and
3 Triton Fully Rigged Triton TR21X Series Bass Boats with Mercury
There are a lot of new things coming this season for American
Bass Anglers and you will want to be apart of them. Get your
membership today and be apart of the Largest Tournament Trail
from the Weekend Angler.
There is a lot of information available online at www.americanbassanglers.com or you can call or write American Bass Anglers.
American Bass Anglers Inc., PO Box 475, Athens, AL. 35612 or
3 Boats to be awarded:
We welcome anglers to contact us with questions or comments
at firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up the phone and
call us 1-888-203-6222