bassmaster 

Golf has the PGA Tour. Baseball has the Major Leagues.

Football has the NFL and college football has the SEC.

For bass fishing, the equivalent is the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) Elite Series, and in 2017 it is coming to Barnett Reservoir.

The Ridgeland Tourism Commission and the Barnett Reservoir Foundation are host sponsors for the event, which will be staged out of Madison Landing April 27-30 with an expected field of 108 pro fishermen competing for a $100,000 top prize.

The format will have all anglers competing on Thursday and Friday, then the top 50 on Saturday, and only the top 12 on Sunday.

“We are very excited about bringing an Elite to Ridgeland and to Barnett Reservoir,” said Mina Thorgeson, director of sales for Ridgeland Tourism Commission. “This will showcase our city and The Rez at the top level of competitive bass fishing. The exposure will be great.”

It will be the 12th time BASS has brought an event to Barnett Reservoir, extending its long history with BASS. In 1966, when the lake was just a year old, Montgomery, Ala., businessman Ray Scott came to fish The Rez with some friends, got rained out, and, while resting at a Jackson Ramada Inn, had his first vision of a grass roots fishing organization.

BASS formed in 1967, and after holding its first event at Arkansas’ Beaver Lake, Scott made sure Barnett Reservoir was put on the schedule and had events here every year for six years beginning in 1968. Bill Dance and Roland Martin, two of the biggest names in fishing, each won twice on Barnett, and those victories helped launch their successful television careers and helped BASS get established.

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