In 2016, B.A.S.S. held its Angler of the Year Championship at Lake Mille Lacs, an event Minnesota pro Seth Feider won going away. Last week, the national tournament organization held its college national championship at Lake Bemidji, and this week it held a bracket-style tournament on Serpent Lake near Deerwood and Crosby to determine which college angler qualifies for a spot in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. Next month, the Angler of the Year Championship returns to Mille Lacs.
So if it seems like Minnesota’s been getting a lot of national bass-fishing love, it’s because it has.
Feider has helped the cause by winning last year’s tournament in convincing fashion, but also fishing well enough on the Elite Series stage again this year so that he’ll very likely be among the 50 anglers invited back to Mille Lacs. And while the Bemidji State University team of Mitch and Thor Swanson didn’t finish high enough at the college national championship to advance to the Classic-qualifying competition, they still finished in ninth place out of a field of more than 80 teams. (Bryan College’s Jacob Foutz won the Serpent Lake competition Wednesday and will represent all college fishermen in next year’s Classic.)
During last year’s Angler of the Year Championship at Mille Lacs, pro fisherman after pro fisherman talked about the strength of the fishery, with some going so far as to call it the best smallmouth bass lake in the world.
Mille Lacs is far from the only great bass lake in Minnesota. Bass-fishing gems are scattered across every part of the state, and it seems like the bass fishing – smallmouth bass fishing in particular – is only getting better and better.
While Minnesota forever will be known as the state of walleyes, it’s fun to see our state’s awesome bass fishing receiving greater recognition.