River Bassin’ 2018: Simple, Fun, Fishing.

If you’re an existing river basser, or new to this enjoyable pastime, this article will lay out exactly how the 2018 tournament series works. Along with the general rules that all anglers are required to read, this is a great article to refer back to about some of great additions and slight changes for the 2018 season (notated in RED!).

If you’ve never fished a River Bassin’ event you can find more information about the tournament series on this website; simply put it is a family-friendly kayak fishing tournament trail where participants fish in rivers/creeks for black bass! When you catch a bass you simply put it on a your measuring board, take a photo with your smartphone, release the fish and then upload your photo and its length LIVE to the leaderboard! Your total is comprised of your best 3 bass. If you finish “in the money” then you’ll have a chance to win some of the thousands in cash/prizes at each event!

The Events:

1. River Bassin’ Club Series Tournaments

Club Series events are an arm of River Bassin’ that are run by local kayak fishing clubs, organizations or even dealers, across the country. These are their in person, one day tournaments, ran their way with their rules, but of course have to be river-focused events (50% or more of eligible water must be river). Anglers fishing these events will receive valuable River Basser of the Year (RBOY) and River Bassin’ Team of the Year (RBTOY) points [Refer to the bottom of this article for more information about what RBOY & RBTOY are, how you win, and the prize purse that comes along with the titles]. These events will be on the River Bassin’ schedule starting in January, and many will still be added up until March 1st, which is the deadline for organizations to fill out the River Bassin’ Club Series form. Aside from the prizes at the tournament, the winner of a River Bassin’ Club Series event will get a free entry into the River Bassin’ Championship ($50 value) and will receive 100 RBOY points.

2. River Bassin’ Online Regional Tournaments

There will be five season-long (Feb 1 – Sep 16) online “Regional” tournaments across the country, where anglers score their top 5 longest river bass of the year. Anglers enjoy these events because everyone can fit them into their schedules, since it isn’t a “one day” in-person event; fish as much or as little as you would like in between the start and end date. Plus, since these events are split into regions, it allows anglers to compete fairly against others fishing similar waters, with similar sized bass. In these tournaments, anglers must follow the official River Bassin’ rules and fish within the region that he/she has signed up for. Anglers may fish multiple online regional tournaments, if they choose to fish outside their home regional boundary. RBOY & RBTOY points are on the line at these events, and will be awarded upon the conclusion of the tournament (Sep 16th). These are valuable RBOY events because the winner will receive 200 points, followed by 195 for 2nd place and so on. These tournaments are only $30 to enter (+$20 for 2-man team division) for the entire season, and each will have a total prize purse worth over $2500, with $700 in cash/prizes going to the winner. A new element, for 2018, is the addition of a fun “Super Team” division (+$20), where 5 anglers form a team and each is allowed one fish to count for the team’s 5-fish virtual limit. This will promote additional camaraderie and enjoyment for those fishing throughout the year. Just like all River Bassin’ events these are open events, available for anyone to participate in.

Regions are broken down as follows:

  • Southeast
  • Midwest
  • Mid-Atlantic/Northeast
  • West 
  • Texas

3. Species-specific Online Tournaments

With so many cool black bass species, it only makes sense to highlight them each in their own unique contest. These online tournaments are also just $20 and last throughout the entire season (Feb 1 – Sept 16). However, in these events you may fish any public water type (rivers, lakes or ponds), and the winners will be determined by their biggest 5 bass of one species. New for 2018 is the “mixed bag” category, which allows anglers to score no more than 2 of any species, meaning they must catch at least three species to have a full 5-bass limit. Any angler who finishes inside the top 10 in any of these species tournaments will receive an additional 5 RBOY points (5 points max if angler’s are entering more than one). For $20 a year, and giving you a reason to target some different species, plus the chance to earn 5 very important RBOY points, they are well worth your time and money to get involved in! 

The categories are as follows:

  • Largemouth
  • Smallmouth
  • Alabama, Spotted & Shoal bass
  • Guadalupe, Suwannee & all Redeye Bass Species (back by popular demand, and FREE!)
  • “Mixed Bag” (NEW! 5-fish limit, with 2 per species max ) – Largemouth, Smallmouth, Alabama, Spotted, Shoal, Redeye, Suwannee, Guadalupe

4. National Championship

The 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship, held centrally in Waynesville, MO, at Ruby’s Landing, on September 22, 2018, will be one giant grand finale with $75,000 in cash/prizes being handed out! The entire River Bassin’ nation will come together in fellowship, compete and share some good times in celebration of the entire 2018 season. Many of the prizes will be handed out via our random prize categories or by spinning the popular River Bassin’ Prize Wheel, where anglers can win big or even lose a lure if they hit the wrong space! The largest of the random prizes will be two Jackson Kayak raffles. Anglers will receive one free raffle ticket with their entry into the tournament, but will have the option to purchase more raffle tickets to increase their odds. Tickets are just $10 a piece and all proceeds go towards local charities.

Of course we all know the way to a River Basser’s heart is either “free food,” or when someone says “Hey man, I know a guy who has private river access.” Let’s face it, its nearly a tie, but while the River Bassin’ Trail can’t help with the latter, it will be offering free food again at the championship for all paid anglers!

Music, games, kayak demos, vendor booths and even a live radio broadcast will be going on during the weekend as well. A full itinerary will be posted on the tournament page, which will be live in January. The River Bassin’ Store will also be set up, for those who are interested in purchasing River Bassin’ gear(hats, shirts, decals etc) or 13 Fishing rods/reels.

The entry fees will be as follows – $30 for youth division, $30 for the College Kayak Fishing division, $50 for individual division + an additional $30 to enter the 2-person team division as well, and an additional $20 to enter the new Super Team Division. Prizes are awarded in all divisions, so the more you can enter, the better your odds at finishing “in the money!” All prizes will be listed on the bottom of the tournament pages (prizes may not be finalized until mid-March so continue to check back).

Qualifying anglers for the RBOY & RBOY titles will be fishing for their final score at this event, and the winner will be crowned at the end the tournament Results Show. We will also announce the winners of all season-long online events (and award their prizes if they are there) at this event as well.

If  you’re looking to end your fishing season with a bang, this is certainly an event you will not want to miss!

River Basser of the Year (RBOY) and River Bassin’ Team of the Year (RBTOY) explained:

Anyone can have a great day on the water and win one event, but determining who will consistently be the best angler and team throughout an entire year takes proper planning, dedication, and river bassin’ skill. These are the most coveted and lucrative awards handed out each year.  So, how do you win the RBOY & RBTOY trophies?

Your RBOY & RBTOY points are tallied by combining your single best Club Series score (100 points for 1st place) with your top Online Regional score (200 points for 1st). At the championship, this cumulative 2-event score is added to your championship points total (300 points for the win). The Club Series points will be awarded down from 1st place (100 points). For any Club Series event that has 50 anglers or more the points will drop in 2-point increments (100, 98, 96) down to 20th place, while any Club Series event that has between 20 and 49 anglers will drop in 5-point increments from 1st place (100, 95, 90…etc) and be awarded down to 10th place. Online Regional events will also be awarded down in 5 point increments, but starting at 200 points for the win; 200, 195, 190…down to 20th place. The championship will be awarded in 5-point increments, and the win is worth 300 points (300, 295, 290 etc), which means more teams and individuals have the potential to be “in the hunt” during the grand finale. 5 bonus RBOY points will be awarded to any angler that finishes inside the top 10 of one of the online Species-specific tournaments. An angler can only receive one 5-point species bonus, even if they are inside the top 10 of multiple species tournaments.

Only having one major in-person championship event, to go along with just one Club Series event should make the RBOY title attainable for most anglers, even those with families, busy work schedules and other hobbies. There is no limit to how many online Regional Tournaments, or in-person Club Series events you can fish. However, only your top finishing score will count for that category.  The more you fish the better your odds of having 2 great finishes, in your Club Series event and the online Regional event. Let’s look at a couple examples below so everyone understands.

Angler A fishes 7 total events – 4 Club Series, 2 Online Regionals and the Championship – and finishes inside the top 10 in a species tournament.

CS: 92* (5th place) | 75 (6th) | 0 (21st)
OR: 185 (4th) | 155 (10th) | 140 (13th)
NC: 270 (7th)
+ 5 species bonus points
= 552 total 2018 RBOY or RBTOY score

Angler B fishes just 3 events on the year – 1 Club Series,  1 Online Regional and the Championship.

CS: 95 (2nd place)**
OR: 175 (6th)
NC: 290 (3rd)
No species bonus
= 565 total 2018 RBOY or RBTOY score

* Club Series event had over 50 anglers, so increments dropped by 2, starting at 100 for the winner
* Club Series event had less than 50 anglers, so increments dropped by 5, starting at 100 for the winner

The RBOY prize will be at least $15,000 in cash/prizes, and the RBTOY prize will be at least $8000 in cash/prizes, so these are certainly titles that you’ll want to attain! Hopefully that all that makes sense; we feel it make take a couple looks but is fairly easy to understand. Updates on exact prizes will be ongoing throughout the year on the RBOY pages of the site.

Registration & Event Information:

Event registration will take place on each tournament page, which you can find by clicking on “schedule” at the top of this page. The 2018 schedule will not be accessible until January 2018.

Stay tuned to the River Bassin Facebook page for more information, online giveaways and other tips and tricks to help you catch more river bass in 2018!

See you on the trail!

Drew Gregory