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Fishing’s Future

Bass Pro founder unveils boat prize package for kids in Happy Fishin’ Contest


Johnny Morris, the owner and founder of the iconic US retail chain Bass Pro Shops, is giving away ten fishing boat, motor and trailer packages to budding young anglers.

‘Nothing beats the smile on a kid’s face when they catch a fish’ is the inspirational slogan behind the Johnny Morris Happy Fishin’ Contest which will be open to youngsters aged under 17 during the US Open National Bass Fishing Championships on Table Rock Lake in November.

Noted conservationist Morris has spent a lifetime fishing and connecting more children and families to nature. Now, he wants to celebrate kids who love to fish and attract even more families to put down their digital devices and pick up a fishing rod.

“We’re looking for some of the most passionate and enthusiastic youngsters out there to help inspire others to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” Morris said. “There is no better feeling than seeing the joy and excitement on a young angler’s face when they catch a fish. It’s what sparks a lifelong love of the outdoors. We hope every kid who loves to fish submits a video – let’s create some happy memories!”

The ten winners will enjoy the prize package of a lifetime:

• Each winner will receive a new Bass Tracker Classic XL boat, motor and trailer
• A $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card for tackle and more
• US Open jersey and amenity bag with exclusive gear

The winner and a guardian will receive free travel and lodging to Big Cedar Lodge – America’s premier wilderness Lodge – on Table Rock Lake in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. The winner will also get the chance to compete in a special kids’ fishing tournament during the US Open National Championships.

To enter, the hopefuls are being asked to create a video of two minutes or less that shows a passion for fishing. Grown-ups can help film, but the kids need to tell their story and why they love to fish. Submit the videos and a completed entry form to www.basspro.com/KidsFishing by Sunday, October 24th and a panel of celebrity anglers will review each video and select ten winners. Winners will be announced on November 2nd.

Morris added: “Kids, be sure to wear your Bass Pro Shops cap!”

Morris was inspired to create this contest after getting to know Ke’Mari Cooper, a young fisherman from Florida who starred in a video that went viral in 2019.

Ke’Mari was fishing with his father, Velt (left), when he reeled in a giant 7.1lb bass, leading to screams of joy and a celebration dance. Then Ke’Mari took the bass back to the water’s edge and carefully released it back into the water, saying, “I hope you grow even bigger, baby. One day, we’ll meet back again.”

That heartwarming encounter, and Ke’Mari’s commitment to the outdoors and conservation, inspired Johnny to invite all kids who love fishing to help spread the word and get even more families engaged with nature.

The Johnny Morris’ Happy Fishin’ Contest is presented in partnership with The Missouri Division of Tourism. To enter visit www.basspro.com/KidsFishing

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