Big Bass Bonanza Schedule Set UPDATE


LITTLE ROCK – The nation’s largest amateur big bass tournament, Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza, will be held on 300 miles of the Arkansas River June 27-29.

The annual Big Bass Bonanza it the successor to the King Cotton Classic that operated a number of years out of Pine Bluff. Big Bass Bonanza is a program of the Arkansas Hospitality Association with the assistance of several sponsors including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Anglers can choose to fish one, two or all three days of the tournament. Entry fee is $80 per day. The angler who lands the largest fish in the three-day tournament will take home a guaranteed $50,000, with four other pool winters to receive $10,000 each. Other prizes, including first, second and third hourly winners in each pool, will depend on the entry money received.

All entry fees, minus tournament expenses, are returned in prizes. In 2013, the tournament distributed more than $202,000 in prizes. There were 2,014 competitors. The tournament was won by Jonathan Swink of Des Arc with a 6.63-pound largemouth.

More information on tournament rules and format is available at

The river is divided into five fishing pools, and each pool will have one official weigh-in site. The five weigh-in sites are:

*Clear Creek Park, Fort Smith.

* Dardanelle State Park, Russellville side.

*Verizon Ramp, North Little Rock.

*Regional Park, Pine Bluff.

*Pendleton Bridge, east of Dumas.

Anglers can choose to fish any of the five pools and can fish different pools during the three-day event. However, all fish must be weighed in the pool in which they were caught. Eligible fish species include largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky or spotted bass.

UPDATE May 8, 2014

Conditions appear favorable for 2014 Big Bass Bonanza

LITTLE ROCK – Predicting conditions for a fishing competition several weeks in the future can be a lesson in futility. Still things are looking good at this point for the 2014 Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza.

This is the state’s most popular fishing tournament. Around 2,000 anglers, sometimes more, working the waters of the Arkansas River anywhere from the Oklahoma state line to the junction of the Mississippi River trying for the guaranteed $50,000 first prize.

It is an event only for amateur fishermen and likely is the largest such contest in the nation. Fishermen who compete in the professional bass circuits are not eligible.

In nearly three decades of the Bonanza and its predecessor, there has not been a repeat winner.

Tournament anglers may register online at Registration information and applications are also available at fishing and outdoors shops across the state.

For more information about the tournament, contact the Arkansas Hospitality Association at 800-472-5022 or by e-mail at