Junior Bassmasters

Email Jeff Gilmer, youth director


One of the most dynamic and exciting opportunities BASS has created for junior anglers is the Junior Bassmaster World Championship. Just like mom or dad competing in the B.A.S.S. Nation club competitions, this program allows junior members to compete at a club level, ultimately qualifying for their Junior Bassmaster State Championship.

Junior clubs are sponsored by adult B.A.S.S. Nation Clubs with members of the adult clubs acting as mentors and educators for these young anglers. Junior members gain skills from how-to clinics, educational workshops based on conservation, good fishing ethics, catch and release and habitat restoration. Junior members also get involved with youth tournaments, adopt waterways, Bassmaster CastingKids programs and community service projects.


Junior Club Location Contact Sponsor Club  
Bassinators Minneapolis Jeff Nelson Stellar website
Fairmont Jr. BASS Anglers Fairmont Dave Vogel Bass Seekers  
Gopher Jr. Bassmasters Minneapolis Paul Coffey Gopher Bassmasters website
Red Lake Bass Busters Red Lake Darwin Sumner
218-679-3148
Red Lake  

Minnesota Junior B.A.S.S. Nation seeking Secretary position

This is eligible to anyone 18 years of age or older, past youth participants, parents, youth directors or bass members.
The position entails five monthly board meetings, October, December, January, March and April.
The term of the position is a two year commitment.
Other areas include providing guidance in our High School and Youth groups and assisting with areas such as youth registration, memberships, and the annual Junior TOC event in June.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jeff Gilmer @ jgilmer@mnbfn.org, or 612-978-4493.

2013 Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions

We are excited to announce our 2013 MN Junior BASS Tournament of Champions is ready to go. We have selected June 28 at Lake Waconia (Waconia, MN). The Pre-tournament meeting will be on Thursday June 27th at Hopkins Eisenhower Community Center beginning at 6:00 PM.

Document File Types
Boater Registration doc pdf
Junior Entry/Registration Form doc pdf
Lake Waconia Regional Park Brochure pdf
TOC Info/Schedule docpdf
TOC Rules docpdf

2011 Minnesota Junior TOC

Tonka Bay, Minnesota
June 24, 2011
Over 60 families and their youth anglers from across the state of Minnesota descended upon Lake Minnetonka on Friday June 24th for the 2011 BASS Federation Nation Youth State Tournament of Champions (TOC). The BASS Federation Nation Junior program includes youth clubs from Red Lake in the north, to Fairmont in the south, Brainerd, St. Cloud in the central and the Twin Cities metro area. Each year the event is rotated around the state of Minnesota, recent years include the Brainerd, Crosby, Mankato, Waconia and Prior Lake areas.

The Minnesota Junior BASS Federation is a non‐profit organization devoted to teaching conservation, outdoor activities and the promotion of fishing in the State of Minnesota. Many of the junior participants are from families who do not have the means to provide this type of activity for the youth in their family. In helping to support and promote the outdoor life in Minnesota, the Junior Federation requires support from volunteers in the areas of boat providers, adult mentors, education, and general support.

View full article, results, and photos

2010 Minnesota Junior TOC

Brainerd, Minnesota
June 29, 2010

On Lake Edward, the 27th of June arrived with clouds and a forecast of a chance of rain following by clearing and wind. The Junior Bassmasters were loaded into their boats, the official starter Jeff Gilmer from Stellar Bassmasters lined up thtree flights, and at 7 a.m. 52 of Minnesota’s best junior bass anglers set off and the 2010 Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions was under way.

The weather proved to make bass tight lipped during the day as the 52 anglers brought their bags of bass to the tournament headquarters, Cozy Cove Resort.

The next stop for Minnesota’s Junior Champions will be Escanaba, Michigan for the Northern Divisional, where they will compete with the adults as part of the state team. They will fish alongside the adults on the last day of the tournament and their weights will be included with the adults in determining which state will be crowned Divisional Champion. If either of the Minnesota Champions wins their age group at the Northern Divisional, they will be off to the World Championship where they will fish against the other five divisional champions from across the country and have a chance to win a $5000 college scholarship.

View standings

Granite City's Connor Wendt and Bassin-Boy's Joe Ponessa Dominate at Lake Waconia and Are Crowned 2009 Junior Champions

The 26th of June arrived with low clouds and patches of fog, but the forecast had a promise of clear skies and temperatures in the mid 90's. Boat checks started at 6 a.m. and by the 7 a.m. ease off, the clouds and fog had given way to clear skies and a rapidly rising thermometer. State Tournament Director Peter Perovich, made the first call of the tournament and reduced fishing time by one hour. Check in would be at 2 p.m. instead of the 3 p.m. pre-briefed time.

"I felt that with the temperature's heading for the mid-90's and the humidity that was forecasted, we needed to not only protect the kids, but also be concerned about the fish" Perovich explained, adding that starting the weigh-in one hour earlier seemed to be the smart thing to do . As it turned out, Perovich's call could not have been more fortuitous as temperatures soared into the high 90's and fish care became the primary issue for boat captains

The Junior Bassmasters were loaded into their boats, the official starter Jeff Gilmer from Stellar Bassmasters lined up two flights, and at 7 a.m. 58 of Minnesota's best junior Bass anglers set off and the 2009 Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions was under way.

Lake Waconia has a reputation for giving up big bags of fish, which often include that infamous kicker fish that can mean the difference between winning tournaments and placing tenth. This year was no exception. In the Junior High Division (11-14), Conner Wendt caught the big fish of the tournament, a 4.19 pound largemouth bass that distanced him from runner-up Jake Kurtzweg, of Gopher Jr. Bassmasters and third-place finisher Jake Gilmer of the Bassinators. Joe Ponessa of the Bassin-Boy's landed a 3.52 pounder to enhance his five fish limit and outlast teammate and the 2007 State Champion, Ben Winge, to win the Senior High Division (15-18).

"We were not at all surprised at how well the kids fished this year," said Paul Perovich, State Youth Director. "Waconia is a lake most of the anglers had already fished so for many there should not have been any surprises, "he continued. I said it was going to take 15.5 pounds to win and I told a number of people not to be surprised to see 18-pound bags come across the scale. "Joe Ponessa and Jake Gilmer were an excellent example of what can happen on this lake," Perovich said, adding that the two, who were paired up, caught all of their fish out of one school in the first 45 minutes of the tournament, boating almost 40 pounds of fish out of that school.

"There are a lot of adult anglers in the Federation who could not do that. Every year I see better plans from the youth, they are making better decisions on the water, we see better mental agility, and their techniques which are very good, are getting better. "It makes me excited and proud to see what wonderfully talented Junior Bass anglers we are creating with the help of the adult clubs," Perovich said.

The next stop for Minnesota's Junior Champions will be Escanaba, Michigan, August 10-14 for the Northern Divisional, where they will compete with the adults for the first time ever as part of the state team. They will fish alongside the adults on the last day of the tournament and their weights will be included with the adults in determining which state will be crowned Divisional Champion. If either of the Minnesota Champions wins their age group at the Northern Divisional, they will be off to Trevares, Florida, the last week of October for the World Championship where they will fish against the other five divisional champions from across the country and have a chance to win a $5000 college scholarship.

Perovich said he would like to thank all of Minnesota's young bass anglers for putting their best effort forward in this year's championship. He also wants to thank the parents for all they do to ensure these kids get a chance to get out on the water. He acknowledged volunteers like Kevin Sheils, John Haynes, Bill Rineveld, Larry Roland, Keno Bridge, Minnesota Federation Vice President Mark Gomez and State Tournament Director Peter Perovich with special thanks for all of the behind scenes work they did launching and recovering boats, setting up, tearing down, and helping run the weigh-in.

"They are the reason the tournament was able to run smoothly, " Perovich said, giving special thanks to tournament sponsors, Rick Billings at Rapala, Conrad Petersen at Gopher Tackle, Dave Tweet at FlaMinn lures, Cabela's, Scheells Sporting Goods, and Joanne O'Brient at Skeeter Boats. Perovich also extended special thanks to Jeff Gilmer who spent considerable time helping coordinate, set-up and run this year's Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions.

To all of the Minnesota Junior Bassmasters, Perovich said "GREAT JOB!! Have a wonderful, safe summer. We will see you next year at. Lake _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _? Selections are now open; let us know where you want to go."

View 11-14 results 15-18 results team results







Minnesota BASS Federation Crowns Two New Junior State Champions Lindgren and Reed Dominate at the 2008 Junior Tournament of Champions

June 27, 2008
Serpent Lake, Crosby, MN

Lucas Lindgren of Gopher Jr. Bassmasters and Keenan Reed of the Bassinators dominated this year’s class at the Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions. Lindgren brought in a mixed limit of smallmouth and jargemouth weighing 11.81 lbs to win the overall “Top Hook Award” along with the senior division.

Keenan Reed worked a jig and a 4” black worm all day to win the junior division with a very convincing 10.19 lbs. Reed also showed he could keep up with the older class with a very impressive fifth place in the overall completion.

Big Fish awards went to Lucas Lindgren of Gopher Jr. Bassmasters with a 4.18 lbs smallmouth in the senior division and Matt Cook of the Bassin Boys with a 3.51 lbs largemouth in the junior division.

The team completion, always provides fireworks and gives the winning club bragging right until the next years Jr. TOC and this year was no exception in a very close competition, the “Bassin Boys” with Dave Saterbak, Ben Winge, Brent Relopez, and Austin Anderly finished first with 34.83lbs, “Granite City”, with  Jordan Keller,  Neil Moliter, Mark Shirley, and Aaron Teal, finished second with 30.78lbs, The “Red Lake BassBusters” took third place with April Kingbird, Shaylynn Johnson, Joey McNeal, and Joseph Fairbanks weighing in with 29.13 lbs

“We had a great tournament,” said the State Youth director Paul Perovich “I could not be more proud of all of our competitors and boat captains this year. Things were moving along as smooth as we could ask for, then at 1:30, the skies opened and it rained 3.5” in 40 minutes. I have seen rain like that in Panama, but never, in Minnesota. The kids hung in there and the boat captains did what they do the best, hold everything together and make the right decisions for the kids. “

This year we had the largest junior tournament yet with 54 competitors.  With these kinds of numbers, boat captains were at a premium and we all need to thank Todd Saterbak, Mark Gomez, and Jeff Gilmer who worked many extra hours getting the captains we needed. KFAN radio also pitched in and ran two segments on Billy Hildebrand’s show asking for people to help out as boat captains. We also had unbelievable support from sponsors from around the state. I would like to personally thank Gopher Tackle, Northland Tackle, Berkley, MG Lures, Sportsmen’s Warehouse of St. Cloud, Gander Mountain of St. Cloud, Reed’s, Joe’s Sporting Goods in St. Paul, Hardware Hank of Big Lake , and a special thanks to Cabela’s  for all of the donations to this year’s Junior TOC.

“The 2008 tournament was a great success for all involved. Commented the State Tournament director Peter Perovich. “We knew Serpent would provide some great tournament fishing. With bags averaging 3.62 fish and the fish averaged just short of 2 lbs.”. “With the weather moving the fish deeper overnight and the kids still finding them in numbers and size, should reaffirm to everyone what kind of talent we have coming up through the junior ranks and how effective and important the junior program is to the future of the Minnesota Federation. They all did a great job and I am very pleased and very proud of all of our juniors that fished this year.”

The next challenge for the Minnesota juniors will be the Northern Divisional in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on the 16th of August. Lucas Lindgren will not compete due to a previous commitment, so Dave Saterbak of the Bassin Boys, a former two time Junior State Champion and who has been the senior division runner-up the last two years will replace Lindgren and join Keenan Reed as Minnesota’s Junior Champions to represent Minnesota along with the rest of the State team. The next stop if our junior’s win at the Northern Divisional is Junction City, Kansas, and Milford Lake, the first week in November for the 2008 Junior World Championships

15-18 group                                                    11-14 group
1. Lucas Lindgren        11.81 lbs                 Keenan Reed         10.19 lbs
2. David Saterbak        11.58 lbs                  Brent Relopez          8.99 lbs
3. Rick Brennhofer       10.88 lbs                  Jack Boyle                8.67 lbs
4. Eric Fabano              10.74 lbs                  Joey McNeil              8.56 lbs
5. Tyler Gromberg        10.00 lbs                  Neil Molitor               8.38 lbs

Club Competition
1. Bassin Boys                                     34.83 lbs
2. Granite City                                       30.78 lbs
3. Red Lake BassBusters                  29.13 lbs
4. Gopher                                               28.13 lbs
5. Bassinators                                      24.2 lbs
6. Fairmont                                            23.98 lbs

 View full standings and big fish results

2007 Minnesota Junior Bassmasters State Tournament

The Granite City Bassmasters hosted the 2007 Junior Bassmasters State Championship on August 9 and 10 on Clearwater Lake, Clearwater, MN. Congratulations to Derek Kuntz and Ben Winge for winning the 15-18 and 11-14 age brackets, respectively. View 11-14 15-18 results This event was sponsored by B. J.'s Bait, Waterfront Restaurant, Sportsman's Warehouse, Holiday Inn Express, and the AmericInn Lodge & Suites.
View photo album

2007 Junior Bassmasters Championship

February 18th, 2007
Pell City, AL

Minnesota’s Junior champions Cody Sieben, 11-14 age group and Tom Gomez, 15-18 age group, persevered through Sunday's chilly temperatures and gusting winds on Alabama's Logan Martin Lake to help win 2nd and 4th place Northern Division Team standings at the fourth annual Junior World Bassmaster Championship (JWBC).

Gomez finished 12th overall and placed 3rd in the Northern Division and Sieben tied for 43rd overall with a 5th place finish in the Northern Division.

Anglers competed in two age divisions, 11-14 and 15-18. Two anglers, one from each division, fished from the same boat in the company of a Bassmaster Classic competitor.

The JWBC contenders fished in one of the most prestigious events for youth anglers in the world. Cody and Tom earned the right to compete in the championship by winning their State Champion titles in their age groups at the Minnesota Junior Bassmaster Tournament of Champions.

The JWBC showcases the top youth anglers in the world and provides youth anglers like Sieben and Gomez the opportunity to fish competitively under BASS-- the most visible tournament structure in the world.

"It's an event that continues to grow, and to see how far it has come in just four years is really amazing," said Stacy Twiggs, senior manager of the Federation Nation and youth programs. "The Federation Nations across the country have done a tremendous job to establish these youth programs."

On behalf of the Minnesota BASS Federation Nation, I would like to congratulate Tom and Cody on their championship performance at the JWBC. I look forward to seeing them again at this year's Minnesota Junior Tournament of Champions held at Clearwater Lake. I would also like to thank the following Minnesota sponsors for supporting our junior anglers: All-Terrain Tackle, Berkley, Cenex, Fig Rig Rods, MG Lures, and Mojo Rods.

Joe Barnett
Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation
Youth Director

2006 Minnesota Junior Bassmasters State Tournament

Minnesota's Junior Bassmaster Tournament of Champions is an event where competitors qualify from youth clubs all over the state to vie for top honors and a birth to the B.A.S.S. Junior World Championships (JWC). On June 30th, 2006, two young anglers punched their ticket to the Junior World Championships to be held in February on Lake Logan Martin in Alabama. Along with the earning a birth in the JWC, each winner received plaques and product packages from every sponsor.

The 53 contenders in this event were split into two age groups, 11-14 and 15-18. They fished two anglers in a boat captained by an adult federation member. The contestants qualified from their respective junior clubs. Minnesota has seven Junior Bassmasters clubs ranging from as far south as Fairmont and as far north as Bemidji.

"The great thing about the Minnesota Junior State Championship is that none of the kids walked away empty handed. Our junior sponsors have really stepped up big for the kids," says Youth Director Todd Saterbak. "We really appreciate the support we get from Berkley, MG Lures, All-Terrain Tackle, and Mojo Rods."
View story and results


2006 Bassmaster Junior World Championship and Casting Kids National Finals

The 36th CITGO Bassmaster Classic week kicked off on Friday, February 17th, 2006 with the JWC pairings banquet. All the Classic contenders, JWC contenders, Parents and Youth directors were in attendance. The banquet was held at the Radisson World Gate Resort in Orlando, FL.

After a great meal and presentations by Ray Scott, Stacey Twiggs and other BASS staff, the 90 JWC contenders in two age groups, 11-14 and 15-18, were paired with a Classic competitor for Saturday and Sunday. They launched from Venetian Gardens in Harrisburg, FL and fished the Harris Chain of Lakes. Read more


2005 Minnesota Junior Championship held on Prior Lake

Junior Anglers from around the State of Minnesota came to compete in the 4th Minnesota Junior State Championship on Prior Lake. 43 junior anglers from 7 different Minnesota Junior BASS Federation clubs participated in this years’ Championship tournament.

The number of Jr anglers more then doubled from 2004. The participating clubs were the Fairmont Junior club, Red Lake Bass Busters, Bassinators, Gopher Junior Club, Bassin Boys, Granite City Jr Club and Jr Range Bassmasters.

Junior Anglers were paired together with an angler from a different junior club. Their adult boaters were from the junior clubs that attended the state tournament. The Skeeter Pro Team also provided boats and boat drivers for this event. Read more

2005 Junior Bassmasters National Championship

Derek Jacobson and Dave Saterbak, both members of the Minnesota Junior B.A.S.S. Federation and the Bassin Boys, along with their families traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the 2005 Junior Bassmaster World Championship.

Dave was also there for the Casting Kids National Finals. Dave is the first person in history to compete in both Junior National events that coincide with the 2005 Bassmaster Classic.

This was the second year B.A.S.S has held the Junior World Championship. From the time they arrived in Pittsburgh on Saturday, B.A.S.S. had a full agenda for all the Junior Anglers.   Forty-five different state federations came to compete in this event.  On Saturday afternoon they met all the tournament sponsors and received products from each one of them.  Full Story


2004 Minnesota Junior Championship held on Turtle/Movil Lakes

Junior Anglers from Minnesota came to compete in the 3rd Minnesota Junior State Championship on Turtle/Movil Lakes north of Bemidji. 21 Junior anglers from 5 different Minnesota Junior B.A.S.S. Federation clubs participated in this year's championship tournament. The participating clubs were the Fairmont Junior club, Red Lake Bass Brats, Bassinators, Gopher Junior Club and Bassin Boys. Full Story


2004 Junior National Championship

The Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation flew Derek Kuntz and Randy Helms and their parents to Charlotte, North Carolina with B.A.S.S. hosting them up at the Omni Hotel.

Derek and Randy went through the sponsor line and picked up their products. Following the pre-tournament meeting, they attended the kickoff dinner at the Omni Ballroom. B.A.S.S. brought the B.A.S.S. Classic qualifiers in one at time and introduced them.

After dinner the pros and contenders were announced and presented. Contenders from different states (and each age group) were paired together.

Derek was paired with Gary Klien as his boat driver. Gary Klein is no stranger to Bassmaster Classic events with 22 appearances.

Randy was paired with Lee Bailey Jr., two time classic qualifier. Full Story


Junior Bassmasters Northern Divisional Team

Lower left to right: Derek Kuntz, Dave Saterbak, Kevin Niccum
Upper left to right: Derek Jaconson, Matt Vogel, Randy Barnett


MT. CLEMENS, MI. - Wells Kaiser of Wisconsin won the 11-14 age division and was the overall champion at the 2004 Junior Bassmaster Northern Division Championship, held Friday, June 25th, on Lake St. Clair. Full Story



2003 Junior Championship

How to Conduct a Youth Event (powerpoint download)