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Football is the most popular sport in America.  It leads all other sports in TV viewership, participation,  revenue and attendance.  The NFL season championship and most popular event, the Super Bowl, is held in late January or early February.  Although fishing is not quite as popular as football it is estimated that over 54 million Americans go fishing every year and, there are over 30,000 competitive fishing opportunities each year in America.  While the NFL season is just beginning and its championship is 5-6 months away, competitive fishing championships are already being decided.

Beginning in mid-August and stretching into December is when the majority of fishing championships are held.  Just about every national, regional, state and local fishing organization holds a season ending event at which a champion is decided.  August has already seen 6 fishing championships determined.  In September the number of championships rises to 65, increases to 110 in October and then falls to 34 in November and 6 in December

Many fishing organizations call their final event of the year a “Classic” instead of a “championship”.  This is perhaps due to the longevity and popularity of the Bassmaster Classic which is regarded as the oldest, most well-known and largest bass fishing championship in America. lists over 220 fishing events spread across 36 states that are identified as either a championship, a classic or a TOC (Tournament of Champions).  Another denotation often used is AOTY or Angler of The Year.  This can apply to an individual champion or is used to give honors to someone who had a great season but did not win the championship.  You could say the AOTY is similar to the MVP award in football.

Some national, popular fishing championships include Major League Fishing (formerly known as FLW) which has several circuits including the Bass Pro Tour, and it’s Toyota Series.  The Big Bass Tour and the National Walleye Tour are two fishing circuits hosted by Bass Pro shops and Cabela’s.  All of these championships are held in the fall on well-known, highly regarded bodies of water.  For instance this year’s Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour season finale is September 10th on Mille Lacs in MN and its Toyota Series ends November 5rd on Lake Guntersville in AL.

Other events still to be held this fishing championship season include the Master’s Walleye Circuit Championship that begins September 29 on Green Bay in WI.   If catfish are your thing, the King Kat Classic begins November 4th on Wheeler Lake in AL.  If you like kayak fishing the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) National Championship begins October 19th on  Kentucky Lake.  There is even a Redfish World Series beginning September 28th in Louisiana.

We are now in the fishing championship season and no matter where you live or what type of fishing you enjoy, you should be able to find a championship fishing tournament near you.  Find them all on