The Eastern NC Bass Challenge is preparing for another big year of bass fishing in Eastern North Carolina. Heading into our 10th year of hosting bass tournaments, we’re excited to announce our 2023 tournament schedule and details regarding our 10th season!
A New Partnership with Collins Boating
We’re very excited to announce a new partnership with Collins, Inc of Smithfield, NC. Collins is a well-established boat dealer in North Carolina that specializes in providing premium bass boats from Ranger, Triton, and Nitro to both recreational and tournament bass anglers. Their name has become synonymous with bass fishing in eastern North Carolina and we’re thrilled to have them be a part of the Eastern NC Bass Challenge.
Our partnership with Collins will help us provide our anglers with better incentives, more rewards, and a better tournament-day experience. Continue reading to find out just how Collins is helping us reward you even more in 2023.
2023 Tournament Schedule
March 26 (Sunday) – Roanoke River
April 16 (Sunday) – Kerr Lake (Flemington Boat Ramp)
May 7 (Sunday) – Tar/Pam
June 4 (Sunday) – Roanoke River – Bear Fest Tournament
July 16 (Sunday) – Chowan River
August 20 (Sunday) – Neuse River
September 2-3 (Championship) – Roanoke River
Based on the feedback from our anglers in our annual angler survey, we made the decision to visit Kerr Lake for the first time in our history. While our tournament schedules have historically focused on river systems in the east, we have begun visiting 1 lake each season. We’ve visited Lake Gaston for the past 2 years and we think bringing our trail to Kerr Lake in mid-April will be a great opportunity for our anglers. Kerr Lake is one of the best lakes in the state in the springtime and we expect plenty of limits of bass weighed in.
We also decided to keep all of our tournaments on Sundays in 2023. Our angler survey showed that most of our anglers appreciated having our events on Sundays. And while Sunday tournaments do prevent some anglers from participating with us, our trail has traditionally always fished on Sundays so we’ll keep that tradition going in 2023. In 2024, we’ll continue to explore the possibility of Saturday tournaments.
2023 Entry Fees
Based on angler feedback, our tournament entry fees for 2022 will remain at $100 per team. Our end-of-year 2-Day Championship event will also have an entry fee of $100. However, anglers overwhelmingly supported the idea to add a $5 fee to our entry fee to help increase the payouts at our 2023 2-Day Championship. It’s estimated that this $5 fee will add an extra $2,000 to our Championship fund. All of those funds will be paid out to our anglers.
There are no side pots in 2023. The $105 tournament entry fee will cover our big fish prize as well.
2023 Membership Fees
We explored ways to eliminate our membership fees in 2023. But the truth is, we have to have a way to help finance these events for our anglers. This membership fee helps us pay for all the administrative costs associated with our tournament trail. The membership fee for 2023 will remain the same at $25 per angler.
1st Place Payout – Last year we guaranteed a $2,000 1st place for every event. We are guaranteeing the same in 2023! With a minimum of 60 boats competing in our tournaments, we are promising a $2,000 1st-place prize. That’s 20 times greater than the entry fee!
Tournament Big Fish – We are once again bringing back our Greenville Toyota Tournament Big Fish. Greenville Toyota has partnered with the Bass Challenge for the past 5 years! Because of this partnership, we will be rewarding a $400 big fish prize to the angler who catches the biggest fish at each tournament. (Continue reading to get information regarding our two Championship Big Fish prizes.)
Annual Big Fish Award – For the past 2 seasons, we rewarded anglers with a $1,000 cash bonus for catching the biggest fish of the season. We are currently looking for a partner to help us reward this to our anglers in 2023. At this time, we do not have a partner for this prize but will notify our anglers if this changes. If you’re interested in becoming a partner with the Eastern NC Bass Challenge please contact us.
Sample Payouts – We will be rewarding 1 in every 6 teams competing in our events with cash prizes. This is unchanged from last year. Below is a sample payout based on 60 boats.
1st Place: $2,000 + 2 Commemorative Trophies
2nd Place: $1,150
3rd Place: $750
4th Place: $450
5th Place: $275
6th Place: $200
7th Place: $175
8th Place: $150
9th Place: $140
10th Place: $125
Big Fish: $400
Super 6 Points Championship
Our Super 6 points championship was very popular in 2022 and we’re so excited to bring it back for 2023. We will be once again paying our cash prizes to the top 6 teams competing in our Super 6 Points Championship. Below are the guaranteed payouts for our top 6 teams competing in our Super 6:
1st Place: $1,500 + 2 commemorative trophies + Boat #1 in Championship
2nd Place: $1,000 + Boat #2 in Championship
3rd Place: $800 + Boat #3 in Championship
4th Place: $600 + Boat #4 in Championship
5th Place:$500 + Boat #5 in Championship
6th Place: $300 + Boat #6 in Championship
Our Super 6 Points Championship is sponsored by EL Jones Development. EL Jones Development has been a partner with the Bass Challenge for 5 years. Their support for our anglers is greatly appreciated. Without them, there is no way we could reward our anglers this much.
Additional Super 6 Info
There is a one-time $50 fee in order to participate in our Super 6 Points Championship. Also, as seen from the payout structure above, we will be rewarding the top 6 teams with the top 6 boat numbers for our Championship.
2 Day Championship
We will once again be having a 2 Day Championship to conclude our season. Anglers must be eligible to fish in this event. In order to be eligible you must fish 3 of our regular season events. Our Championship will be on the Roanoke River in Plymouth, NC, and feature up to $3,000 in additional prize money.
In addition to up to $2,000 in extra prize money going to 1st place winners at our Championship, we will also be paying out 2 big fish prizes at the Championship. The first is our Greenville Toyota $400 big fish prize and the 2nd is our new Kolby Jones Big Bass Prize which will be a $1,000 cash prize along with the biggest trophy of the year! Kolby Jones was a passionate angler and fished regularly with the Eastern NC Bass Challenge. He passed away this past year and we want to continue to honor his name just as we did in 2022. This $1,000 big fish prize is being donated by the Kolby Jones Scholarship fund and will be presented to the angler who catches the biggest bass in our 2-day championship. The Greenville Toyota $400 big fish prize will be awarded to our 2nd place big fish winners.
We want to reward our anglers as much as possible! New for 2023 will be our addition of the White River Marine Group contingency prizes including Nitro Tournament Rewards, Triton Gold, and Ranger Cup! This allows anglers to win additional prize money for winning one of our events in 2023. Never before have we been able to reward our anglers so much.
We’re able to provide these reward programs to our anglers thanks to our new partnership with the Collins, Inc boat dealership. For anglers looking to purchase a new Ranger, Triton, or Nitro boat and become eligible for these reward programs we recommend you contact the fine folks at Collins Boating today. Visit collinsboating.com.
To obtain information about these great programs please visit the following links:
Nitro Tournament Rewards
Additional Contingency prizes for 2023 include the following:
Caymas Cash (Not Confirmed), TH Marine Atlas Rewards (Not Confirmed)
We’re always looking for ways to reward our anglers. As we add more contingency awards we will let you know on this website.
When Can I Sign Up?
Registration begins on February 1, 2023, at 8:00 pm. Anglers will be able to pay all entry fees online with a credit/debit card or PayPal. For anglers who do not wish to make payments online you may call Jeffrey Davis at 252.661.5454 to make payments over the phone. No entry fees will be accepted before February 1 at 8:00 pm. If you call and there is no answer, please leave a voicemail or text message and I will call you back immediately.
Anglers will also be able to pay at the ramp on the morning of each event. We encourage you to pay online to make things a little easier for you and our staff on tournament morning. But we’ll gladly accept cash payments in person.
Go All In!
On February 1, anglers will be able to purchase individual tournaments or select our All In option. The All In option allows anglers to pay for all events upfront and get a guaranteed boat number for the entire season. Anglers will be able to Go All In in 2023 with a 50% deposit option as well. You may pay half of the All In fee initially and pay the balance due March 19, 2023. After March 19, the All In option will no longer be available for purchase.
The All In option pays for everything you need for the entire season to be eligible for all of our tournaments and prizes we offer. It also makes things easier for you as you never have to worry with making tournament entry fee payments for the remainder of the season.