2019 Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza


Historic flood levels on the Arkansas River have forced the state’s largest amateur bass tournament to reschedule. This year’s Simmons Bank Big Bass Bonanza, originally set to take place along the length of the river from Fort Smith to Dumas June 28-30, will now be held the weekend of October 11-13.

“We are really excited about moving the dates to October,” said Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA) CEO Montine McNulty. “It’s great for the fishermen number one. The river will be good and the fishing will be good, and we have some exciting announcements to make involving additional prizes for the fishermen.”

According to McNulty, a number of factors contributed to AHA’s decision to reschedule the tournament. “We know that the river is not ready right now for a fishing tournament. The Army Corps of Engineers has told us there is work to be done, the flow is still feeling the impact of high water, and some of our weigh-in sites sustained damage during the floods. In addition, a number of our anglers have been hurt by this flooding, and we want to give them time to recover.”

Come October, McNulty says her organization is planning on throwing a celebration of recovery. “It’s going to be an exciting, fun tournament,” she adds. “The best we’ve ever had.”

Each year, the Simmons Bank Big Bass Bonanza awards more than $100,000 in cash prizes to anglers who compete to weigh the biggest bass each hour at five pools along the Arkansas River. This year’s first place prize is $50,000, but anglers can win multiple prizes and checks for weighing bass each hour. In 2018, the tournament paid out more than $182,000 to participants. Pools include Fort Smith, Lake Dardanelle, Little Rock/North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and Dumas.

The 2019 Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza will have $100,000 in cash up for grabs during this amateur tournament. This event is sponsored by The Arkansas Hospitality Association and presented by Simmons Bank.

The Simmons Bank Big Bass Bonanza of Arkansas will be contested in five separate pools for the purpose of paying hourly prizes. Eligible water will include nearly 300 miles on the Arkansas River, all within the boundaries of the state of Arkansas. 

Pool #1: Alma - Clear Creek Park

Pool #2: Dardanelle State Park - Russellville side

Pool #3: Little Rock/North Little Rock - Rock City Yacht Club

Pool #4: Pine Bluff Regional Park

Pool #5: Pendleton Bridge

Competitors will be able to listen to KSSN 96 and 105.1 The Wolf for the daily kickoff to the tournament as well as hourly weigh-in updates and information. You can listen on the radio at 95.7 FM or 105.1 FM, online at www.kssn.com/listen or www.1051thewolf.com/listen, or you can listen on the iHeartRadio app for your smartphone or tablet here. Our live coverage of the Big Bass Bonanza will begin each day for opening cast at 6am.

Here are five ways to register for the 2019 tournament:

  • Online – the on-line registration is available here. This will ensure that everyone’s credentials will be with the weighmaster at the pool weigh in site. You may pick your credentials up before you go out or when you come to weigh in your first fish
  • Day of tournament at weigh-in sites are Pool 1, Pool 2, Pool 3, Pool 4, Pool 5.   Only cash payments will be accepted at weigh-in sites.
  • Visit one of our official Registration sites. These are limited, call ahead to see if they are still registering.

Remember you may register on tournament days at official weigh-in sites. Only cash payments will be accepted at weigh-in sites.

Entry Fee

One Day – $80 

Two Days – $160 

Three Days – $240

Children may fish in the tournament, and there is no age limit, but everyone must pay the registration fee and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Children will be able to win the Willow Leaf Award (A $1,000 cash award to parent/child or grandparent/grandchild weighing largest bass. Children can not be older than 22 to qualify for this prize.)

Find out more at ArkansasBigBass.com and be sure to join KSSN 96 and 105.1 The Wolf for this year's tournament!

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