10 New Boats are Prizes for Kids Fishing Contest

Founder and CEO Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops, with Ke’Mari Cooper, his dad and the 7 lb. bass that inspired the contest.

Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris is hoping the “Happy Fishin’ Contest” will encourage families to put down their digital devices and pick up a fishing pole. Ten lucky youths 17 and under will win a bass boat, a trip to the U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Championships and other prizes by submitting a video on why they love to fish. Entry deadline for video submissions is October 17, 2021.

The noted conservationist Morris has spent a lifetime fishing and connecting more kids and families to nature. Now, he wants to celebrate kids who love to fish and attract even more families to unplug and get outdoors to fish.

“We’re looking for some of the most passionate and enthusiastic youngsters out there to help inspire others to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” Johnny Morris said in a statement. “There is no better feeling than seeing the joy and excitement on a young angler’s face when they catch a fish. It’s what sparks a lifelong love of the outdoors. We hope every kid who loves to fish submits a video – let’s create some happy memories!”

Contest Inspired by Young Angler

Johnny Morris was inspired to create this contest after getting to know Ke’Mari Cooper, a young fisherman from Florida who starred in a video that went viral in 2019.

Ke’Mari was fishing with his father, Velt, when he reeled in a giant 7.1-pound bass, leading to screams of joy and a celebration dance. Then Ke’Mari took the bass back to the water’s edge and carefully released it back into the water, saying, “I hope you grow even bigger, baby. One day, we’ll meet back again.”

That heartwarming encounter, and Ke’Mari’s commitment to the outdoors and conservation, inspired Johnny to invite all kids who love fishing to help spread the word and get even more families engaged with nature.

Young angler Ke’Mari Cooper inspired Bass Pro Shop’s founder to start a youth fishing contest.

10 Prize Packages Available

The 10 winners will enjoy the prize package of a lifetime that includes:

  • Each winner will receive a new Bass Tracker Classic XL boat, motor and trailer
  • $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card for tackle and more
  • US Open jersey and amenity bag with exclusive gear
  • Full travel and lodging for the winner and one guardian to Big Cedar Lodge – America’s Premier Wilderness Lodge – on Table Rock Lake in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains
  • The chance to compete in a special kids fishing tournament during the US Open National Championships

How to Enter

Create a video of two minutes or less that shows a passion for fishing. Grownups can help film, but the kids need to tell their story and why they love to fish.

Submit the videos and a completed entry form to by Sunday, October 24, 2021, and a panel of celebrity anglers will review each video and select 10 winners. Winners will be announced on November 2, 2021.

Johnny Morris’ Happy Fishin’ Contest is presented in partnership The Missouri Division of Tourism.