Hand holding a Shoal Bass.

Micheal Lopez of Arizona caught this Shoal Bass at Buch Shoals Wildlife Management Area to complete his mission of catching seven in Georgia during a calendar year.

Last year, Arizona resident Michael Lopez traveled across seven states, twice, so he could complete his Georgia Bass Slam. Spurred on by an initial catch of a brilliantly colored redeye bass from Jacks River in Fannin County, he found information about the Bass Slam and decided to make that a goal for the year. He completed the Slam in October, catching a total of seven bass species, including a shoal bass at Buck Shoals Wildlife Management Area.

The Georgia Bass Slam recognizes anglers with the knowledge and skill to catch different species of bass in a variety of habitats across the state, while also stimulating interest in the conservation and management of black bass and their habitats, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Georgia’s 10 recognized native black bass species are largemouth, smallmouth, shoal, Suwannee, spotted, redeye, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa, Altamaha and Bartram’s. Anglers can find out more about these eligible bass species, including images, location maps and more at www.bassslam.com.

To qualify for the Georgia Bass Slam, fish must be caught within a calendar year, must be legally caught on waters where you have permission to fish, and anglers must provide some basic information on the catch along with several photos of each fish. Anglers submit their photos and information to georgia.bassslam@dnr.ga.gov for verification. Complete the rules posted on the website.

Successful Bass Slammers will receive a frame-worthy certificate, two Go Fish Education Center passes, and some fantastic and fun stickers (for vehicle windows/bumpers) to advertise your achievement. Anglers are recognized on the Bass Slam webpage, and possibly through a variety of social media platforms. All successful submissions will go into a drawing for a grand prize!

Don’t have time to dedicate to catching five species of bass, but maybe you have your eye on a lunker largemouth? The DNR has a  program for that, too! The Trophy Bass Angler Award program recognizes largemouth bass catches of 10 pounds or greater. These fish are rare, and the data from these catches helps to provide genetics and growth information that is valuable to fisheries managers. Those successfully submitting a qualified fish will receive a certificate, hat, t-shirt and an entry into a drawing for a reward package. Catch one larger than 13 pounds, and you may be eligible for a free mount of your bass! More info at www.georgiawildlife.com/fishing/anglerawards.

For more information, visit www.bassslam.com.

Photos: courtesy Michael Lopez and Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources