In 2019, angler Nick O’Conor of Dallas, Ga. managed to reel in five black bass species and got his first Georgia Bass Slam. Aware that there are 10 black bass species found in Georgia, Nick knew he wanted more. This began a journey of learning more about the various species and where they could be found, and the strategies needed to land them.
Nick now has four Bass Slams, and just submitted his 2023 Slam as he goes for year number five. Want to get your own Georgia Bass Slam? Keep reading!
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 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 rules are posted at BassSlam.com.
Besides getting to brag to all anglers and non-anglers you know, successful Bass Slammers will receive a frame-worthy certificate, two Go Fish Education Center passes, and 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. In addition, all successful submissions will go into a drawing for an annual grand prize.
Don’t have time to dedicate to catching five species of bass, but maybe you have your eye on a lunker largemouth? We have 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 that successfully submit 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 GeorgiaWildlife.com.
Read Nick O’Conor’s Bass Slam evolution blog at GeorgiaWildlife.blog/category/fishing.