The Bass Federation’s Junior World Championship will return to Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs in August 2018.

A unanimous vote by the TBF state leadership at its national meeting in Camden, S.C., confirmed Hot Springs as the location for the 2018 tournament. 

TBF state presidents, youth directors, and their representatives voted to revamp the long-running TBF Junior program started by the state federations in 1994.  The new format will double the field size of the Junior World Championship starting with the 2018 event in Hot Springs August 8 - 11.

As in years past, the JWC will be held in conjunction with the richest professional bass fishing tournament, the Forrest Wood Cup, which will be held on Lake Ouachita, with daily weigh-ins and associated exhibits and entertainment at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs.

“Our entire community is excited to welcome these ‘pros of the future’ to our community,” Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said.  “The best junior anglers from each state will be competing for the world championship on Lake Hamilton.  What a great week of fishing in the Spa City!  The TBF Junior World Championship on Lake Hamilton and the FLW Cup on Lake Ouachita; I can’t wait!”

The Junior World Championship was held in Hot Springs in 2015 in conjunction with that year’s FLW Championship.

Besides a list of many exciting changes coming to the 2018 Junior World Championship, an added benefit of the Hot Springs area is the all-inclusive type environment.  The JWC boat yard and weigh-ins will be right outside the host hotel. The community is also full of places close by for entertainment or to get a bite to eat. 

The event, presented by TBF and FLW each year, will incorporate program changes approved in response to requests by both junior anglers and their families. Changes include switching to a two-person team format and an added day of competition to include two days of competition and a “final cut day” by TBF division.  Teams will also fish out of their own boats using their own boat captains.

The age group will also be adjusted to include all anglers under 15 years old as of August 31, 2018. The annual junior membership of $25 will remain the same and separate from high school membership.

“We’re happy to be returning to Lake Hamilton and the Hot Springs area, it’s always an angler favorite, even more so to announce these changes that will undoubtedly grow the program by leaps and bounds,” TBF President and CEO Robert Cartlidge, said. “The Junior program was started in 1994 by four of our state federations and truly has grown into a program that cultivates the future of our sport and is dedicated to young anglers discovering their love for fishing and the great outdoors.”

Many of today’s top anglers started in the TBF Junior World Championship circle.  A few notable examples are: Jacob Wheeler, (of Indiana) fished the 2006 JWC;  Shane Lehew (of North Carolina) won the 2007 JWC, and recent 2017 Forrest Wood Cup winner Justin Atkins (of Mississippi) fished the 2008 JWC.

About The Bass Federation

The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. The Federation is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization there is. TBF, our affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 events each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for nearly 50 years. TBF founded the Student Angler Federation and the National High School Fishing program in 2008 to promote clean family fun and education through fishing. Visit or

For additional information, contact: or call

The Bass Federation, Inc. 580.765.9031