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Bass Fishing Japan Joins The 2023 Bassmaster Classic

The City of Knoxville and the State of Tennessee welcomed the Bass Fishing Japan community during the Bassmaster Classic tournament held on the Tennessee River.

Taking part in the most prestigious tournament in all of bass fishing, Japanese anglers Takumi Ito and Kenta Kimura qualified out of 55 anglers from around the world.

The 4-day event also brought in 160K+ visitors with numerous Japanese visitors, professional anglers, and media making the trip to join in the festivities.

Kick-Off Party hosted by Visit Knoxville

Visit Knoxville did a great job of kicking things off on Thursday and being exceptional hosts during the entire event. Fantastic city to visit even without the Classic in town!

Morning Boat Take-off Viewing on the Tennessee River

Thousands of people gathered in the wee hours of the early mornings along the Tennessee River to watch all 55 pro anglers venture out on the water to chase their bass fishing dream.

Bassmaster Weigh-in and "Special Guest" Tour

The good folks at B.A.S.S. rolled out the red carpet for visitors from Japan, providing "Special Guest" passes to experience the Classic like no other. Thank you!

Japanese Pro Anglers & Media

Lure Magazine Japan and Classic qualifying Japanese anglers Kenta Kimura and Takumi Ito in Tennessee.

Special Reunion - Norio Tanabe & Rick Clunn

Legendary anglers Norio Tanabe and Rick Clunn were reunited after nearly 20 years at the historic Blount Mansion. Norio and Rick's interview can be read online here. (Japanese)

Signing the Tennessee Constitution

Probably the first Japanese signatures written at the birthplace of Tennessee inside the visitor center at Blount Mansion.

Bass Pro Shops Tour

Bass Pro Shops provided Japanese media a VIP tour of the shop in Kodak, Tennessee. Thank you!

Bass Fishing Expo

Numerous Japanese fishing brands and pro anglers were on hand at the massive fishing expo running for 3 days during the Bassmaster Classic. (Photo: Daisuke Kita)

Fishing in Tennessee

Getting out on the water to do some fishing in Tennessee was a great way to unwind after the Classic. The State of Tennessee has a new program called the "Bill Dance Signature Lakes" throughout the state as well as numerous other fantastic fishing locations.

We were able to hit the water with Bassmaster Elite pro Jacob Foutz, while Norio Tanabe was reunited with long-time friend and pro angler John Murray. Kenta Kimura also landed a massive Striper on Lake Cherokee!

"Boys Time" Post-Classic

Lure testing in a jacuzzi was not part of the program, but what else would you expect from some crazy bass fishing anglers? A beautiful house located on a hilltop in Tennessee provided great relaxation and fun after a busy week.

Visiting a Local Crankbait Maker

A special tour at the home of Jaw Jacker Handmade Crankbaits located just outside of Knoxville. (Available in Japan too!)


Looking back at the article written in November 2022 about "Japan's Growing Obsession with Bass Fishing & American Sports Culture", it was thrilling to see the level of support and warm hospitality given to the Japanese by all of event and destination hosts.

The Bass Fishing Japan community continues grow and provide unique experiences to both Japanese and foreign anglers both in Japan and abroad.


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