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Must-Catch Fishing Events in 2023

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

We have officially made it to 2023 and the year will be filled with exciting events and cool shows from start to finish. Here are 10 fishing events to mark on your calendar for 2023.

Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring

Date: March 7 - 11

Location: Hollywood, Florida

Price: Free to Attend, $5,000+ to Participate

Recently moved to a new home at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, this 10-year-old annual week of entertainment is filled with exciting fishing, events, food, beverages, and celebrities. The tournament boasts “the world’s richest guaranteed fishing tournament purse,” with $1 million guaranteed.

Fishing takes places from the Upper Florida Keys to Palm Beach, with over 100 teams angling for nine different eligible species.

In 2021, a Quest for the Ring Tournament premiered in Atlantic City, New Jersey with the same prize and rules. That tournament takes place July 16 – 23 and promises to be just as exciting and star-studded as well.

Find more information at the Quest for the Ring website.


Date: March 8 - 12

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Price: Free to Attend

Major League Fishing REDCREST IV Instagram post
Image courtesy of Major League Fishing on Instagram

REDCREST is the world championship of bass fishing, pitting the top 40 anglers from the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour. Anglers will be heading out onto Lake Norman to showcase their skills and try to earn one of the most prestigious awards in professional bass fishing.

In addition to the tournament, the MLF Outdoor Sports Expo will also be taking place March 10 – 12 in Charlotte, making for a fun-filled fishing and outdoor sports week. Attendees will get to see the latest and greatest gear, tools, and gadgets from hundreds of vendors, as well as attend meet and greets with anglers from the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Find more information on the Major League Fishing website.

Saltwater Fishing Expo

Date: March 17 - 19

Location: Edison, New Jersey

Price: $15 for Adults; $5 for Children

The Saltwater Fishing Expo features hundreds of exhibitors, seminars, giveaways, and activities for adults and children. You will find the latest and greatest products that every angler will want and speak to some of the industry’s leading experts. Many of the exhibitors bring products that you can purchase on the spot and walk away with, that day.

The 2023 expo will take place in the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center. Some highlights include a fishing simulator, casting pond, and trout pond.

Find more information at the Saltwater Fishing Expo website.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic

Date: March 24 – 26

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Price: Free to Attend

The Bassmaster Classic has become known as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” and with good reason. Since 1971, top anglers have been competing in the prestigious tournament to be crowned the top angler. This year, 55 of the top anglers in the world will comb the Tennessee River in Downtown Knoxville, as they try to become the 41st Bassmaster Classic Champion.

Anglers will take off from Volunteer Landing in downtown Knoxville each day, and weigh-ins will take place on the University of Tennessee campus. In addition to the fishing, there will be food and activities, as well as the Bassmaster Classic Expo with over 180 exhibitors.

Recent Bassmaster Classic events have drawn record-breaking crowds of over 120,000 people.

More information can be found at the Bassmaster Classic website.

Blessing of the Fleet in Destin

Date: May 18

Location: Destin, Florida

Price: Free to Attend

Charter fishing boats docked in the marina

The Blessing of the Fleet is an annual event that takes place each year in Destin Harbor at the Fishing Fleet Marina. The time-honored tradition, now in its 66th season, is part of a week-long celebration in Destin, giving blessings to the people and vessels for the season ahead.

Hundreds of boats line up and are paraded through the marina as each one receives a blessing from local pastors. The event concludes with a fish fry, which can be attended by all, with donations requested.

While the event can be seen from land, the best views are from out on the water. Take a boat into the harbor to watch the parade or find a dolphin cruise or tour company that includes the Blessing on their excursion.

Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

Date: TBD

Location: Dauphin Island, Alabama

Price: Free to Attend

The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has been taking place since 1929 and is in its 90th iteration in 2023. The “largest fishing tournament in the world” attracts over 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators every year to watch the spectacle.

The 3-day tournament, which typically takes place in July, features 15 inshore fish categories and 18 offshore fish categories for anglers to compete in, with cash and other large prizes. In addition to the fishing, there are vendors and events throughout Dauphin Island that coincide with the tournament to welcome all fishing enthusiasts.

More information can be found at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo website.

MLF Bass Pro Tour Championship

Date: August 1 - 6

Location: Bay City, Michigan

Price: Free to Attend

The Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour takes place from February through March, with seven tournaments taking place throughout the Southeast, Northeast, and Great Lakes regions. The tour showcases 80 of the top bass anglers trying to earn points throughout the season to earn cash prizes, qualify for REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour Championship, and an all-star event.

The final tournament takes place in Saginaw Bay in Bay City, Michigan, where anglers will make their final run to try place themselves at the top of the leaderboard. It promises to be an exciting, intense, and stressful six days of fishing.

Find more information at the Major League Fishing website.

Maine Lobster Festival

Date: August 2 - 6

Location: Rockland, Maine

Price: Free to Attend

Maine Lobster Festival parade float
Photo courtesy of Maine Lobster Festival

The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine is a must-attend summer event for anyone looking to have a good time, even those who do not eat lobster!

The festival has been taking place since 1947, inspired by a similar festival that took place in Nova Scotia, to revive the local communities. Since then, the festival has grown and added plenty of new and fun things to see and do. Attendees are treated to fresh, local lobster dinners, nationally renowned entertainers, cooking contests, activities, Maine craftsmen and artists.

The Maine Lobster Festival is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers. Profits from each festival are donated to local food pantries, high school sports teams, community service groups, local emergency services, and offer college scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

Find more information at the Maine Lobster Festival website.

White Marlin Open

Date: August 7 - 11

Location: Ocean City, Maryland

Price: Free to Attend, $1,300 to Participate

White Marlin Open record setting white marlin catch
Photo courtesy of White Marlin Open on Instagram

The White Marlin Open is billed as the “World’s Largest and Richest Billfish Tournament.” Last year’s tournament attracted over 400 boats and 3,000 anglers, with prize money exceeding $8.5 million. The top prize in 2022 awarded $4.53 million, which was a world record for largest prize awarded for the catch of a fish.

Coinciding with the White Marlin Open is the Ocean City Marlin Fest, a fun beach party with live entertainment, educational experiences, vendors, food, and beverages. Weigh-ins take place in the festival area and are streamed on the big screen.

Find more information at the White Marlin Open website.

Northwest Bass Championship

Date: September 23 - 24

Location: Tri-Cities, Washington

Price: Free to Attend

The east coast, and particularly the southeast, are known for their big fishing tournaments. However, the Northwest Bass Championship is developing into a destination series for anglers on the west coast. The series was created in 1996 to provide a competitive circuit in the Pacific Northwest. The Northwest Bass Championship is the culmination of two separate series of three tournaments, taking place in Oregon and Washington state.

The top anglers from the Oregon series and Washington series will meet in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) and vie for cash and prizes. Registration for the three qualifying series events is open to the public, with $250 registration fees per tournament.

More information can be found on the Northwest Bass website.


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