Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's

Johnny Morris invites Missouri veterans to share a video about their love of fishing to win a new Bass Tracker Classic XL boat

Missouri Veterans Fishin’ Contest honors America’s heroes while encouraging military families to enjoy time together outdoors

SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder and noted conservationist, proudly announces the Missouri Veterans’ Fishin’ Contest. The contest will award one winner with a brand-new Bass Tracker XL at the Bass Pro Shops US Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships on Table Rock Lake in November. Johnny’s goal is to not only honor veterans for their service, but also to encourage military families to spend time together outdoors. Presented in conjunction with the Missouri Division of Tourism, the Missouri Veterans Fishin’ Contest showcases the natural beauty of the state while honoring the service of the bravest of its residents.

Johnny Morris with his father and personal hero, John A. Morris

Inspired by the service of Johnny’s dad, John A. Morris
Johnny’s passion for supporting and honoring veterans and their families was inspired by his father, John A. Morris, a decorated World War II veteran.

This passion lays at the foundation of Bass Pro Shops’ decades-long commitment to honoring America’s heroes.

“My personal respect and gratitude for veterans is deeply rooted. It has been shared by my entire family, especially my dad, John A. Morris,” Johnny Morris said. “Growing up as a kid in Missouri, where I learned to hunt and fish, I always knew my father had served in the armed services. It wasn’t until much later in life that he shared with me that he fought in the Battle of the Bulge – one of the most intense conflicts of World War II. I am proud of my dad. His memory serves as an enduring reminder of the selfless courage shared by all who serve our country.

“My dad and I loved to fish together. It was our favorite pastime,” Morris continued. “In honor of his service, and that of every U.S. veteran, we are proud to announce the Missouri Veterans Fishin’ Contest. It is our privilege to invite veterans living in our home state of Missouri to share their love of fishing and the outdoors for the chance to win a brand-new Bass Tracker Classic XL – the boat that was originally inspired by my dad and his relentless dedication to deliver value to the customer.”

Contest details
The Missouri Veterans’ Fishin’ Contest is conducted in conjunction with the Bass Pro Shops US Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships. Widely recognized as the Grandest Fishing Tournament in History, the US Open will award the winning two-person team with a cash prize of $1 million. The winning veteran will be presented with the new Tracker Classic XL as part of the National Championship event on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake in November.

To enter, veterans living in Missouri are invited to create a video of two minutes or less, sharing their story and why they love to fish. Videos must be submitted by November 1, 2021. A panel will review each video and select the winner to be announced on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2021.

The contest is proudly supported by the Missouri Division of Tourism. There are almost half a million veterans living in Missouri, representing nearly 10 percent of the state’s population.

“We are proud of this partnership that is supporting Missouri’s heroes – our Veterans,” Governor Mike Parsonsaid. “We thank Bass Pro Shops and Missouri Tourism for sponsoring this event and extend a special thanks to Johnny Morris for being a longtime supporter and promoter of our state, the outdoors, and Missouri Veterans. Events like these and the support they provide show we are serious about our commitment to becoming the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation.”

Honoring our Heroes
The contest is the latest example of efforts undertaken by Johnny and Bass Pro Shops to honor our military and veterans. In 2011, Morris was awarded the prestigious Order of Saint Maurice by the National Infantry Association in support of his outstanding contributions to the Army Infantry.

This past summer, Johnny pledged to fund 10 new specially adapted homes for veterans through Helping a Hero, a not-for-profit that awards homes to severely wounded warriors injured in the Global War on Terror. Thanks to Johnny’s support, Bass Pro Shops is also covering 25 percent of the funding for the next 100 homes as part of “The 100 Homes Challenge.”

Other initiatives include:

  • Donating $1.5 million to establish a series of memorials honoring heroes at the College of the Ozarks campus in nearby Hollister, Missouri including a Vietnam War Memorial, Gold Star Families Memorial and Korean War Memorial.
  • Recruiting veterans to join Bass Pro Shops, with nearly 10 percent of team members comprised of veterans.
  • Hosting events that connect veterans to the healing power of nature, from our annual Fishing Dreams event for disabled veterans on Table Rock Lake to partnering with Project Healing Waters in the Florida Keys.
  • Raising awareness for veterans’ issues by hosting Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors at the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. The powerful exhibition, on loan from the George W. Bush Institute in 2018, highlights America’s military veterans and directs attention to organizations supporting them every day.
  • Offering an everyday “Legendary Salute” military discount in all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores with more than a million discounted transactions in the past year alone.
  • Donating generously to AmVets, USO and other not-for-profit veterans’ support organizations that provide direct assistance to active military, veterans and their families. 
  • Showcasing veterans’ causes at NASCAR races by donating space on several racecars during nationally televised races with millions of viewers.

To enter or learn more about the Missouri Veterans Fishin’ Contest, visit

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About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”

Media Contact:, 417-873-4567