- Jim Carey
I really appreciate your time and effort to make a phenomenal event. I have never seen anything like this tournament before.
My daughter, Katy Carey Wyoming state champion, is so motivated, driven and excited for next year!
What you accomplished in such a short time was beyond awesome!
Not only did you treat my daughter like a queen, but made sure I was happy as well. You made my day when you called me after I fished the Big Bass World Championship tournament just a week later in Oklahoma. You made sure Katy was the fisherman of the family and she is!
Thank you James Hall from Bassmasters, Dallas Hodges from Bass Cat boats, and Billy Chapman owner Anglers Inn, the best host ever!
You are a class act Mr. Siemantel, you have made a great and lasting impression on our family, thank you!
- John Harpole
- Parent Testimonial for Big Bass Junior Championship
Being a 60-year old father of 3, I can tell you that I have participated and watched more sporting events for my kids than you can possibly imagine. I was actually a basketball coach for 28 years and if I have a shortcoming, it's judging the management of sporting events on their attention to detail. That might also come from my 15 years of working on an NFL sideline.
Let me tell you, the Big Bass Junior Championship was the most smoothly run, exciting event and just overall fun event for our son to participate in. Every single detail was covered, including prize packages, food and more importantly, the rules and regulations that created a level playing field for all competitors.
The sponsors should be extremely proud that they supported Bill Siemantel's vision in such a successful inaugural event. Not one of the 46 kids that participated in the event walked away disappointed. Everyone was a winner - parents, competitors and spectators. I would honestly put that BBJC weekend down as one of my five all-time favorite fishing weekends.
- Rick Pierce, President Bass Cat & Yar-Craft Boats
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year we made the decision to support Bill Siemantel and his efforts to engage youth fishing. Bill undertook a massive project almost single handedly, he then engaged the fishing, outdoor and marine industries in a manner no one has. His passion for the youth is almost unbridled and he definitely expended a huge amount of time and resources on this event.
Media in the industry and everyone from Mercury and the Lindner’s, to Bassmaster and Bassin’, along with ourselves embraced Bill’s efforts and we are certainly proud of our affiliation to his efforts.
Last week, after the WON Bass US Open, Dallas Hodges made the circle trip on into Idaho and Billy Chapman’s newest lodge. Billy also met Bill’s challenge and hosted this event in Idaho. Every one of us naturally is all about helping the kids get involved in fishing. Those of engagement as youth and with parent engagement are much less likely to ever find trouble in the environment they face today.
We ask you to follow up and review the Bassmaster Big Bass Junior World Championship. Please take a look at how these kids qualified and how a single man made a difference in so many lives. The impression from Dallas was exuberant and he certainly let Bill rub off on him. These youth didn’t have to be in a boat, they could fish from a pond bank and make the grade. When you put 46 enthusiastic youth on an Idaho lake and get a chance to make an impression on them and their parents, everyone wins.
Thank you all for your support and that support allows us to also have a small hand in making these lives better and growing our sport.
Most of all, thank you to Bill Siemantel for his selfless dedication to make a difference in the world.
Sincerely and God Bless!
- Josh Buller
- The BBJC was unlike any other fishing other fishing tournament our son has competed in. So much detail was put into this tournament. The kids were pampered from the time they arrived and until we left. The parents were also spoiled! As a parent it means so much that so much hard work was put into this. Bill did an outstanding job and his hard work paid off. It was worth it and we hope to be able to do it again! Thank you to all of those who worked so hard to make this happen.
- Colsyn Head, IN
- I had the honor to participate in the BBJC and it was beyond incredible. All the work that Bill and the sponsors did was perfect! This was the most rewarding tournament I’ve ever participated in. It was so organized and allowed us to meet other anglers from all around the United States. Not to mention that it was held at a beautiful location. I really enjoyed being able to travel to a place I’ve never been before! They went out of their way to shower us with gifts and prizes! It was better than Christmas! We even got to ride in a Limo! I can’t say thank you enough to Bill, Billy Chapman Jr. and the sponsors. You’ve set the bar high for youth fishing tournaments!
- James Hall, Editor, Bassmaster Magazine
- Being a part of the BBZ Junior Championship is special. Bill Siemantel has created a very unique event in bass fishing, removing barriers that have in the past kept kids from becoming a part of our sport. At B.A.S.S., one of our goals is to nourish the future of bass fishing, and the BBZ Junior Championship is like fertilizer to budding young anglers.
The inaugural event was incredible. Not only were the qualifiers competing for a giant prize pool, but seeing the camaraderie between anglers from 42 different states was inspiring. The stories of how dedicated these young anglers and their families were to qualify and compete were matched only by Bill's dedication and hard work that made this event successful.
B.A.S.S. is excited about the continued partnership with this event. There is no doubt that the BBZ Junior Championship will be even bigger and better next year, and that through this tournament, more kids will be introduced to the sport that we love so much.
- Brian, Mandy and Brother Martin of Louisiana
- Mr. Bill,
WOW! Still weeks later, we sit in awe of our trip to Idaho. WOW, just WOW, completely blown away!
When we returned back home to Louisiana after the tournament, we were asked many questions. Our answers all started out with “we are so blessed by this experience.” Our son, Bryant “Brother,” fished his tail off in the cold, rainy Idaho weather and came up short on tournament day. Bummer right? To win would’ve been nice, great actually, but the people we’ve met, this tournament, the experience, the prizes, exceeded our expectations. My husband and I took note of every small detail, from having the boat numbers taped to the dock, lunches carefully packed for the boats, to entertainment while the parents anxiously waited. What tournament picks up it’s anglers in a limo? There is NOTHING that was left out. Every family there got the royal treatment. Every angler was treated like a rockstar!
For myself, the mom that waits at the landing for every tournament, being able to go out on the spectator boat nearly brought me to tears. Brother has played many sports in his life but the sport of bass fishing is one that I’ve never gotten to see him do! Being able to watch him fish and compete is a memory I will cherish forever. For that alone, thank you Mr. Bill, from the bottom of my heart.
Our hats off to the countless sponsors, Mr. Billy Chapman and his family, the volunteers, Mr. Kevin Lunde (Brother’s boat captain), and to every family that made the trip to Idaho.
Dreams really do come true!
- A very impressed “Fishing Mom”, Laurie Sanderson
- On August 24th, 2019, I received a phone call from this guy named Bill Siemantel. He introduced himself and told me my son earned a spot in the Big Bass Junior Championship in Idaho and asked “did he want to attend”? Well, I was immediately suspicious because the pitch sounded too good to be true. I was sure I would have to buy a time share too!!
While talking to Bill on my cell, I Googled him. Ok. He seemed legitimate in the world of fishing. I continued to ask him questions and listen to what he had to say. He was very organized and thorough in his responses. He addressed all my concerns. Most importantly, it was clear that Bill Siemantel was doing this for the kids--to promote his love and passion for fishing with promising young anglers. He wanted them to experience a top notch tournament and be fishing ambassadors promoting the sport. It sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime, one my son should not miss!!
Well, true to his word, Bill staged an incredible fishing competition for the winners of each state. My son had won for the state of NY. Joining 46 other competitors, Nick did, indeed, participate in the event of his lifetime. The BBJC as organized by Bill Siemantel offered world class fishing at a destination resort (the Willows Inn in Priest River, Idaho), and prizes in excess of $400k! This included an amazing grand prize of a Margay BassCat fishing boat. In addition there were “party bags” that included a St. Croix fishing rod, a lifejacket, promotional hats, lures, fishing gadgets and dozens of other cool items. All prizes donated had been secured by Bill. Sponsors and donors were happy to support such an important tournament. Bill also arranged media coverage of the event including Bassmaster Live Weigh-In footage and professional photography by Derrek Stewart and Lindner Productions, giants in the field.
We received a detailed packet of information about flights, hotels offering deep discounts for the tournament, free meals that would be provided, directions to each venue and contact phone numbers should we need help with anything.
The tournament itself was run in a professional manner with rules clearly written and discussed, bass boats and captains arranged, fishing boat opponents fairly chosen, and safety ensured. There was a special team of water rescue specialists on hand to ensure the safety of all participants. I really appreciated that.
The fishing on tournament day was tough with cold, bleak, and wet weather shutting off the bite. It was the only factor Bill was unable to control (he gets a Mulligan on that one!) . Still, it was an exciting experience with every detail accounted for. My son did not do well, finishing 30/46. But it didn’t matter.
Nick gained invaluable experience, knowledge and friendships from this tournament. He met important people in the industry, who all proved to be top notch, stand-up guys. It truly was an outstanding experience and one that we will both always remember. And it all started with the vision of Bill Siemantel. Thank you, most sincerely, Bill.
- The Drake Family
- WOW.... what an amazing journey this has been!
We just want to thank Bill Siemantel for everything he did to put on one heck of tournament. You out did yourself that’s for sure. We had a blast being apart of the BBJC!
Bryce battled it out with his best friend Logan here in Arizona. They were head to head fighting to catch the biggest bass. Right up to the final day of August 15, 2019. They fished morning and night. Bryce took the win and off to Idaho we went.
From the moment we arrived in Priest River Idaho, everyone was so welcoming. We met 45 anglers and their families from all over the US. The friendships we made will last a lifetime. When we arrived at the meet and great it was smooth sailing. Every angler walked away with so many gifts it was unbelievable. The hospitality from all the locals, sponsors, Billy Chapman, all the staff at Anglers Inn and so many more was it over the top!
Seeing the excitement on tournament day was just awesome. Even though it was cold and raining it was amazing. Watching all the anglers walk across the stage was nail biting. They all did a wonderful job. Every angler walked away again with great prizes at the award ceremony. This is the first tournament we’ve been apart of that every angler went home with lots of goodies and great memories.
Thank you so much for having us apart of your first annual BBJC!
Hopefully Bryce will represent Arizona again in the 2020 BBZ JC ;)
- Katy Carey
- As the Wyoming state representative for the Big Bass Junior championship, all I can say is how amazing this tournament was. I am truly honored to be able to say I was a part of it! Bill Siemantel truly blew everyone away! It was like a dream come true. I will never forget all the amazing people I got to meet and fish with, including Bryce and Chad Drake my boat partner and captain who are awesome people and truly made me feel right at home. My advice is to get a fishing pole and go have some fun because you never know what great opportunities will present themselves to you such as the BBJC. I sure know I am going to try my best to come back next year! Truly all I can say is thank you to Bill for such a fantastic tournament and how hard he had to work to pull it all together.
- Derrek Stewart
- We have our passion. We love our sport. We work hard and pursue our goals. Then one day, something comes along that’s bigger than you. On that day you find yourself on a winning team, where everyone puts forth their best effort. That’s very satisfying, a rare moment in life, and what it has meant working together for the Big Bass Junior Championship. First the vision, then the teamwork, I will forever be indebted for the opportunity to be part of this historical project and a member of this awesome team, and it’s accomplishments. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this.
- Billy Chapman Jr. President, Anglers Inn International
- I can think of no better way to introduce my new property – the Willows Club by Anglers Inn – to the fishing world at large, than through the Big Bass Junior Championship. Bill Siemantel put together a team of true ringers and workhorses to bring the event together. There were no egos, no slacking off, no one looking to take credit, just a large group of industry veterans and local anglers who wanted to make sure that this event was bigger and better than we expected.
The kids were the true stars of the show. They showed maturity and competence well beyond their years, and Bill allowed them to shine. He thought of every possible detail and sent each of them home with more memories and more swag than they ever could have dreamed of. This is what our sport is about – giving back and helping the next generation understand the beauty of the outdoors.
I am thrilled that Anglers Inn played a role in the event’s success. Every parent and every child seemed to be thrilled with the outcome and while I don’t see any possible way to make it better next year, I’m sure that Bill already has a few ideas up his sleeve!
- The Elmore Family
- Different color hair, different style of fishing, different way of marketing did not matter because Bill Siemantel said "AJ and Dman come on over".
When Bill first contacted us he said he had only 1 sponsor but had a long list of things he wanted to achieve. Most people will thank him for his fishing knowledge, but my brother and I want to thank him for showing us how something starts with an idea and then is brought to life by hard work.
That list that bill originally had was crumbled up and thrown away because he trippled that list with sponsors and affiliates once they heard his plan.
Besides the business side of things my family wants to thank you for everything you have done for us. The hospitality of yourself and the Chapman family was presidential and the Willows will forever be in my history.
This tournament is not a normal sponsor situation. Most of the tournaments that are out there in the world are not supported by young anglers who are on all social media platforms around the Nation and world. This means that when we qualify we become the marketing powerhouse for ALL brands involved with the tournament.
Bill Siemantel has developed the "NEW TOURNAMENT" of the future where the people involved support the advertising of the brands involved.
We look forward to being a part of anything that Bill Siemantel brings to the table and I am proud to be the Champion of the 2019 BBZ tournament.
I will hold the position with respect and honor. Thank you Bill!
- Cricket Coates
- My experience with the Big Bass Junior Championship Nationals was phenomenal! Starting with meeting Mr Bill Siemantel at ICast 2019 and getting to interview him. When he told me about the BBJC and that the Nationals would be taking place at the renowned Billy Chapman’s Angler’s Inn International in Idaho, I just knew I needed to do everything I could to qualify!
As Mr. Siemantel shared throughout the coming months about the sponsors that kept stepping up to make his dream of an extra amazing tournament for the kids who make it to the BBJC Nationals, the excitement grew for all of us who had qualified! Bassmaster, Basscat, Linecutterz, Lowrance, Motor Guide, Bethel University, Mercury and more! The prizes just kept getting bigger and better with each post! It was crazy!
On the day we arrived, we all had an appointment time to be interviewed and videoed my non other than the WORLD FAMOUS Bill Linder and the man behind the vision of this amazing opportunity, Bill Siemantel!! So we already felt like winners! It was so fun to sit in front of the lights and video equipment and be asked questions about our personal journey to the Nationals! So cool!
That evening we and our families were treated to an amazing dinner provided by Anglers Inn, and we got to meet our boat captains and partners. We were also given THOUSANDS of dollars worth of SWAG! Bait & Tackle, beautiful fishing rod from St. Croix, a bad to the bone Basscat Mustang life jacket, weigh bag, hats, and T-shirts! The list was almost unbelievably generous! It was overwhelming how much people gave to us kids to make this a once in a lifetime experience!
More than the SWAG and prizes, it was the time the volunteers and Mr. Siemantel took to make this astonishing event happen for us that was so extraordinary and touching!! The fact that Mr. Siemantel put in endless hours, that the California Firemen drove their personal vehicles and boats to Idaho to boat captain for some of us, that local anglers volunteered to provide their boats and time to captain us, that the sponsors took time to come meet us and speak to us, and along with all the big things that had to be done, some amazing person stepped in and helped with the small things that had to be done - just so we young anglers could experience the super bowl of Youth Angler Tournaments!!
The experience was so much more than just the prizes. Mr. Siemantel made this event about community, respect, camaraderie, learning, and gratitude. Everyone involved was an example of what the fishing community stands for and they showed us how much they appreciated us loving the sport and keeping it going for our generation and the ones that will follow us.
I hope anyone who learns about this phenomenal tournament does everything in their power and ability to qualify so they too can experience what tournament fishing is truly about!!
- Bret Straffon, Youth Director, Michigan Bass Nation
I’d like to take a few minutes to thank you for all your work in creating the BBJC. My son, Mitch, has been tournament fishing since he was 11 or 12 years old. Since day one, we have always encouraged Mitch to be thankful for the opportunity to compete and always remember the experience. To win, everything has to come together, but remember the experience and be thankful for the opportunity. With that mind set, we have met some great people along the way and have keep in touch with many of them. Mitch has met success and disappointment, regardless, he always enjoy the experience. The BBJC at Billy Chapman’s resort in Idaho did not disappoint! Mitch met some great anglers, made friends, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The format of the tournament is great. Mitch was paired with Evan from South Carolina and they drew a great boat captain - George Konduris. It was George’s first time boating for a youth tournament and according to my son, he had some great jokes and kept the everyone loose throughout the day.
The BBJC format is simplicity brilliant… Catch a bass in a backyard pond, a local lake, from shore, boat, kayak, it doesn’t matter. The beauty is it lowers the barriers to entry and gives young anglers a chance to compete at a National level. By lowering the barriers he BBJC has opened the door to 1000’s of anglers that may not have the financial means or time to compete in traditional bass fishing tournaments.
You have certainly raised the bar Bill! Thank you so much for the experience and opportunity to be a part of the BBJC.