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KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin’

January 27, 2017 @ 7:00 am - January 28, 2017 @ 4:00 pm CST


Season Opener for KBF Members Only

World-class tournament on a world-class bass fishing destination

InformationKBF Competition Rules StandardsFacebook TourneyXEnroll in KBF BONUS BUCKSKayak Bass Fishing Membership

KBF will kick off 2017 with a members-only tournament hosted by Bienville Plantation. The KBF Members-Only – Bienville Bassin’ tournament is a two-day (Friday/Saturday) five bass per day competition. While The TEN slug it out on two lakes/canal systems, two other bodies of water will be reserved for the Bienville Bassin’ tourney. KBF Members will be welcome to scout out elibigle waters during an optional paddle-through on Thursday. No rods or tackle will be allowed in kayaks on that day, but electronics and motors permitted by KBF Rules Standards may be used for both paddle-through and competition days.

This event has been scheduled to put kayak anglers in a great position to land the fish of a lifetime. January 27-28 are near the peak of Bienville Plantation’s trophy bass season, which runs from November through March. While there, you’ll find bass moving on the beds, though most will still be in pre-spawn mode.

Normally, anglers pay $375, plus tips ranging from $50 to $100, for a full day of fishing these fabled waters. KBF has worked this out with Bienville Plantation to give KBF Members three full days’ access (one paddle-through, two fishing) for just $200, and half of that comes back to KBF Members who end up at the top of the ranks.

Payout amounts and the number of places paid will be determined by the number of registrations. No KBF Angler of the Year points will be awarded at this event. And even though it takes place prior to the March 2017 KBF National Championship, it will not be a qualifier for that event.

More details, payout schedules, Bienville Bassin’ Rules Addendum and visitor resources will be available at the event page at bienville.com.

What: KBF MEMBERS ONLY – BIENVILLE BASSIN’ is a two-day , 5-bass per day CPR (Catch-Photo-Release) kayak bass fishing competition limited to 2017 KBF Members and KBF Lifetime Members. Entry Fee is $200, 50% of which will be paid out in prize money. The remainder covers Members’ access to the famed lakes and canals that snake all across this private game and fish preserve.

Where: Bienville Plantation is in White Springs, Florida, midway across the state and about 30 miles south of the Georgia line. With 12 lakes and numerous ponds totaling over 11,000 acres, a fishing adventure on Bienville’s “pay-to-play” lakes is at the top of many trophy bass hunters’ bucket list. Over the past 40 years, mining companies’ open phosphate strip mines were painstakingly reformed and filled to create nutrient-rich ponds that, today, support healthy populations of bait and gamefish. Their weedy shorelines have become familiar to fans of bass fishing celebrities whose televised exploits highlighted Bienville’s impressive numbers and trophy-sized fish for more than a generation. This is an ideal situation for kayak bass fishing. with numerous launch points within minutes of the pavilion serving as Tournament HQ, which is adjacent to the Bienville Plantation Lodge.

Bienville Plantation has designate Lake 14, (a.k.a., Lake Bienville with 12,000 acres, over 1,000 miles of shoreline, and numerous launch points) as the site of the KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin’ competition [Google Earth View].


  1. Mandatory Captains Meeting 6 p.m. Thursday evening, January 26, with a makeup meeting for late arrivals at 6:16 a.m. Friday, January 27.
  2. Competition 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri/Sat January 27-28, 2017


  1. A sure cure for cabin-fever
  2. A great way to air out some new fishing gear, work out the kinks and reconnect with other KBF Members
  3. Three-day’s access to Bienville Plantation for Kayak Bass Fishing Members at a price (including competition) that’s less than the usual one-day guided trip fee on the Plantation’s waters.
  4. This event will showcase this incredible kayak fishing and trophy bass destination.

How: To sign up for this competition, one must:

  1. Become a KBF Lifetime Member or 2017 KBF Member.
  2. Review details of this event at the Bienville Plantation website, which will also include lodging and dining advice.
  3. Review and agree to abide by the Rules (both KBF Competition Rules Standards and KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin’ Rules Addendum, below), and KBF Event Participation Terms and Conditions.
  4. Register through the Bienville Bassin’ web page or on TourneyX.

About Bienville Plantation

Bienville Plantation Pro Shop

Bring whatever tackle you think you’ll need, but if you run short or need to switch to some tried-and-true Bienville Plantation lures and patterns, stop by the resorts’ tackle shop. There you’ll find an assortment of Zoom, Blakemore, Wave Worms, Bill Lewis Rattle Traps, Cotton Cordell Lures, Smithwick Lures, Challenger Baits and Gamakatsu Hooks.

Fishing Intel

Bienville Plantation’s maze of lakes and channels were created as prime Florida-strain largemouth bass habitat from reclaimed phosphate strip mines. The fertility of the water is unparalleled in Florida and accounts for the abundance of vegetation, zooplankton, preyfish, and gamefish…as well as birds and gators. 16 lakes present a labyrinth of points, fingers, humps, pits, canals, and open water lined with a thousand miles of shoreline.

Lou Martinez posted this video following the KBF Fishing Seminar presented by Chad Hoover and Gene “Fluke Master” Jensen at Bienville Plantation in December 2016. It shows not only the qualify of fish you’ll find there but the vegetation with which you’ll be contending and an effective presentation to reach them. Rig your Heavy power, fast-action 7’6″ to 8′ flipping stick with a fast-retrieve (7.1:1 or better) reel spooled with 60 pound+ braid (60# is on the light side). Be ready to pull up hard you feel a tick or pressure, and once on the surface, water-ski that bass back to your side. There’s no “playing the bass” in the thick stuff. Given half a chance, you bass will burrow back down into the grass. Reeling in a 10# bass is hard; moving a 10# bass with 20# of weeds wrapped around it….ain’t happening.

Lake 14 (Lake Bienville) the largest at 600 acres and a thousand miles of shoreline, will be the site for the KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin Tournament. Rig up to wrestle monster-sized bass out of the weeds. Most anglers find that Lake 14 yields more quantity than quality, and usually five- to seven-pound bass take big fish prizes in guests’ pot tournaments. However, plenty of 8- to 14-pound and better bass swim in those waters, and January through April have proven to be the prime time to connect with them. In late January, bass should still be in pre-spawn mode, where the big girls are still eating voraciously before going onto the beds.

Read up and rig up for fishing vegetation. Milfoil, hydrilla, reeds, pads, duckweed, and other underwater and emergent species are hiding places for shad, sunfish, insect larvae, minnows and crayfish and as ambush points for the bass (and alligators).

Fish over submerged vegetation with spooks, frogs, rats, Whopper-Ploppers, chuggers, prop baits like a Devil’s Horse, buzzbaits and other topwater lures. Comb through the weed tops with spinnerbaits and rip lipless crankbaits out of the clumps to trigger strikes. Drop big worms and lizards into holes and weave their way through and across the vegetation.

Superbraids will cut through vegetation stems better than monofilament or fluorocarbon lines, which sometimes is the margin between losing and boating your bass.

Pay attention to the kinds of vegetation you’ll see along the banks and off-shore, types of presentation, and lure selection in Lou Martinez’s videos.

Get a first-hand feel for the waters by prefishing Lake Bienville. Lake 14 will be off-limit for prefishing January 20-26 (seven days prior to competition), but KBF Members are welcome to fish any of their lakes and channels from now until January 20 and any lake except Lake 14 that week. There’s no KBF Member discount for lake access prior to or later than the competition, and no fishing by competitors is allowed on any Bienville Plantation waters on Thursday, January 26, the free paddle-through day.

For planning purposes, sunrise is 7:24 EST in White Springs, Florida on January 27. Competition will commence at 7:00 a.m. and check-in deadline at Tournament HQ will be at 4 p.m., so focus on the bite between those hours. Competitors may enter the property any time after 6 a.m. and launch immediately, although paddling though pre-dawn, gator-infested waters may not be the wisest course.

Event Resources

TrophyCatch is Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions’ incentive-based program that promotes catch-and-release and gathers information to help them better manage Florida’s natural resources. While fishing Bienville Plantation’s world-famous big bass waters, you might earn over a $100-worth of Bass Pro Shops and/or Rapala coupons, a SpiderWire product coupon and other rewards including multiple chances to win a rigged 2017 Phoenix Bass Boat by catching, releasing, and submitting photos of your 8-pound+ bass to Florida’s trophy bass registry. [Details and Free Registration]Florida FIsh and Wildlife Conservation CommissionFlorida Fishing License — A non-resident 3-day freshwater fishing license costs $17 (plus $2.25 processing fee if purchased online, $4.25 by phone). You may also purchase them at either of the Walmart Supercenters in Live Oak (20 miles) and Lake City (23 miles). Start at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Website.

Camping out? Your best option is 15 miles away at Spirit of Sewanee Music Park, with over 600 improved campsites and 800 acres of primitive camping. Prices range from $25 to $45 per night.
Address: 3076 95th Drive Live Oak, Florida 32060
Phone: (800) 224-5656
Email: spirit@musicliveshere.com

Other campgrounds and restaurants in or within a short distance of White Springs, Florida are on the White Springs website Tourism page. Family Traditions and Fat Belly’s sound promising, if you want something other than McDonalds.

KBF Bienville Bassin’ Rules Addendum

This is an addendum to the KBF Competition Rules Standards and is specific to the 2017 KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin’ Tournament.

  1. Venue Host: Bienville Plantation
  2. Tournament HQ: Bienville Plantation Pavilion adjacent to the Lodge.
  3. Tournament Director: Joe Haubenreich
  4. Eligibility: This event is limited to participation by 2017 KBF Members and KBF Lifetime Members.
  5. Competition Rules: KBF Rules are in two parts: By registering, each competitor acknowledges he has read and agrees to abide by
  6. Event Schedule
    • Thursday 1/26, 7:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Paddle-through on eligible waters (no fishing tackle allowed on kayaks).
    • Thursday 1/26, 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Check-in and Late Registrations at Tournament HQ
    • Thursday 1/26, 6:00 p.m.: Captains Meeting with door prizes at Tournament HQ (If unable to attend, must attend a make-up Captains Meeting at 6:15 a.m. on Friday at Tournament HQ)
    • Friday 1/27, 6:00 a.m.: Enter property and launch at any time thereafter.
    • Friday 1/27, 7:00 a.m.: Competition Start Time.
    • Friday 1/27, 3:30 p.m.: Anglers unable to upload photos and need tournament staff to manually upload them must be in the judges’ check-in line by this time with media card or camera and USB cable.
    • Friday 1/27, 4:00 p.m.: All anglers must be in or through the judges’ line at Tournament HQ for photo confirmation.
    • Friday 1/27, 5:00 p.m.: Mandatory Captains Meeting and door prizes
    • Saturday 1/28, 6:00 a.m.: Enter property and launch any time thereafter.
    • Saturday 1/28, 7:00 a.m.: Competition Start Time
    • Saturday 1/28, 3:30 p.m.: Anglers unable to upload photos and need tournament staff to manually upload them must be in the judges’ check-in line by this time with media card or camera and USB cable.
    • Saturday 1/28, 4:00 p.m.: All anglers must be in or through the judges’ line at tournament HQ for photo confirmation and distribution of meal tickets.
    • Saturday 1/28, 5:30 p.m.: (or as soon as possible thereafter) Begin Awards Ceremony at Tournament HQ, starting with The TEN, followed by Big Bass, then Bienville Bassin’ awards, and finally door prizes. Must be present to receive prize(s).
  7. Eligible Water & Location
    • Lake 14 (a.k.a. Lake Bienville). Depending on number of registrants, a second lake may be added.
    • Prefishing on eligible waters is prohibited during the seven days prior to competition, January 20-26.
  8. Entry Fee and Registration Procedures
    • This event is conducted as an online Tournament powered by TourneyX.
    • Sign up and pay the Entry Fee at TourneyX.
    • Entry Fee Amount: $200, which includes $100 3-day access (1 day paddle-through, 2-day fishing) and $100 to the prize pot.
    • Check-in, Captains Meetings, and awards will be at Tournament HQ.
    • Entry Fee Transfers—Not allowed for this event.
    • Entry Fee Refunds—Refund requests must be received by Tournament Director by email or in writing no later than one week prior to the event. All refunds will be assessed a 10% service charge.
  9. Manual Submission of Digital Photos: Data signals on Bienville Plantation lakes is weak to spotty, but Wi-Fi signal is strong at the Lodge and in each Cabin. Competitors may find it necessary to return to a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to upload images to TourneyX. The preferred channel for submitting digital photos is direct upload from the angler’s smart phone to TourneyX. If a Competitor cannot or will not upload photos to Tourney X, Tournament Staff will assist him to do so at Tournament HQ. Anglers who need to have their digital photos upload to TourneyX by Tournament Staff must be prepared to surrender their camera’s memory card or cell phone and cable. No Competitor who arrives in line after 3:30 p.m. Friday or Saturday will be allowed to turn in his memory card or cable to Tournament Staff for on-site uploads
  10. Prizes — The number of places and payout amounts will vary with the number of registered competitors.
  11. Awarding of Prizes
    • Competitors must be present to receive awards
    • Cash prizes and bonuses will be distributed at the Saturday evening Awards Ceremony at Tournament HQ
  12. Tournament results will be visible on TourneyX and a report will subsequently will be posted on Facebook


January 27, 2017 @ 7:00 am CST
January 28, 2017 @ 4:00 pm CST
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Bienville Plantation
16673 SE 81st Dr, C R 137
White Springs, FL 32096 United States
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