An extract on #kzltamu
The increasing popularity of the sport combined with "catch and release" practices have in some cases led to an overpopulation of bass.
An overpopulated, stunted bass population can best be detected in the spring when all the bass are at least one year old. If virtually all the bass are 4 inches long or smaller, the population is probably stunted. Some indicators that a bass population is overpopulated:
The largemouth bass caught are all less than 1 pound and are "skinny".
The bluegills are 1/2 pound and larger (too large for the bass to eat).
An overpopulation and/or stunting of bass may be caused by several factors including:
Not enough bass being harvested.
Too few bluegill or redear sunfish were stocked initially or they are failing to reproduce and the bass population does not have an adequate food supply.
It is posited that the easiest way to control an overpopulation of largemouth bass is by increasing the take of bass. This is clearly an effective method of thinning the bass population providing recreation at the same time. It may take two to three years to bring the population back into balance. If forage fish are scarce, stock adult bluegill or redear sunfish (7 to 8 inches long). These fish will be too large to be eaten by the bass. The large panfish will spawn in the spring and produce a supply of forage. 
The state of Illinois was the first to make competitive bass fishing a state-sanctioned high school sport in 2009. They offer 22 sectional tournaments which cater to 250 high school teams across the state. Teams which qualify at the sectional level compete for the state title in May.
States across the country have taken to Illinois' lead. Kentucky was the second to follow suit in 2012. Private groups have seen the opportunity to grow the industry as well through exposure of high school student to tournament bass fishing. The Bass Federation, for example, offers high school tournament series in over 40 states, eventually crowning a State Champion and giving them the opportunity to compete on the national level.
With the rise in popularity of competitive bass fishing came the multibillion-dollar industry of professional bass angling. The rise in popularity and the companies that have supported the sport have now made it possible to turn bass angling into a professional sport. A professional bass angler is a person who competes in bass fishing pro circuit and may also have company sponsorships. Some famous pro circuits include Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), Walmart FLW Tour, and the Professional Anglers Association Tour (PAA).
Professional bass anglers are not able to simply sign up for these professional circuits. The angler must compete and win local and smaller events to in order create a reputation. Many professional bass anglers also get company sponsorships. These sponsorships help fund the expenses of being a bass angler. In turn the angler is also promoting the company that they are sponsored by. Being a professional bass angler is a full-time job. When the angler is not competing it is essential to attend public seminars and give presentations. It is the anglers job to market himself in order for the sponsors to become a more well known company.
Some of the most famous names in professional bass angling are Ray Scott, Kevin VanDam, and Mike Iaconelli. Ray Scott is the founder of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, otherwise known as BASS. Ray Scott started BASS in 1967 and has paved the way for professional circuits by starting the BASS Tournament Trail. Kevin VanDam is a professional competition angler who has won the BASSMASTER Classic four times. He also gained great fame by being named Angler of the Year in 1992. Mike Iaconelli is a professional competition angler in the BASS Elite Series, who has made a name for himself by winning BASSMASTER Classic and the Toyota Elite Series AOY
Professional bass angling salaries fluctuate greatly depending on how marketable the angler is, in 2006 Kevin VanDam made $500,000 from his sponsors while Mike Iaconelli made $370,000. This does not include the prize money from winning competitions. Although there are some professionals that earn this much money, it is not the case for all of them. Gene Ellison the executive director of the Professional Anglers Association is quoted saying, "more than half of the guys out here this weekend are going broke", during the BASSMASTER Classic of 2006.
In recent years the sport has not only reached out to men but to women as well. There is a large following of women bass fishing who are trying to become professional and have their own women circuit. The Lady Bass Anglers Association was started for just that purpose. They aspire to create an industry in which women are able to compete professionally and help push the boundaries of professional bass angling.