Bass Pro and the Ozarks


Bass Pro Shops has long been a legendary part of the Ozarks.  A multimillion-dollar company started by native Ozarkian Johnny Morris, Bass Pro had humble beginnings in the back of Johnny’s father’s liquor store.  Today, there are Bass Pro Shops all over the Ozarks – and the continental United States as well!

Johnny has always had a longtime love of fishing, and grew up participating in this activity family, including his ‘Uncle Buck.’  (Uncle Buck even has a line of Bass Pro Products named after him) In 1971, Johnny Morris took a road trip around the country with a U-Haul trailer to collect the latest and greatest fishing tackle he could find, and bring it back to the Ozarks.  Upon his return, Johnny opened a bait and tackle shop inside his father’s liquor store, conveniently located on the way to Table Rock Lake.  This humble little tackle shop was the very first Bass Pro Shops.  In 1974, Johnny mailed out the first Bass Pro Shops catalog.  Then, in 1978, he took the next business step by introducing a line of bass boats.  The boats took the name ‘Bass Tracker’; Johnny’s was the first package to ever offer a boat, motor and trailer designed for anglers.  His goal has always been to provide a quality product at a good value to the customer – and this mission has carried over into the Bass Pro Shops of today.

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Bass Pro Shops is now the number one outdoor retailer with stores in both America and Canada.  They carry the finest selection of fishing equipment – lures, poles, reels, bait and more – as well as Tracker Boats, ATVs, camping gear, outdoor footwear and clothing, guns, bows and archery supplies, outdoor cooking equipment, kayaks, home décor, knives and gifts.

Bass Pro Shops is not just an outdoor store – they are a business deeply rooted in their communities and causes.  Bass Pro Shops proudly supports conservation organizations including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Quail Forever and many more.  Some of the largest fitness events and festivals in the Ozarks are sponsored by Bass Pro Shops – the Conservation Marathon weekend, 5Ks, kids races, marathon runs, cycle rides and races and more in Springfield, Branson and Dogwood Canyon are held annually to promote the love of the outdoors and get people active outside.  You can even learn fly-fishing and fly tying skills with classes and workshops from the Bass Pro White River Fly Shop!

This amazing outdoor store has really make a lasting contribution to the world of outdoor sports and activities – the Ozarks is proud to be the home of Bass Pro Shops!

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