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About B.A.I.T.

America's Best Team Trail, since 1999

Bass Anglers Invitational Trail, Inc. (B.A.I.T.) was founded in 1999 by Allen "Bud" DeFOE. Doug Nickels joined B.A.I.T. as national director in 2001, and later became its vice president and national director. Nickels fished the Bass Masters Pro Circuit Trail (BASS) and several other major tournament trails. Since coming to B.A.I.T., Nickels tournament experience and business acumen has lead to steady growth. In 2010 B.A.I.T. was bought out by Sunny DeFOE and Chris Covington. After more than ten years, Bud and Doug decided to step down and let a younger generation take over B.A.I.T. and give it a new birth.

New Ownership

As of Jan. 1, 2013 the founder, Bud DeFOE, will take over the Vice President position of Chris Covington. B.A.I.T. will also have a new Secretary, Jennifer DeFOE (Sunny's Wife). After a few years with B.A.I.T. Chris's work has overwhelmed his time and he simply could not do both and delegate the time needed for B.A.I.T. To see Bud's buyout letter and Chris's resignation letter please click the links below.

Bud's buyout letter Chris's resignation letter


In 2001, memberships grew to 512 members with five divisions in five states. In 2002, B.A.I.T. hit a new high with 658 memberships within eight divisions across six states. Memberships surpassed 1024 in 2003, coming from 10 divisions in seven states. In 2004 and 2005, B.A.I.T. memberships continued their upward spiral. B.A.I.T. memberships peaked in 2006 from its expansion to 17 divisions in eight states. Membership has leveled off in the past few years. In 2010, B.A.I.T. had 983 members and is expecting more growth next year. 2012 was a rough year for membership as it dipped to only 700 members. However, with the 2013 classic scheduled to be on Douglas Lake in Oct. 2013, membership is expected to recover greatly with 18 divisions covering 9 states.


B.A.I.T. divisions are currently in nine southeastern states, e.g., Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia. B.A.I.T. is poised to expand its bass fishing team competition trail concept to more states. Expansion will progress to new areas with substantial angler activity/populations, tourism, and local trail inquiries.

Over 13 years and still growing!

B.A.I.T. founder Bud DeFOE attributes honesty and integrity as the most important ingredients in running a successful bass fishing tournament. According to DeFOE, you must set rules and regulations, abide by rules and regulations, and treat everyone fairly. The moment when rules are bent is when problems begin. B.A.I.T. maintains strong ties with law enforcement to strengthen the trail's reputation for honesty and integrity. It also relies on the latest technology to keep tournament caught fish alive and tournament contestants honest. Sophisticated electronic scales and lie detectors are but a few of the measures that B.A.I.T. has incorporated to keep tournaments fair and square.

Season - Ending Classic Tournament Locations
1999 - Inaugural Year
2000 - Kentucky Lake, Kentucky
2001 - Lake Guntersville, Alabama
2002 - Lake Guntersville, Alabama
2003 - Columbus Lake, Mississippi
2004 - Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, Kentucky
2005 - Lake Wheeler, Alabama
2006 - Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, Kentucky
2007 - Lake Keowee, South Carolina
2008 - Columbus Lake, Mississippi
2009 - Cherokee Lake, Tennessee
2010 - Lake Wheeler, Alabama
2011 - Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
2012 - Lake Keowee, South Carolina
2013 - Douglas Lake, Tennessee

B.A.I.T. memberships cost $40.00 per angler for one season. Membership fees generally pay for accounting, advertising, printing, computers, data processing, membership packs for tournament anglers, and operating costs that B.A.I.T. trail may incur.

Boat entry fees are $100 per boat, per tournament. 70% of boat entry fees are given back as tournament winnings. 15% of boat entry fees from every tournament are paid back to the winners of the B.A.I.T. Classic Tournament at the end of every season. The remaining 15% is paid to the tournament trail division directors.

The B.A.I.T. Trail is comprised of 7 tournaments per division. A two-day Classic tournament completes the regular tournament season. Anglers qualify for the Classic at different lake locations on the Trail.

Companies interested in partnering with B.A.I.T., should consider one of several sponsorship programs. For more information contact:

Sunny DeFOE
(865) 679-2233
Vice President
(865) 679-0419



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We surely couldn't do this without you.

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