In 1971, Johnny Morris, frustrated by the lack of tackle in local stores, rented a U-Haul® trailer and took off across the country filling it with the newest premium fishing tackle he could find. When he returned home to Springfield, Missouri, Johnny set up shop in his dad's liquor store, which was located on the way to Table Rock Lake. With this simple idea, Bass Pro Shops® was born.
This new store became popular with local and out-of-state fishermen. By 1974, Johnny printed and mailed the first Bass Pro Shops catalog. In 1978, he introduced Bass Tracker â€“ the first boat, motor, and trailer package designed just for anglers.
By building and selling boats factory direct, Johnny was able to pass on huge value and savings to fishermen. Tracker has remained America's #1 selling fishing boat for more than 35 years running.
From those humble beginnings, Bass Pro Shops has become America's leading outdoor retailer with stores across America and Canada. Every Bass Pro Shops store still offers an incredible array of fishing and boating equipment. We're also the premier shopping destination for hunting, camping, and outdoor cooking gear as well as outdoor footwear and nature-themed gifts.
Bass Pro Shops is more than a retail mecca for sportsmen, though. Since the beginning, Johnny Morris has been dedicated to inspiring people, especially youth and families, to love, enjoy and conserve the great outdoors. That commitment, demonstrated over the course of several decades, is a big reason why Bass Pro Shops is known as the outdoor industry's corporate conservation leader. Bass Pro Shops conservation efforts include partnering with and supporting the efforts of many organizations that work to conserve and manage the nation's natural resources. The company's key conservation initiatives include fish and wildlife habitat improvements, conservation and outdoor skills education, improving water quality and quality of our lakes and springs, and conservation advocacy.