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Our Story

Bass Pro Shops was founded in 1972 by avid young angler Johnny Morris on eight-square-feet of space in the back of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri. Today, the leading national retailer of outdoor gear and apparel has more than 100 retail and marine center locations across North America.

Johnny's passion for the outdoors and his feel for the products and shopping experiences desired by outdoor enthusiasts transformed the industry. Bass Pro Shops locations are more than just stores — they are true destination experiences that draw more than 120 million visitors annually. Each location is heavily customized to reflect the character of the region. In addition to giant aquariums teeming with live fish and extensive wildlife mounts and dioramas, many locations feature unique restaurants and ocean-themed bowling alleys.

In the late 1980’s Johnny Morris purchased a property overlooking Table Rock Lake in the Missouri Ozark Mountains. Today this property is known as Big Cedar Lodge, a world-class resort, named the #1 Resort in the Midwest by Travel and Leisure Magazine for two consecutive years. The Bass Pro Shops Hospitality brand has continued to grow and now includes: Big Cedar Lodge, Big Cypress Lodge, Angler’s Inn, Big Cedar Golf, Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy, Longcreek Marina and Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

Johnny with his father and mentor John A. Morris
Johnny with his father and mentor John A. Morris
"Take a kid fishing. You’ll be glad you did.” - Johnny Morris
"Take a kid fishing. You’ll be glad you did.” - Johnny Morris
Explore over 43,000 acres of waters at Table Rock Lake
Explore over 43,000 acres of waters at Table Rock Lake