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Linwood Cottner Jr, with the help of his wife Lelia Cottner, founded the Pro Am Bass Trails in 2017 after a desire to see the catch weigh and immediate release tournament structure fishing at the local levels.

The PABT’s vision to see the catch, weigh, and immediate release structure be spread across the country in the interest of preserving the sustainability of our nation’s fisheries. Today traditional five by three tournaments are getting better at preserving fish but their increasing popularity are continuing to see large numbers of mortality and delayed mortality in game fish species.

Additionally, all anglers have a unique story behind them of where they’ve come from and what they’ve gone through to arrive where they are today. Through the sharing of the Gospel and their testimonies the PABT will be a medium to also help anglers be better not just in their competitive techniques, but in their spirit as well.

The PABT aims to stay as close to the Major League Fishing as much as possible however, we are NOT Major League Fishing. We have some differences that make us different. We do continuously endeavor to provide a venue which is affordable, enjoyable, and challenges anglers to adapt what they know on the fly without damaging our lakes, reservoirs, and river systems.

This format is ever growing and evolving based on lessons learned along with input from the angling community. The final vision for what the trail will ultimately become is yet to manifest in the natural but much care, prayer, and direction from God goes into the planning, development, and execution of the Pro Am Bass Trails.

The successful completion of our first season validated the format as a viable one. We look forward to seeing you out on the water. God Bless!

If you or anyone you know are interested in being involved with this series please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Meet the Pro Am Team

Ron Willhite
Ron Willhite Assistant Director

Ron Willhite is the proud owner and founder of Howling Coyote BBQ and an assistant Director within the Pro Am Bass Trails. Ron, and his fiancé Tiffany, have been an integral part of the PABT since it’s inception on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, TX. A reluctant Tiffany offered to help officiate when PABT became one official short and the rest is history. Hailing from Needville, TX Ron and his family sacrificially drive hours every month to ensure the PABT events are a success.

As the owner of Howling Coyote BBQ, Ron has donated much time to the angling community including preparing the BBQ feast during the Season One Championship held at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, TX. Ron brings a history of outdoor boating and angling experience along with business analytical skills and a sense of team work that makes the dream work. Ron is currently affiliated with Team Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle and Screaming Reelz. Contact Ron at