About Us


The River Ratz Bassmasters were officially chartered with B.A.S.S. on July 16th 1993. Six anxious and excited men started the club after making contact with the Maryland Bass Federation at the Bass Expo in Timonium MD.  Harford County was home to all six members so it became a Harford County based club. The original six members are as follows: Mark Purdue, Dave Vaughn, Jim Pry, Jeff Karpoff, Bob Copper and Tom Todd. Tom is the only one of the original six still in the club.

Over the years many bass anglers have joined and had great times with the Ratz. Paul Dubois was instrumental in the club winning the conservation club of the year in 1998 from the Maryland Bass Federation (MBF). We also received BASS National Chapter runner-up for conservation the same year. Thank you Paul for your dedication to conservation and the many hours of hard work.

Mark Purdue, past president for many years was instrumental in starting what was called the Upper Bay Challenge and also our Spring and Fall Open Team Tournaments. The Upper Bay Challenge was a club vs. club tournament. The Ratz won this event eight out of the ten years it was held. Participating clubs were Reel Crazy Bassmasters, Chesapeake Bass anglers and Upper Chesapeake Bassmasters.

Our Open Team Tournaments have been held since 1994. We started holding these tournaments out of Dundee State Park but moved to Tydings Memorial Park in Havre de Grace due to the Harford County location. We would like to thank everyone that has participated and especially those that are loyal to our Opens and compete year after year. We would also like to thank our long time Open Tournament Sponsor, Aberdeen Trophy World for supplying us with trophy’s for the first place team.

Club tournaments are the lifeblood of the River Ratz. We all love the camaraderie and competition the tournaments promote.

The River Ratz hold eight tournaments a year, fishing on the Upper Bay rivers, some Easter Shore rivers, Conowingo Laken and the Potomac River. Our tournaments are restricted to the rivers we launch from and we feel this format promotes learning that body of water as well as being fair and safe.

For many years we used a points system to determine who won the title of Mr. Bass. In 2005 we decided to use weight as the determining factor for the title. You can view our past Mr. Bass winners along with Heaviest Stringer and Lunker awards on our history page.


The River Ratz have been able to keep our dues very low and still provide the members with many benefits. The Mr. Bass Tournament entry fee is paid for by the club as well as lodging costs if needed.

A club awards banquet is held each year to celebrate the year and hand out awards. Spouses of the club are also thanked for letting us take the time to go fishing.

Please enjoy our website and contact us if you have any questions.