Department of Tourism
State to Host Eight More BASS Fishing Tournaments
Bassmaster Amateur Events to Raise State’s Profile, Generate Income
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Working with local communities, the Kentucky Sports Authority has secured eight additional fishing tournaments which are part of the 2006 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series, Sports Authority Executive Director Terry Johnson announced today. This brings the total number of tournaments to 10. The tournaments are expected to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact for Kentucky hotels, restaurants, gas stations, attractions and other local businesses.
Starting with a tournament at Lake Cumberland in Russell County March 19 and concluding with a September 24 event at Lake Barkley in Lyon County, the Kentucky tournaments are part of a group of 120 Bassmaster amateur competitions stretching from Texas to Maine. This is the second season for the series.
With the maximum of 200 boats carrying two anglers apiece, each tournament will feature total prize purses of $55,055 in cash and merchandise. Top prize for boaters is $7,500, and first prize for non-boaters is $3,570, based on a full field.
Entry fees are $250 for boaters and $125 for non-boaters. Non-boat owners can team with boaters to assure registration, but the actual pairings for the tournaments are done at random, said Bruce Mathis, the tournament director. Interested anglers can register at www.bassmaster.com
The eight tournaments are part of two Bassmaster Series divisions, the Pioneer and the Bluegrass. The top 30 boaters and non-boaters in point standings in each division are eligible to compete in 3-day regional events, the next level of competition. The regional events begin in October, with a national championship scheduled for the spring of 2007.
BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing, previously announced a professional bass fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake on June 22-24. This event pays down 60 places, including $75,000 in cash and merchandise to the pro champion based on a 150-angler field. BASS also will host a CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series event June 15-18 on Kentucky Lake. That event pays the pro winner $100,000. The Elite Series will receive coverage on ESPN2 during the show, The CITGO Bassmasters. It will air June 24 at 10 a.m. ET and it will be re-aired July 10 and July 14.
Sarah Oaks, executive director of the Carrollton/Carroll County Tourism board, said a tournament set for April 9 on the Ohio River would fill local hotels and spill over to neighboring communities. She estimated that the anglers, many of whom bring their families for the weekend, would spend $80,000 on lodging and $30,000 to $40,000 on food.
“This is the biggest event in Carrollton now,” Oaks said. “There aren’t many things that can generate these types of numbers.”
The tournaments will raise the state’s profile in the sport fishing world and likely increase tourism to its many lakes and streams. The events will provide key opportunities for Kentucky to market itself to millions of fishing enthusiasts across the country, said Commissioner Randy Fiveash of the Kentucky Department of Tourism.
The Sports Authority and the Department of Parks negotiated the inclusion of the Kentucky tournaments in the series.
“We are very pleased and excited to attract such events to the commonwealth,” said Johnson. “We are working diligently to attract top sporting events and fulfill the vision set by Governor Fletcher. We feel by teaming up with ESPN and their vision for the tour, this is a terrific fit.”
Here is the schedule of the 2006 Kentucky ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series tournaments:
3/19/06 Lake Cumberland Russell Springs
4/2/06 Kentucky Lake Gilbertsville
4/30/06 Barren River Scottsville
5/7/06 Lake Barkley Eddyville
6/25/06 Ohio River Carrollton
8/20/06 Kentucky Lake Gilbertsville
9/10/06 Ohio River Brandenburg
9/24/06 Lake Barkley Eddyville
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.