Bass Fishing League Regional Championship begins on Norfork Lake
Significant economic impact from three-day event
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship kicked off Thursday, marking the finale to the 2021 season for anglers involved in the five-state region.
Hosted by the Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce, the three-day regional championship features the top 45 boaters and co-anglers, plus tournament winners in the four divisions. Competitors will battle it out for a top prize of $60,000, including a Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower.
It was an early start Thursday morning as anglers launched at 7 a.m. for day one of the competition. Competitors thought there would be a lot of action early in the morning following significant rain Wednesday.
The Twin Lakes area is a hub for water activities, which can bring a lot of attraction.
“It’s nice to have the Norfork Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and the White River all here nestled real close together,” said Eric Thitoff, Manager at the Buzzard Roost Marina. “Big recreation in the summer time, its just a huge weekend getaway.”
One of the biggest attractions is fishing, but not so much this time of year, aside from the occasional fly fishers. Thitoff explained that things really slow down this time of year, so they focus on maintenance and winterizing boats.
So when Buzzard Roost Marina had the chance to host the regional championship, it did not pass it up.
“To have this type of event and this draw is pretty big,” said Thitoff. " It is really a win-win for the city and everyone.”
“It’s a great economic boost for the community, all the hotels and restaurants around,” said tournament director, Brad Callihan.
The Tournament could bring a big boost to its winner as well, with the competitors all fighting for the grand prize along with smaller prizes, consolation prizes and prizes for co-anglers.
“All in all, the prizes are a pretty good payday for anyone who is lucky enough to come away with it,” said Callihan.
But in order to win it, Callihan says it will take no small feat. The places based on a total sum of a team’s five-best bass.
“The Benchmark for them to advance for two days. If they weigh in between 20-22 pounds, it should get them fishing on Saturday,” he explained.
Only the top 12 finishers from the first two days will qualify for the championship on Saturday. Callihan anticipates that in order to bring home the grand prize, the winner will likely have to weigh at least 40 pounds.
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