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Are you an amateur angler looking to prove your mettle? Maybe you’d just like to win part of the $100,000 grant prize. If so, register to take part in the 12th Annual Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza, June 24-26 on Arkansas River. Just ask Nicholas Warden of Beebe who took home $50,000 for his 6.62-pound catch near Dumas in 2010.
The overall winner receives an assured $50,000 in prize money. A guaranteed $10,000 is awarded to the angler with the largest fish caught in the remaining four pools. Additional prizes include place money per pool and hourly money.
Sponsored by the Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA), the Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza is the largest amateur bass fishing tournament in the country. It covers 300 miles of eligible fishing from Fort Smith (western border) to Dumas (eastern border), the entire length of the river within the state. Participants can choose to fish one, two, or all three days of the tournament. Guaranteed total prize is $100,000. Entry fee to fish is $80 per day.
Montine McNulty, executive director of AHA, says, “We are expecting well over 2,000 fishermen in the 2011 Big Bass Bonanza. Because of the high water we have had recently, the fishermen have not been able to fish. I think anglers will really be ready to get out on the river this month. Big Bass is the big amateur Super Bowl of fishing in Arkansas and there is plenty of prize money.”
When asked about the high water levels on the Arkansas River, McNulty replied, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting the Arkansas River will be below 70,000cfs next week and with just normal rainfall the rest of June, we will be in good shape for Big Bass Bonanza.
To avoid late fees, you must sign up by June 10. Online registration is available until June 22. You can enter the day of the tournament at weigh-in sites but you’ll have to pay a $10 late fee for each day of fishing.
These locations are Clear Creek Park in Fort Smith, Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville, Verizon Ramp in North Little Rock, Pine Bluff’s Regional Park, and the Pendleton Bridge east of Dumas.
Children are welcome to take part in the tournament but must be accompanied by an adult.
There is no age limit but they must pay registration fees. The Willow Leaf Award is $1,000 cash given to the parent/child or grandparent/child with the largest bass. Those over age 22 cannot participate in this contest.
Each day of competitive fishing begins at 6 a.m. with the first hourly weigh-in at 8 a.m. The remainder takes place at the top of each hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The awards ceremony is Sunday, June 26 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the North Little Rock location on Riverfront Drive. Family members and the general public are invited to any of the five weigh-in sites during the tournament to watch and cheer for their favorite fisherman.
For more information contact the Arkansas Hospitality Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-376-2323. Visit www.arkansasbigbass.com for online registration and other details.