ESCANABA – Organizers cancelled Friday’s fishing at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship. High winds were deemed to be too dangerous for the 50 fishermen involved in the tournament.
It was a chilly start to the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship Thursday but fishermen showed off some nice fish at the first weigh-in in Ludington Park.
Rick Elrod with the Delta Chamber of Commerce said this event will have a lasting effect on Escanaba and the surrounding area.
“We have the economic impact of just the tournament being in town, all of the fishermen and their families and the spectators that will be in town to see this, but this event is pretty neat that it’s the Angler of the Year Championship so it’s a big event. We have all of the sponsors that are coming into town, the national television stations that are broadcasting this, the page views on the Bassmaster website, all of those will have residual benefits for years to come,” said Elrod.
Elrod said it is important for people to attend the event. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. participants can learn more about fishing from displays and seminars. Sunday at 4 p.m. will be the final weigh-in.
Although most fishermen know the Bays de Noc for walleye fishing, Michael Malone with Bassmasters says there are bass in the bays and the professional fishermen in the tournament this weekend are finding them.
“Bass is the most sought after fish in the country,” Malone said. “Until you fell the tug of a smallmouth bite, pound for pound it’s the toughest fish out there. And the size in these waters of smallmouth – and we’ve seen the pictures from practice of these anglers – is incredible.”
Malone said the national attention from the television and website will attract bass fishermen to the area from all over the country.