Maplesville bass tournament offers shot at big prize

Published 4:12 pm Monday, February 22, 2016

The Fourth Annual Maplesville Athletic Club Bass Tournament will take place March 26 at Beeswax Bait and Grocery on Lay Lake.

The event begins at sunrise with weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m. with lunch served for both anglers and spectators during that time.

According to Vickie Smith, the wife of Maplesville Athletic Club President James Smith, the tournament was originally started as a fundraiser for the athletic club.

“It has grown every year, and we hope it grows even more this year,” Smith said.

The tournament had 67 boats a year ago, but according to Smith, severe weather the night before kept some boaters from participating in the event.

That number is expected to climb this year, especially with an early projected forecast of sunny skies on Saturday.

Registration is $125 and those interested in participating must pre-register by March 19.

The proceeds will go toward the Maplesville Athletic Club and help with the purchase of the football team’s state championship rings.

A major addition to this year’s tournament is that several boat companies have partnered to sanction the event. The boat manufacturers include Basscat, Triton, Tracker, Phoenix, Nitro, Stratos and Legend.

If the winner of the tournament used a boat made by a sanctioned manufacturer, he or she will have the added opportunity to increase the final purse. This is the first time such an incentive is being offered.

First place in the tournament will win $2,000, but $750 to $1,500 can be added depending on the age of the sanctioned boat that was used. A newer model accounts for more money.

“That always helps draw in more people,” Smith said.

Second place will have a prize of $1,000 followed by $500 for third place, $250 for fourth place and $100 for fifth place.

The “Big Fish Pot” promotion is back this year and adds yet another opportunity to increase the final prize. It will once again offer up $25,000 if the biggest fish has an even weight with no ounces.

The “Big Fish Pot” has an 80-percent payout, while a separate “No Weight Pot” will have a 50-percent payout.