Historic Bass Tournament Coming to British Columbia

In six weeks, the biggest bass tournament in B.C. history is coming to Skaha Lake.  The OK Bass Classic Includes a parade of bass boats through town, awards ceremony at the Ramada, all kinds of local media coverage, and competitors from all over Western Canada and the U.S., it also promises unprecedented exposure to the B.C. bass fishery.  But what makes this tournament especially unique is that it will be the first "Livewell-sanctioned" event in recent memory, with an end-of-day 5 fish weigh-in, something never before done in B.C. waters.British Columbia has had a ban on livewell use for years to control invasive species, relegating these storage tanks to mere coolers on B.C. boats.  However, a permit was granted for this particular event, allowing for the first end-of-day weigh-in, which promises to be a great spectator event for the city of Penticton.In previous tournaments on B.C. waters, competitors had to bring their fish to on-the-water weigh stations when they caught a bass.  Forcing them to leave their fishing spot open to other anglers and forfeiting valuable fishing time.Matt Benson has been responsible for bringing this event to life and has this to say about the tournament so far."The sponsors have been great about getting behind the tournament so far, the city has been nothing but supportive and stands behind us 100%.  This will be a fantastic event for not only the fishery, but also the city of Penticton as whole.  Bass tournaments bring in millions of tourism dollars throughout the United States and Eastern Canada, why not here?"A typical bass angler will spend in excess of $1000 per tournament on gas, lodging, food, tackle and other miscellaneous expenses.  The Classic is expected to field between 50 and 60 anglers.While the OK Bass Classic will be looked at by many, including local biologists, as an experiment, Matt hopes that it will serve as the start of something bigger."The goal is to have a bass fishing circuit in British Columbia with end-of-day weigh-ins for each tournament.  If the Classic is a success I don't see any reason why we won't be able to continue and expand to incorporate the rest of the trophy bass lakes in the province."The two-day event will take place on the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd and boaters will take off from the Skaha Lake Marina on Eastside Road.  All competitors will be meeting at the Ramada Inn the night before to sign in and go over the rules for the tournament.Anyone interested in competing in the Classic can contact rapala101@hotmail.com or call 250-739-2511 to enter.

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