Bass Tournament Showcases Morgantown and Mon River

The Monongahela River in Morgantown will serve as the stage for one of the state’s biggest fishing purses this weekend.   Photo: WV Bass Federation


The best bass fishermen in West Virginia will gather to compete this weekend in Morgantown.   The city will host the second annual West Virginia Bass Federation Championship Invitational Tournament.

Fifty 2-man teams have qualified for the event through the West Virginia Bass Federation’s "Buddy Trail."   They’ll face each other for a share of an $18,000 purse on the Monongahela River.

"A lot of people may not realize it but the Mon is one of the better bass fisheries in the state," said Federation President John Burdette who along with partner Jim Matuga won the inaugural event last year.

The city of Morgantown is a strong backer of the tournament because of the widespread attention.   City leaders use the tournament to showcase the development in the city’s Wharf District and to spotlight attention on the river itself and the benefits it brings to the region.  The event is part of the city-wide Mountain Fest activities.

"The weigh-in sight at the amphitheater is a perfect location for a bass tournament weigh-in," said Burdette.

The Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater provides adequate seating to allow the curious to enjoy watching fish weighed to the ounce to determine a winner.   

Anglers are allowed to fish all West Virginia pools of the river and could elect to fish Pennsylvania waters if they obtain a Pennsylvania license.

"The Pricket’s pool and that area is more largemouth.  There seem to be

Smallmouth bass are abundant all along the Mon River. —  Photo:  West Va. Bass Federation

more smallmouth as you go north, or downstream," said Burdette. "There are some smallmouths in that pool, but they’ve never dominated a tournament there."

Burdette and Matuga a year ago used those smallmouth in the Pennsylvania waters to carry them to victory.    Electing to lock to the next pool can be problematic.   The lack of barge traffic on the upper Mon, limits the locking activity and even the manpower at those stations. 

"I’ve been in contact with the Corps of Engineers and they plan to have the locks manned early to accommodate tournament participants," said Burdette.

The public is invited to the weigh-ins which are free of charge.   The weigh-ins each day are scheduled for 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday.


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