Tournament to Bring 250 Bass Anglers to Charleston


A bass boat screams up the Kanawha River in Charleston in another recent bass fishing tournament.  The Kanawha is starting to attract more and more bass fishing events with improved facilities. . Photo: WV Bass Federation/Shannon Burkley

Bass boats will start rolling into West Virginia‘s capital city in droves on Monday.  Charleston will be the host site for the 2010 Fisher-of-Men Eastern Regional Championship.

The tournament trail, based as a non-profit Christian ministry, marks its tenth year in 2010, but the first time it’s staged a major event on West Virginia water.

"We’ve never been to West Virginia," said founder and national tournament director Al Odom. "We have guys in West Virginia who’ve been fishing loyally with us for ten years and have never had a major tournament in their back yard so we felt like it was due time that we come to wild-wonderful West Virginia."

The Fishers of Men anglers operate in a team of two and 250 have qualified to fish the regional event.  The Charleston tournament is one of four staged across the country that qualify fishermen into the Fishers of Men National Tournament which will be held in the spring on Guntersville Lake in Alabama.  

The region spans from the Carolinas all the way to New England.  Approximately 20 of the teams fishing will be West Virginian fishermen, the rest are from out of state and it’s likely the notoriously tough bites of Kanawha River bass will be a culture shock to what they’re used to. 

"We don’t expect anybody to go out there and catch 30-pounds a day," Odom said. "It’s a fair competition on a body of water that will challenge these anglers.   We have some of the best amateur anglers from up and down the east coast and somebody it going to walk away with a brand new Triton Bass Boat–so it is what it is."

The Fishers of Men organization was particularly impressed with the Charleston facilities, especially the new riverfront amphitheater complex where the weigh-in will be staged Friday and Saturday.   Odom says the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau had been luring them for several years and they finally took them up on the offer.

"We really like the set up," Odom said. "It’s going to be one of the neatest weigh-in setups we’ve ever had."

The anglers will be allowed three days of practice on the river before competition begins on Friday.    They’ll launch out of the C-and-P Ramp site and the ramp at Daniel Boone Park will be the secondary launching point for the event. 


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