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Print

Here is a video from the 2011 Redneck Fishing Tournament held in Bath.

Redneck fishing tournament is on for Aug. 1- 3

July 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

The State Journal-Register


BATH — Officials for one of central Illinois’ most famous fishing tournaments are poised to put cancellation rumors to a halt.

“We had some people thinking it was canceled, and a rumor had gotten out that it had been,” said Sherie Wainscott-Turner, marketing director for the Original Redneck Fishing Tournament in Bath. “It’s definitely still on.”

Record flooding at the Boat Tavern, the four-day event’s usual location, and the owner’s desire to close up shop spurred rumors that the popular fishing tournament was canceled, Wainscott-Turner said.

Rather, it’s only been relocated to Village Park — just a couple of blocks from the tavern, she said.

“You won’t be able to miss it,” Wainscott-Turner said. “If you come through town, you’ll see it.”

The event, which is held every summer in Bath on the Illinois River, typically attracts competitors from all across the country, many of whom come dressed in odd attire and ready for combat.

What they’re after are the Asian carp that began occupying the Mississippi and Illinois rivers after they escaped from fish-rearing ponds in the southern United States years ago and headed north.

“These fish are such a nuisance. ... They don’t really have a natural predator against them besides humans,” Wainscott-Turner said. “They jump out of the water … and they hit you. We’ve had people have their nose broken. It’s just crazy.”

Participants take a pass on fishing poles and instead use either dip nets or the simple hope that the fish will land in their boats. The boat with the most Asian carp wins the tournament, and the fish are later buried.

The tournament kicks off the evening of Aug. 1 with live music. Aug. 2 and 3 are dedicated to the main tournament, with live music, food and drinks, raffles and various games.

The event concludes Aug. 4 with a free children’s fishing derby.

Registration and counting of fish at the end of the tournament will still be down by the boat ramp near the Boat Tavern.

***

Want to go?

What: Original Redneck Fishing Tournament

Where: Village Park in Bath

When: Gates open at 2 p.m. Aug. 1. Five & Dime Band plays from 5-9 p.m., and karaoke will follow until 1 a.m. Tournament heats are at noon and 5 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3.

Details: Registration will be at the boat docks near the Boat Tavern. The event includes live music, karaoke, food and drinks, raffles and various games. Admission is $5 each day or $8 for the weekend. Lawn chairs are recommended. A free children’s fishing derby will be held on Aug. 4.

More information: http://www.originalredneckfishingtournament.com

Lauren Leone-Cross can be reached at 747-9565.

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