Asian carp

Fishing tournaments, such as the FishOn! Bank, are popping up all around the area.

Associated Press — John Flesher

The first FishOn! Bank fishing tournament was such a success, organizer Andre Bravo is going back for seconds.

“Our first tournament had 140 entrants and we paid out more than $2300 in winnings,” Bravo said.

He’s hoping to translate that good turnout into momentum for future bank-fishing tourneys.

The next one is slated Sept. 30 beginning at 6 p.m. and running through 3:00 the next morning (Oct. 1) along the shores of the Brazos River.

The rules and times are not the run-of-the-mill tournament setup rules. Competitors are limited to bank fishing only – no boats of any type, trot lines, jug lines, limb lines, etc. – just rods and reels (with a 4-rod limit per person).

Entry fee is $20 per person or $40 per 2-person team, and $5 of each entry goes toward the big fish pot for both adult and kid divisions. The best 5 catfish weighed in will take the blue ribbon, along with some green money. Bravo says all qualifying fish must be alive at the weigh-in and adds that they’ll all be released back into the river after the weigh-in ceremonies.

Other payout categories are for biggest turtle, biggest ugly fish (gar, drum, carp, buffalo), a “skunk” award for the worst shut-out, a prize for the smallest legal catch (state and local laws apply) and something called the “Best Kiss the Fish” award, which at 3 a.m. weigh-in on a Sunday morning, doesn’t sound all that strange.

There are also plenty of drawings and door prizes to be given out, including tackle, river tour passes, fishing combos, gift cards and more.

There’s also a kids division ($5 entry fee and 2-fish bag) for anglers aged 16 and younger.

Registration is set for the day of the tournament beginning at 4:30, and Bravo recommends bringing your fishing license, because the game wardens will be on hand to make sure everybody is fishing legally.

The list of tournament sponsors continues to grow and includes Bubbas 33, Del Follis at Texas Farm Bureau, Tortilla Fishermen, All-Stars Barber Shop, Patriot Outdoors California, Waco River Safari, Pristine Lawn Care, Puckett Outdoors, Lucy’s Café, Mowers Lawn Care, Rock Ready Printing, Yak-N-Bass, Centex Hunting, Centex Bass, JG’s Lawn, Gizmo Guru, and Cottonwood Creek Golf.

Tournament boundaries and other specific guidelines are available from the FishOn! Facebook page.

New high school tourney set for January

Every competitor dreams about making it to the biggest stage in their sport and claiming victory, but not many ever get the chance to actually do it. The Central Texas High School Tournament Trail offers young anglers the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of hundreds of cheering fans and share the stage with some top-level pros.

Marine Outlet of Temple, along with the Tuff-Man Tournament Trail are proud to announce the first annual Tuff-Man High School Invitational

The top 10 finishers in points fishing the trail will be invited to a one-day tourney in January that will coincide with the Tuff-Man championship, and the top finishers will get to ride into the Bell County Expo Center in their boats and be interviewed and awarded on the big stage by ESPN Bassmaster Elite Series pro anglers.

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