BLBBD Is Back!
Big Bass Days Set For March 16-18, 2012
For 14 years, Bill Luke Big Bass Days have highlighted the early fishing season in Arizona for not only anglers but also for families and others who came to enjoy country singer concerts, fireworks, good food, and more. Demographically, there have been as many as 25-30,000 people from seven states coming to fish.
This next year, the event will be back, but with some changes, according to Don McDowell of Shake, Rattle & Troll radio. McDowell, event director, will be working with Bill Luke’s general manager, Kim Carter, to bring the event back to the beginning — promoting fishing, family values, and fun for everyone.
Some of the changes are the following:
To The Tournament
1. Entry fees have been reduced from $150.00 per day to $50.00 per day, Big Fish option will now be $20.00 per day.
2. The plan is to pay down seven places each hour; the first weigh in will be at 8 a.m. through the hourly weigh in at 1 p.m. As the event grows, pay down will be to 10 places.
3. Each hour’s first place pays $300; second through fifth, $100; sixth and seventh, $50.00 each.
4. Big Fish of the Day wins $1,000, and the Daily Big Fish Option wins another $1,000 per day.
5. A T-shirt option ($10) wins another $1,000 for the something “crazy” like a 2-pound fish at the 11 a.m. weight-in.
6. Overall Big Fish, isn’t fishing for a truck or a boat, but rather $10,000 CASH.
7. Stripper option is $25 per day, with a 100 percent pay back, five-fish bag limit, and a separate weigh in at 2 p.m. Now the angler can take home their fish, if desired, but leftovers will be contained and iced so that the Arizona Game & Fish Department can take them to the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center to feed recovering animals under their care.
Note: We have an overabundance of strippers in the lake and our efforts are to draw in the stripper anglers, let them have their own derby, get rid of a few strippers and help reduce the food budget for the wildlife center.
To The Activities
One big change this coming year is that no beer or alcohol vendors will be at the venue. There is no objection to folks brining their own, but the change mirrors the fact that this is a family event.
There will be entertainment both Friday and Saturday evenings from 7-9 p.m.with some excellent bands. For example, Mogollon actually tours the country scene nationally and opens for Chesney and other big names.
Lake Pleasant, Arizona
Other daily activities include the following:
• A sawdust pile for the kids with cash and prizes buried in it; each age group will get 10 minutes in the sawdust pile,
• Adult mountain bike race, beginner/intermediate/expert, 3.5-mile desert single track course, expert 25 miles; terrain is desert hills, washes and a few speed runs,
• Youth bicycle races,
• Kids’casting competitions Saturday and Sunday,
• Game & Fish will have their reptile exhibit (and we’re trying to get the alligator out there),
• Desert runner ½ marathon on the mountain course,
• Mopar Car and Chopped Truck Club,
• FLW National Guard troops with the kids’ Rock Climbing Wall, pedal cars, and giveaways,
• Helicopter rides over the lake and desert,
• Jerry Tate will provide seminars on fishing Lake Pleasant; he’s been a guide there since 1961,
• Activities will be added for the ladies and the other folks who are there but aren’t fishing, and
• A “Fly By” is tentatively scheduled for at least one day of the event by the Commemorative Airforce, B17G Sentimental Journey. (They are planning to bring this baby in over the event at 500 feet, under full throttle.)
And, The All-Important Food!
The main food vendor is the Pit Stop Café at the Bill Luke Chrysler Jeep and Dodge dealership. First-class “chow” — tasty and affordable — will be served up by the two excellent Pit Stop chefs, starting with breakfast at 4 a.m. Other vendors will also be on site with jerky, snow cones, kettle corn, etc.
So, according to McDowell, “ … in a nutshell, we have the bass anglers, stripper fisherman, mountain bikers, joggers and runners, the military, hotrods folks. [Plans] will continue to grow the event as it evolves, so long as it makes sense and lends something to family values.”
Arizona Boating & Watersports/Western Outdoor Times
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