A big time bass fishing tournament is likely coming to the City of Quinte West this August.
Thursday night, the city’s Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee recommended granting the organizers of a Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) bass derby $15,000 to help promote the event and boost prize packages.
FLW is the largest bass fishing tournament series in the world.
Partnering with FLW is the Competitive Sport Fishing League which has already run smaller tournaments in the area. It will be on site running the new derby planned for August 15, 16, 17, and 18.
It’s predicted the inaugural tournament will attract 150 to 200 anglers, many of them professional. Organizers expect a rapid increase in the numbers to 400 fishermen in the second and third years of the event.
The Economic Development Committee was shown a video involving a small Tennessee town that was struggling economically.
Community leaders decided to try and promote bass fishing by supporting a professional bass fishing tournament. It was so successful the derby soon had 400 anglers and it was said to have generated $14 million in economic benefits to the town of 7,500.
Dayton, Tennessee now runs 30 fishing tournaments a year and the mayor says pushing sport tourism has brought the community back to life.
Quinte West councillors Allan Dewitt and Duncan Armstrong were enthusiastic in supporting a grant to get the bass tourney rolling.
“We’ve got Walleye World, but there’s lots of fish and lots of room for more fishing events in Quinte West. This is good business”, said Dewitt.
Armstrong agreed, saying “these events will boost business in downtown Trenton, help restaurants and hotels in the area, and someone here bass fishing might just open a small, or large business in Quinte West”.
Some say anglers attending a multi-day derby spend an average of $1,100 a week in the community they’re in.
The committee recommended council approve $15,000 for the tournament organizers, however, Mayor Jim Harrison warned that a precedent had been set, and that another fishing derby organization would be approaching the city for support in the very near future.