Back to Nature: Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza Fishing Tournament is June 25-27

My Tuesday blogs are dedicated to experiencing the great outdoors. I feature anything from events to Natural State destinations worth seeing. Join me each week to get back to nature.

Jill M. Rohrbach

John Higman, winner of the 2009 Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza, with his father Jesse Higman who fished alongside him. From Evansville, Higman caught his 7.30 lbs fish in the Fort Smith poolAmateur anglers will hit Arkansas waters June 25-27 for the 11th annual Big Bass Bonanza Fishing Tournament with $100,000 in prize money guaranteed. Arkansas’s largest amateur bass tournament will span the entire length of the Arkansas River within the state’s borders. The river is divided into five pools – Fort Smith, Dardanelle, Little RockPine Bluff and Pendleton (or Dumas).

There is a significant change to the structure of the prize money this year. Previously the biggest bass overall earned an angler $100,000. This year, the person catching the largest bass will win $50,000 with the remaining $50,000 distributed among the winners of the other four pools. The largest overall fish in each remaining pool wins $10,000. Place money in each of the five pools is $900 for 2nd place; $700 for 3rd place; and $400 to 4th place. Hourly money will also be awarded in each pool.

You can fish one, two or all three days. Entry fees are: $80 for one day; $160 for two days; and $240 for three days. More than 2,000 anglers from across the region are expected to participate this year.

There are several options for registering for the tournament. Check those out online at The Big Bass Bonanza is a project of the Arkansas Hospitality Association in conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Russellville Tourism and Visitor’s Center and the Pine Bluff Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.

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