Chamber to host bass tournament
By Joe Fragano
Ray Roberts Lake State Park and the Pilot Point Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to put on the Inaugural Family Fishing Festival and Buddy Bass Tournament Sept. 9 to celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks and showcase one of Pilot Point’s most popular attractions.
The combination festival and fishing tournament is something Pilot Point Chamber Executive Director Evon Lusk said has been in the works for some time now. Initial plans to put the event on started over a year ago, but the opportunity to partner with Ray Roberts Lake State Park and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on their 100th birthday was too good an opportunity for the Chamber to pass up.
“Initially, we had wanted to have it last year,” Lusk said. “However, [Ray Roberts Lake State Park complex Superintendent Robbie Merritt] shared that Texas Parks and Wildlife would be celebrating their 100 Year Anniversary series of events this year, and it was just a no-brainer to pause for the opportune time to introduce what has evolved into the Inaugural Family Fishing Festival & Buddy Bass Tournament.”
At the heart of the festival is the Buddy Bass Tournament, an open competition that welcomes anglers from all over to compete. Enticing prospective competitors is a first prize of $3,000, plus $2,000, and $1,000 for second and third place, respectively.
The tournament also features an optional Big Bass Pot. Anyone wishing to throw their line in the water can buy into the competition for $20 per angler. The two competitors that haul up the largest bass in the tournament will split the final pot 60/40 between first and second place.
The event will take place at the Isle du Bois Unit of Ray Roberts Lake, showcasing one of the largest tourist attractions anywhere around Pilot Point. While anglers battle it out on the water, food trucks, vendors and interactive booths hosted by the TPWD will set up shop on the shore.
With big money on the line in the tournament and a bevy of supplemental activities, the Chamber hopes the fishing tournament will draw a crowd to display the recreational activities Pilot Point and Ray Roberts Lake State Park have to offer.
“The Chamber seeks to lure anglers and engage our community and area to celebrate and appreciate what we have in our own backyard,” Lusk said. “Our sponsors have been excited about this event since we began promoting it last year, and they are happy to see that it is finally coming to fruition. Lake Ray Roberts is part of our identity, and we want to increase this awareness and expand on embracing the lake lifestyle.”
Lusk said the Chamber has already received multiple signups for the fishing tournament. Registration for the tournament has already begun and is open until Sept. 3 for $120 per team.