If you enjoyed the Big Bass Classic, you ought to love the next tournament with a format unique to this region.
Tee Roy Savoy of Coteau Holmes, who has guided the popular Big Bass Classic the past few years, has scheduled another Big Bass Classic with higher stakes for Sunday, May 31, at Lake Fausse Pointe out of Marsh Field Boat Landing. There will be hourly payouts for the first-, second- and third-biggest bass to hit the scale, just like the original tournament, plus a five-bass stringer pot with a caveat.
Savoy said he came up with the idea about two weeks ago and made the announcement a week ago Saturday.
“It should be fun. It’s just something to try, something different to see if it works,” he said Friday morning.
There’s only one thing that could derail the event, he said.
“If it rains as much as they say, we’re not going to have it if it screws up the lake too much,” the personable outdoorsman said.
The National Weather Service forecast for this area calls for rain today (60 percent), Monday (70 percent), Tuesday (70 percent), Wednesday (70 percent) and Thursday (60 percent).
Savoy said he plans to make the call Thursday.
Entry fee is $150 per boat. It can be paid at one of three registration tables set up under the pavilion the morning of the tournament.
Payout will be up to $6,000, $4,000 for the eight-hour big bass format and $2,000 for the five-bass stringer, all based on a field of 40 boats. All money raised with more than 40 boats goes to a charity. (Payout will be adjusted with fewer boats.)
“We could end up raising good money,” Savoy said.
As in the recent Big Bass Classic, anglers can leave the boat ramp after 5:30 a.m. but they can’t make the first cast until 7 a.m. The first hour ends at 8 a.m.
New to the tournament, each two-man team’s first five bass weighed/recorded will be combined for a total weight for stringer money, with no culling. That means the first five bass the team weighs will be the total weight for the day and each team won’t be allowed to take a sixth bass to remove a smaller one from the first five.
“I just added one more little twist to it. It’s a two-faced tournament. You can stick around and weigh in hourly or run to go for the stringer pot,” or do both, Savoy said.
He offered a tip for those considering the five-bass stringer: If you only weighed three nice bass for the day, keep a couple of smaller ones to complete your stringer at the end of the day.
The hourly payout is $250, $150 and $100, based on a 40-boat field. The five-bass stringer payout will be $1,000, $600 and $400, based on 40 boats.
He also said there won’t be sponsors or ditty bags for this event, which takes time and pressure off him and any helpers in the days leading up to the tournament.
All bass will be put in a release tank after being weighed and released later in the lake, he said, just like the original Big Bass Classic.
He has been pleased with the feedback since he posted the details on Facebook. At mid-week this past week, the reaction reached a new level.
“It was crazy. People I’ve never heard of were sharing it. I know what happened. Another 9-pound fish fired them up (see related story on this page),” he said with a chuckle.
I can’t wait to see how this turns out, if Mother Nature gives us a chance to fish Lake Fausse Pointe.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.