The 13th Annual Legends of Lake Fork Big Bass Tournament is set for this weekend, Friday through Sunday, with Lake Fork Marina as the headquarters. There are guaranteed cash and prizes totaling $320,000 this year.
Tournament founder Don Hampton is looking forward to another successful event. “I started this tournament for the businesses on Lake Fork and mainly for the Wish to Fish Foundation program I started 15 years ago,” Hampton explained. “We will take $5 from each entry and give it to the Wish to Fish program. This is an important and worthwhile program I am very proud to be a part of. There is nothing better than seeing the smiles on the faces of those kids when they catch a fish.”
The Wish to Fish Foundation caters to children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or have been involved in a life-threatening situation. The foundation, with the help of their sponsors, takes the child, siblings, and parents to Lake Fork for a fun-filled day at no cost to them. All meals, snacks, tackle, bait and lodging are furnished. The family is then taken fishing on a 26 foot pontoon boat and escorted by two emergency responder boats in case of emergency.
This tournament is open to all boats and models. It is not an owner’s tournament. The name of the event is based on Lake Fork being a legendary bass fishing lake.
All early entries will be drawing for a 2017 Legend bass boat powered by Mercury and MinnKota. If an angler missed the April 30 early deadline, there is still a chance to win.
“We will be paying eight places per hour with the first to be knocked out of seventh place receiving a $100 gift certificate from one of the sponsoring businesses. First each hour will be paid $500, second $400, third $300, fourth $200, fifth $175, sixth $150 , seventh $125 and first out of seventh a $100 gift certificate,” Hampton explained.
Anglers will compete for two boats for the two heaviest 24-inch fish and over-the-slot. One boat for heaviest under 16 inches and the one boat for the early entry drawing.
Hampton said entries will be taken at Lake Fork Marina Thursday from 2-10 p.m. Those wanting to fish just one day can enter Sunday from 5 to 6 a.m. Anglers can fish one, two or all three days and still have a chance for all the prizes.
Fishing hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with the first hour weigh-in with the 7 to 8 a.m. hour and ending with the 2 to 3 p.m. hour.