OHIO VALLEY — The American Bass Anglers Tournament Trail is set to return to Gallipolis.
The ABA Trail offers amateur anglers a chance to compete on a national trail and earn points towards the national tournament, which puts the 500 best anglers in the country in competition.
“The American Bass Anglers Tournament Trail is the largest tournament trail in the nation for the weekend angler,” said Barry Davis, director for the Ohio Central Division. “In our tournaments, you can enter as a boater or a non-boater, and through a blind draw the morning of the tournament you are paired together for a day on the water.”
The tournament on the Ohio River is an individual draw, so even though two fisherman may share a boat, they are still in competition against each other.
This tournament is one of the only southern qualifying tournaments in the ABA for the Ohio Central Division, drawing anglers from across the state as well as eager locals wanting to compete.
“We’re based out of central Ohio, and years ago I contacted several communities along the river because I wanted to give our anglers the chance to experience a different kind of fishing environment, and fishing on the Ohio River is definitely different than fishing on a man-made lake,”said Davis. “When I talked to then director of the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Bob Hood, we came up with an agreement, we came down, and we’ve been there ever since.”
The ultimate goal for anglers in the ABA is the national tournament, which will draw 500 of the best anglers. Winners in various categories at that tournament win brand new Triton bass boats and the top twenty percent of the field.
“What’s nice about the river is, anglers are not limited to the Gallipolis pool. They can lock up the Kanawha or up river, but if they’re late that’s on them. What’s nice is you have so many miles of water to fish and you have largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass down there, so you get a variety of fish,” said Davis.
This is the only tournament in the Ohio Central Division that is held on a Sunday, due to the reception that GCCVB holds on Saturday evening for the anglers and tournament organizers.
Anybody is eligible for the tournament, however they must register as an ABA member and the tournament, both of which can be done by visiting americanbassanglers.com. Fishing starts at sunrise (5:45 a.m.) on June 24, with weigh in at 2:15 p.m.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.