Does Spring make you think fishing? Michael Rogge, a well-known fishing guide and sportsman along with KiKi Bettis, Executive Director of the Wood County Industrial Commission, put the word out about an exciting new Lake Fork event when they visited the KSST studios on Tuesday February 5. In fact, the four-day Bassmaster “Texas Fest” Elite Tournament Festival is going to be for everyone of all ages from all around the lake!
As President of the Lake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce, Rogge combines his love of competitive fishing with a desire to bring an economic impact to every community that borders Lake Fork. “Let’s face it, the dollars that Lake Fork generates through tourism positively affects every community and town in Hopkins, Rains and Wood counties which border the lake. Our goal in planning the Texas Fest is to get all the communities to participate in this first-of-its-kind event. It’s expected to draw between 5,000 and 8,000 people. It will promote the fishing industry, the anglers, the lake and the points of interest that surround it.” Rogge also explained that the Bassmaster Texas Fest will be a major benefit to Texas Parks and Wildlife, and anticipating that effect, the Sabine River Authority has secured the use of the SRA lakeside complex as the event headquarters for the event, May 2-6, 2019. Rogge further explained, “this is the first time that Lake Fork has been asked to host a premiere-level tournament by a major association such as Bassmaster. They only hold eight Elite-level tourneys per year, and they have included Lake Fork for 2019. That’s important for us.”
During the black-bass fishing tournament, up to 80 competitors will participate in elimination rounds on Thursday May 2 and Friday May 3. On Saturday May 4, there will be a huge party atmosphere with food, music, fun activities and kids festival games as the tournament continues. City tourism departments, industry, business and civic organizations are all invited to set up booths to promote what they do to enhance this region. A very unique 5K “Dam Run” across the spillway is being organized, and Bassmaster-sponsored National High School Fishing Contest is planned on Lake for the top twelve teams from schools across the country.
If you are interested in getting in on the ground level or finding out more about the Bassmaster Texas Fest, contact bassmaster.com or [email protected], also the Wood County Industrial Commission at woodcountytx.com or 903-768-2402, or Emory Tourism at 903-474-3022, or any of their facebook pages.