The Superbowl is the national championship of professional football and The Crappie Masters National Championship Tournament is the national championship of crappie fishing. The difference is the Crappie Masters National Championship is right here in Clinton!
We are used to seeing boats at stop lights and hotels and restaurant parking lots in Clinton. You may have noticed the past few days more boats than normal with wild paint jobs and sponsor logos. The boats have sponsor logos because the fishermen and women who own the boats are professional, meaning they get paid to do what many of us do for a hobby.
Professional athletes are paid to play a game and these fishermen are paid to fish and in both cases, if you’re really good, you’re get paid a lot! The payouts for the Crappie Masters National Championship right here on our very own Truman Lake this weekend are in the HUNDRED$ OF THOU$AND$ OF DOLLAR$.
There are 500 professional crappie fishermen and women in and around Clinton fishing in the sports national championship which, due to the hard work and persistence of the Chamber and Tourism Committee, just so happens to be on Truman Lake in 2010.
Truman Lake is a great resource and provides significant economic benefit to the area. Events like The Crappie Masters National Championship bring money to the area and provides the area exposure.
I met with one of the event organizers and he shared with me that most of the fishing teams visit the lake hosting the national championship on average 9 times before the event. That’s 4,500 (500 fisherman x 9 visits = 4,500) opportunities for Clinton to make a positive impact and get into someone’s wallet. If each of the 500 individuals only spends $55 each time they visit, the area will benefit to the tune of $250,000. If you’ve ever gone out to eat, filled the gas tank in both your truck and boat and rented a hotel room all in the same day you may realize that you’re going to need a lot more than $55. My point is, the impact to the area is probably better measured in millions of dollars rather than hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most of the fishermen have family or friends who will follow them to town and support the event and they will spend money as well. The tournament weigh-ins will be broadcast across the country so Clinton and Truman Lake get free advertising and people across the country will get to see how great we have it.
I got to spend some time with several of the professional fishermen and women yesterday and they had great things to say about Clinton and Truman Lake. They shared with me that people are friendly, the area is safe, the lake is beautiful and they plan to come back often. By my count there were fishing teams from 24 different states. I told them the weather we’ve had the past few days is normal and it’s like this all the time! It really has been “Chamber of Commerce” weather and we would not have ordered it any different even if we could.
If you are in the area Saturday I’d encourage you to stop by Bucksaw Marina at 3:00 p.m. for the weigh-in. Afterall, how often do you get to go to the Superbowl.
Do you think this fish will win me anything???