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2017 Fishing Tournaments in the US

As warmer weather approaches and vacations near, it is time to think about summer fishing, and that sometimes means fishing tournaments. The warm and stable weather usually results in consistently good fishing.

A fishing tournament can be a big part of summer or vacation fun. Most people fish just for the fun of it, however, there are some who plan vacations around tournaments. These tournaments usually are broken down into two main types: bass and saltwater. Below are some tournaments that we think are the best of the best for 2017.

infographic: 2017 fishing tournaments in the US

Bass Fishing Tournaments

35th Annual WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby

There are so many bass tournaments that there are literally too many to mention. However, the annual Lake Havasu City Striper Derby stands out. It’s great for both novice and experienced fishermen and includes cash prizes, raffle prizes, a casting contest, and more. Last year the big fish winner was a monster 36.15 lb Lake Havasu striper.

When: May 13-14, 2017

Where: London Bridge Resort, 1477 Queens Bay, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Entry Requirements: Starting at $175/team

Prizes: $23,000 custom 16 Klamath with a Suzuki 40hp 4-stroke motor and trailer, cash prizes, sponsor prizes, and trophies.

For more info: https://www.wonews.com/c-29-2017-lake-havasu-striper-derby-may-13-14-2017.aspx

The Big Bass Splash

Considered the world’s biggest amateur largemouth bass fishing tournament, the Big Bass Splash tournament is held at different locations throughout the year, is geared to everyday anglers, and provides fishing and family fun for everyone. See locations below. For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

When: March 31-April 2, 2017

Where: Goosepond Bait & Tackle, 417 Ed Hembree Dr, Scottsboro, AL, 35769

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $215,000 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; grand prize and cash prizes through 5th place; $105,000 in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-guntersville-2/

Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas

When: April 21-23, 2017

Where: Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway, Brookeland, TX 75931

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $590,00 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; 2017 Ram Truck; grand prize and cash prizes through 5th place; $171,150 in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-sam-rayburn-2/

Lake Toledo Bend, Louisiana

When: May 19-21, 2017

Where: Cypress Bend Park, 3462 Cypress Bend Dr. Many, LA 71449

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $490,000 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; 2017 Ram truck; grand prizes and cash prizes through 5th place; $171,150 in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-toledo-bend-2/

Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee

When: June 10-11, 2017

Where: Point Park, Chickamauga Drive, Dayton, TN, 37321

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $30,000 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; grand prizes and cash prizes through 5th place; $40,250 in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-chickamauga-2/

Lake Fork, Texas

When: September 15-27, 2017

Where: Lake Fork Marina & Hotel, 275 County Road 1558, Alba, TX, 75410

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $475,000 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; 2017 Ram Truck; grand prize and cash prizes through 5th place; $171,150 in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-fork-2/

Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas “Fall Shootout”

When: October 21-22, 2017

Where: Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 Sam Rayburn Pkwy, Brookeland, TX, 75931

Entry Requirements: 1 Day- $160; 2 Days- $210; 3 Days- $260 (Per person at time of registration)

Prizes: $168,000 guaranteed in cash and prizes; 2017 Triton 19 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Mini Kota, Lowrance, Navionics, and Power Pole; grand prize and cash prizes through 5th place; $71,400  in hourly payouts; and more.

For more info: http://sealyoutdoors.com/payout-lake-sam-rayburn-shootout-2/

36th Annual LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby

Hundreds of anglers compete for the top spot every year in the LCI Annual Father’s Day Fishing Derby, held this year on June 17-19. You can enter a variety of fish including smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, largemouth bass, and carp. Once weighed, the fish are released back into Lake Champlain.

When: June 17-19, 2017

Where: Multiple weigh-in stations throughout Lake Champlain, NY and VT

Entry Requirements: Registration fees start at $35 per angler, and go up to $125, which gets the angler into all the cash categories.

Prizes: Past prizes have included a Sylvan Mirage Cruise-N-Fish pontoon boat, $3,000 first place prize in species categories, cash prizes for 2nd-10th place, bonus prizes, raffles and drawings, and awards.

For more info: https://www.mychamplain.net/FathersDayDerby

Saltwater Fishing Tournaments

Miami Sportfish Tournament

One of the premier sport fishing tournaments, the Miami Sportfish Tournament features a raffle for a 25' T Contender Boat with twin Yamaha 150 4-stroke engines, and almost $80,000 in cash prize money. Prizes are awarded for inshore and offshore divisions and include species such as sailfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, kingfish, cobia, and mutton snapper. The kickoff party will be held May 4, and the fishing competition May 5. Miami Sportfish has donated more than $740,000 to Marine Conservation organizations and educational programs during the last 35 years.

When: May 4th & 6th, 2017

Where: Miami Beach Marina, 300 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Entry Requirements: Starting at $500/team, with optional added value categories

Prizes: Raffle for a 25’ T Contender Boat with twin Yamaha 150 4 stroke engines, almost $80,000 cash prize money, and awards for inshore and offshore divisions.

For more info: http://miamisportfish.com/

59th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

Once upon a time, catching a blue marlin off the North Carolina coast was considered a fisherman’s tale. Now the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is considered by many the “Super Bowl” of saltwater fishing tournaments. Held June 9-17 in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, what was once a competition consisting of a handful of charter boat captains has grown into a Gulfstream tradition.

When: June 9-17, 2017

Where: Morehead City, NC, 28557

Entry Requirements: Starting fee Level I $2,500, optional fees for additional levels

Prizes: Competition purse of more than $1,900,000; prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in many entry levels; and awards.

For more info: http://www.thebigrock.com/

44th Annual White Marlin Open

With the motto “Records are meant to be broken,” the White Marlin Open is the largest billfish tournament in the world. Held in Ocean City, Maryland, on August 7-11, the tournament attracts hundreds of boats and thousands of anglers from all over the world. Over the years the tournament has become a huge spectator event, with large crowds gathering to watch the weigh-ins and join the family-friendly atmosphere of food, drinks, vendors, and artists.

When: August 7-11, 2017

Where: Harbour Island, 1399 St. Louis Ave., Ocean City, MD, 21842

Entry Requirements: Base entry fee $1,000 per boat, plus fees for added skill levels

Prizes: $4,450,000 tournament purse; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes for heaviest catch in species categories; and points awards.

For more info: http://whitemarlinopen.com/

58th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament

If it’s a world record you are looking for, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is the place to be. If 5 days of fishing in Kona, Hawaii isn’t enough of a draw, the tournament adheres strictly to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) rules for world records, so any monster catches can be submitted. This year’s tournament will be held September 9-17. The tournament is unusual in that the anglers are not fishing for prize money. Instead points are awarded for catches weighing more than 300 lbs of blue marlin and black marlin, as well as more than 100 lbs of yellowfin (ahi) tuna. The anglers are hoping to catch one of the tournament’s prestigious trophies.

When: September 9-17, 2017

Where: Pier 38 Commercial Fishing Village, 1133 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu, HI, 96817

Entry Requirements: Starts at $4,200 for 2 angler team

Prizes: No prize money, chance at a world record, and team and individual trophies.

For more info: http://hibtfishing.com/

The 2017 Del Brown Permit Tournament

The Del Brown Permit Tournament held July 8-11 in Key West, Florida is worth a mention. The tournament honors the late fishing legend, Del Brown, who popularized fishing for permit with a fly rod, and caught 513 permit on fly during his lifetime. The angler who catches the highest total inches of permit earns the title of grand champion, with awards also going to the grand champion guide, runner-up, and the angler who catches the largest permit.

When: July 8-11, 2017

Where: Hurricane Hole, 5130 Overseas Hwy., Key West, FL, 33040

Entry Requirements: $1,200 per angler, the field is limited to 20 boats

Prizes: Awards include bronze sculptures by South African sculptor Chris Bladen, and original paintings by Jorge Martinez.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/630825070449998/

Are you planning to attend any of these fishing tournaments, or another event in the US this year? Tell us about your plans in the comments.

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