WATERVILLE — A locally filmed professional bass fishing tournament will help draw tourism dollars to central Maine by highlighting some of the prime fishing territory in the region, Chamber of Commerce executives predict.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Outdoor Channel will broadcast an episode of Major League Fishing’s 2015 Summit Cup race.

The episode was shot in Augusta on Messalonskee Lake in Oakland, Great Pond and Long Pond in Belgrade and China Lake in China.

“Every other region that has had them there has seen increases in bass fishing from out of state,” said Kimberly Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, which worked to attract the show and helped organize the event.

The chamber made a $10,000 investment in support of the event. Chamber staffers helped to handle logistical issues, including housing for the fishermen and making sure the boats brought to Maine for the event were properly licensed and equipped for use in the state.

The tournament brought some two dozen professional anglers to the area. Major League Fishing Spokesman Randy Coleman said they were surprised how many local bass fisherman turned out to watch the event.


“It was an outrageous amount of activity at the launch ramp,” he said.

At the time, Corey Vose, a local fisherman and organizer of an unrelated fishing tournament in the area, described the anglers as “the Tom Bradys of the fishing world.”

“They are the elite anglers and they’re here fishing on our waters, which has never happened before,” Vose, of Augusta, said.

The broadcast will give the area welcome exposure, including a segment about the Waterville area in general that will feature aerial drone photos, said Christian Savage, program manager for the chamber.

“It’s on a national scale, and it really shows our good fishing, so we’re hoping it will attract some tourism dollars down the road,” he said.

In addition to Saturday’s broadcast, Outdoor Channel will broadcast the two-hour episode at 4 p.m. Sunday and again at 10 a.m. Thursday. The season finale will be featured during a prime time broadcast at a later date on CBS.


Alabama angler Boyd Duckett, who fished in Maine for the first time during the tournament, said he was pleased overall with the fishing and the natural beauty of the area.

Over the past decade, Duckett and other professional anglers have been fishing northern lakes at least two or three times a year for tournaments.

“It’s really, really good bass fishing,” he said.

Major League Fishing features the nation’s top 24 professional bass anglers. Unlike other tournaments, there is no limit on the number of legal fish anglers can enter for weigh-in.

Anglers are not allowed to pre-scout lakes and rivers or begin the tournament with GPS way points leading to the best fishing spots.

Evan Belanger — 861-9239


Twitter: @evanbelanger

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