Hundreds of bowfishers, and total of 72 boats descended on Aurora, Kentucky over the weekend for a record setting Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship tournament.
Said BAA Points/Sanctioning Chairman, Amanda Nichols “Kentucky always has the biggest turnout for the World’s, but this year was the record year so far for turnout for any of the World’s tourneys. This is the biggest World’s to date and we would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the 2014 BAA World Championship. Without all of the bowfishermen and the supporters we couldn’t have done it. Big thanks to Marshall County for all the support and donations towards this event.”
The BAA’s World championship Tournament brings the best of the best bowfishers from across the country to compete for nearly 14,000 dollars in prize money. The first place winning teams in the Big 20 Division and Numbers Division both went home 3,000 dollars richer and payouts were also made to those in the top five slots.
But “The World’s” as it is referred to by bowfishers is much more than just another tournament, and just another purse. It’s a full blown weekend event that gives bowfishers from across the country a weekend together filled with friendship, fellowship and fun. For many it is the one event of the year where all of their bowfishing buddies are in one place.
For the communities that that host the World’s it’s a huge influx to the local economy. “It’s hard dispute what we bring in, when that guy with the truck and airboat walks into to your gas station and slaps 4 hundred dollar bills down just for fuel. “ Said Mark Lee, President of BAA. Lee pointed out the economic benefits to the community in dollars spent on lodging, meals, and trips to local shops for last minute items. Additionally local civic groups can help fill their organizations coffers by providing food, drinks, etc. at the tournament site.
At this year’s Worlds the Aurora Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary were kept hopping serving up food both before and after the tournament. “We are just thrilled to have the bowfishers in Aurora – we had the Kentucky State Shoot here earlier this year and we loved every minute of it. We couldn’t wait for the Worlds to get here. Our small community is suffering, just like so many, and the bowfishers bring us so much! “Said a representative from ladies auxiliary.
That sentiment was echoed by Tammy Nanney from nearby KenLake State Resort Park where “all those big bowfishing boats” were the talk of the resort guests and staff. Nanney pointed out that bowfishing at Kentucky Lakes is excellent, sporting some of the largest big head carp in the Midwest, and the myriad of available Kentucky State Parks lodging options from camping to cottages to resort level are always welcoming to those who plan a bowfishing vacation at Kentucky Lakes.
The tournament was truly a community affair, with many from Kentucky Lakes area coming out to talk with bowfishers, ogle the boats and equipment on display and to watch well-orchestrated take off of 72 boats.
Spectators gathered on piers below Kentucky Dam to watch tournament participants who were fishing the tailwaters
Companies and industries affiliated with the bowfishing community also recognize the importance of the World’s as a premier bowfishing event and provided excellent in kind and monetary support. For instance, PowerTran donated a full system as a prize in a side competition sponsored by their company.
PowerTran winners with representative Greg Pyle and tournament participant, and their new PowerTran system
This year’s successful BAA World Championship proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that bowfishing has arrived as an outdoor sport and is no longer considered fringe, redneck, or a bunch of goofballs with bows chasing fish in the dead of night. It requires specialized equipment, specialized skills, and is a great conservation tool for the removal of injurious and invasive species.
When the bowfishers arrive in your neighborhood – everybody wins.
For more information about bowfishing or the Bowfishing Association of America click here
Big 20 (twenty heaviest fish taken by each team) Division Top Ten
1st Tommy Woods, Hunter Woods, Scott Baxter - 585 pounds
2nd Gill, Taylor, Carlson
3rd Damian Loveless, Jermi Redden, Dennis Redden
4th Jo Lambert, David Lambert, Zach Lemire
5th Spiceland, Devine, Kitchens
6th Matt McGuyer, Chancy Crowell, Kenzie Taylor
7th Greg Pyle, Adam Hull, Josh Morris
8th John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg
9th TJ Johnson, Gary Johnson, Alex Mosley
10th Bryan Hughes, Mark Land, Jeff White
Numbers (total number of fish shot) Division Top Ten
1st Bubba Suggs, Shawn Hoelzeman, Jason Gibson - 341 fish
2nd Keith Roberts, Marty Marrett, Virgil Robinson
3rd Craig Wardlaw, Josh York, Brandon Carter
4th Clint Horn, Marcus Hayes, Ramon McDonald
5th John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg
6th Brian Little, Taylor Farrar, Bob Esper
7th Jerry Broadnax, Chad Sullivan, David Campbell
8th Monte Reid, Jordan Lancaster, Josh Terry
9th Nathan Bula, Matt Smazal, Brandon Cole
10th Tim Hunter, Mike Ellison, Eric Rowbatham
Big Fish Winner
John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg 51lb grass carp