Put two anglers in a fish bowl and they will compete to see who can catch the biggest goldfish. Put thousands of anglers on waterways across the country and they will compete to win piles of cash and tons of prizes.
Angler Combat is a new online tournament that challenges anglers to catch the five largest bass in 28 days. The tournament is broken down into Land, Boat and Kayak divisions. These divisions are separated into North and South regions. For $10 each month, an angler can register online to compete against other anglers in his division and region.
Then the angler can fish anywhere and anytime for the largest bass. He records each fish using the iAngler app, which keeps track of who is leading and where each angler stands. At the end of the month, the angler with the five largest bass in the division wins big bucks and bad-ass prizes.
The tournament is the brain-child of Terry Manley, owner of Manley Rods and host of the Kayak Bass Series tournaments. While he took inspi- ration from other rolling nationwide tournaments, he is excited that this ef- fort provides live scoring and real-time results. “The key to the tournament is the iAngler app,” he says.
The iAngler app allows tournament participants to photograph their catch on a measuring device then submit the photo and catch information to tournament officials. Standings are updated instantly. “Each angler has a page in the app with stats like the back of a baseball card,” Manley explains. This allows fans to follow the action and participants to keep an eye on the competition.
“We’ve received hundreds of emails from anglers excited about the next month’s tournament,” Manley crows. For 2017, he expects to add State divi- sions and include red drum and striped bass tournaments. He hopes to offer a $10,000 monthly payout for each division. “As participation grows, so does the payout.” He also wants to add up to a $100,000 raffle prize for anglers who fish six consecutive months. And, he hopes the tournament will spread to United Kingdom, China, Canada, Australia, South America and Japan.
This new format offers some special challenges for anglers and the bass. To make it easier on the bass, keep the fish on a fish grip in the water while preparing the phone and measuring device. Then, measure the fish with wet hands and return to the water. Leave the bass on the fish grip until data is submitted and received.
For the best shot at winning, fish often and fish hard. Manley recommends anglers fish as much as possible in the 28-day tournament period. He also suggests sending in photos immediately. “You don’t want to take a chance losing your phone and losing the pictures,” he points out. Manley also points out that there is no limit on the number of fish that the angler can submit. So, the best way to win is to fish more often.
Ric Burnley is the editor of Kayak Angler magazine.
This article first appeared in the January issue of Paddling Magazine. To read the entire issue, click here.