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Fishing tourney gave local economy $300K boost

The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce recently released figures related to the economic impact of the 5th Annual Mossy Oak High School and Junior National Fishing Championship. The Chamber report revealed the tournament’s economic impact to Carroll County was approximately $300,000.

“During the course of the tournament, we had 147 hotel room stays in Carroll County,” said Brad Hurley, president of the Carroll County Chamber. “We had 54 teams from 34 different states and Canada fishing the Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake.” Each team was comprised of two anglers and one boat captain.

The High School and Junior High National Championship began on July 30 with 1,500+ fishermen, parents and coaches coming to Bethel University in McKenzie for registration, rule briefing and banquet.


“Bethel University was excited to have 1,500 visitors on our campus for the registration and banquet; it was a great opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Dale Kelley, athletic director for Bethel University. “The Bethel Bass team is the top collegiate bass-fishing team in the United States this year.”

The Junior Tournament started fishing on Tuesday with the final weigh-in on Wednesday. The High School Tournament began on Thursday at Kentucky Lake with the final weigh-in on Saturday in Paris.

“The Carroll County Chamber is pleased to be a part of this tourism initiative that brings visitors and dollars to Carroll County,” said Hurley. “The impact was felt at convenience stores, hotels, restaurants, etc. This tournament truly creates a positive economic impact all across the county.”

The partnership between Bethel University, Villages of Paris and Henry County, Tennessee Department of Tourism and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is a great example of regional teams working together.

The national champions for the junior division were Trey McKinney and Carter Wijangco with a two day total of 17 pounds, 6 ounces. The two took home $2,000 in scholarship money along with Abu Garcia rods and reels. Second place winners, Jeremy Monda and Will Boyd, took home $1,000 in scholarship prizes along with Abu Garcia Veritas rods.

The teams were able to start fishing at the Carroll County 1,000 Acre Recreational Lake on Saturday and concluded on Wednesday. The five days of activities associated with the tournament proved opportunities for Carroll County businesses.

“We know Mallard’s, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Huck’s, Walmart, Huntingdon Pool, Court Theater, and Carroll Lake Golf course were beneficiaries of the tournament,” said Hurley.

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