Tournament officials, community leaders bring professional fishing tournament to Lake Eufaula

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:45 PM CST|Updated: 23 hours ago
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EUFALA, Ala. (WTVY) - Major League Fishing officials spent last week scrambling to find a host location for a professional fishing tournament after Texas’ winter weather troubles.

After making some calls, the REDCREST 2021 tournament, which is part of the Bass Pro tour, came to Lake Eufaula for a five-day event.

The competition features the top 40 anglers of Major League Fishing.

“These are the best of the best,” said. Michael Mulone, Senior Director of Events and Partnerships for MLF.

The winter weather in Texas wasn’t the first snag for tournament officials. REDCREST 2021 was originally scheduled to be held for Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, but a cancellation affected those plans.

“It’s been a challenging couple of weeks here. We knew what was happening in Texas and the impounding storm. We had our eye on it. And because of it, we had to make some adjustments to get here,” Mulone said.

With tournament officials searching, Eufaula leaders, including the Chamber, LakePoint Marina and Mayor Jack Tibbs, stepped up to provide the accommodations.

“This is their championship. So they called us and said, ‘hey we’re in a tight, we need to move.’ Anytime they come, they’re going to showcase your city and your lake,” Mayor Tibbs said.

Tibbs says tournaments have a large impact on the community because the fishing industry brings in millions of dollars in revenue.

“There’s an immediate impact because of course they bring a hundred-plus people that are staying in the hotels, and going to our restaurants and shops and things like that, buying gas,” Tibbs said.

MLF is also live streaming tournaments, which provides national exposure.

“People all over the world are watching them catch fish on Lake Eufaula, so there’ll be ripple effect. People will hopefully want to come and visit Eufaula and fish because they’re catching them. They’re catching some nice ones out there,” Tibbs said.

The tournament field will be trimmed down to 10 fisherman by Thursday afternoon. The final fishermen will compete on Friday, with the top fisherman earning the championship.

“We’re looking to really highlight these great destinations across the country. And we’re so glad to come back to Lake Eufaula. We were here last year. And to come back and have another great event here,” Mulone said.

The winner of the REDCREST 2021 tournament will receive $300,000.

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