Kris McDavid Miramichi Leader
March 25th 2015
Big-money prizing is always a surefire way to grab people’s attention and organizers of the city’s upcoming striped bass derby are hopeful the injection of some cold, hard cash will sweeten the pot enough to put the event over the top.
The Miramichi Striper Cup, being organized by the City of Miramichi in partnership with New Brunswick-based professional bass fisherman Jeff Wilson from May 29-31, is being billed as the largest bass fishing tournament in Atlantic Canada this year.
Some additional details to the tournament format have now been spelled out, including confirmation of a $10,000 purse that will be up for grabs.
“As far as money prizes go in Atlantic Canada, this is probably the biggest money prize tournament out there,” said Jeff MacTavish, the city’s director of economic development and tourism.
Cash prizes will only be awarded in the competitive division, with the first place team walking away with $5,000 top prize.
Second place will garner $3,000, with the third place team receiving a total of $1,500. Fourth place will be awarded $500.
Individual prizes will also be handed out in the amateur shoreline and youth divisions, where participants will be asked to submit photos of their largest catch of the day, which will ultimately be evaluated by tournament officials.
Participants will be given a special measuring device to ensure accuracy and fairness.
Fish caught in the competitive division, by contrast, will be measured and weighed at a designated station. Each team, consisting of up to four members, will be allowed to weigh up to two fish for each day of the competition. Boats will be launched from Ritchie Wharf, which will serve as the operational hub of the tournament.
Registration is $150 per team in the competitive division and just $20 for any of the individual shoreline categories.
“The pricing (in the competitive division) is basically, if you have four people in a boat, almost two-to-one compared with the shoreline – you pay more but your prize pool is much larger as well,” MacTavish said. “The shoreline division is meant to be for fun but we expect to have some great prizes for those folks too, so it’s all falling into place.”
MacTavish reiterated that once he hears back from the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans regarding the city’s request for variances in order to allow the tournament to take place, organizing efforts will ramp up even further.
Still, he said he’s confident the tournament will be granted all of the requisite sanctions.
In the meantime, he said organizers are working heavily to promote the event throughout the region.
MacTavish said the Striper Cup will be setting up an exhibit at this weekend’s New Brunswick Sportsmen Show taking place at the Moncton Coliseum.
A complete list of rules, prizing details and other information can be found on the event’s new website, which can be found at miramichistripercup.ca.
MacTavish said additional information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.
The city has set aside $95,000 to help organize the event. It expects those expenses to be offset by a projected windfall of about $400,000 in economic spinoffs the tournament would generate within the community through all of the activity that would be taking place in the city that weekend.
In terms of direct revenues, the city is conservatively estimating a return of just over $70,000.
Organizers are hopeful that numbers approaching 200 boats and 1,500 individual competitors will take part in the tournament