Bassmaster Elite Series Creates Positive Economic Impact For Cherokee County
LAKE TENKILLER, Oklahoma - Dozens of the bass fisherman are competing at Tenkiller Lake in this year's Bassmaster Elite Series.
Having the Bassmaster Elite Series here in Oklahoma doesn't just help show off the stars' great fishing, it also gives the area an economic boost. 75 fisherman also showed up to the tournament.
"It puts us on the map as being a great fishery across the country and a real hot spot for tourism. It's really an exciting thing. A lot of our small businesses receive a lot of financial opportunity from them coming to town," Wes Nofire said.
Nofire with The Cherokee Nation says the the tournament will bring several hundred thousand dollars to the area.
"We are excited to see what kind of fish, the quality they catch out of this lake that still feeds many of our Cherokee families today," Nofire said.
The four day long tournament almost didn't happen because of springs flooding. The spring postponed it as it was originally meant to start in June.
"Unlike some sports, they just close their roof over their dome and get the competition on, we are at the mercy of mother nature," Eric Lopez said.
He also said when the tournament was pushed back, they moved it from Fort Gibson Lake to Tenkiller Lake.
"Safety is our utmost concern for the anglers. We didn't feel comfortable putting the anglers on Gibson. Thankfully we have a Great Lake here that we were able to move to at the last minute," Lopez said.
A champion will be crowned Sunday, September 22.