Tri-Cities boat dealer offers $ 100,000 prize to fisherman who catches tagged bass in South Holston Lake
SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tennessee (WJHL) – A local boat merchant is giving a lucky fisherman the chance to catch the fish of his life this month.
According to Watson’s marine director Rex Pendergrass, a smallmouth bass named “Ol Walter 2.0” will be tagged and released in South Holston Lake.
If someone catches bass between 12:01 am on June 12 and 11:59 pm on June 13, they will make $ 100,000.
Aaron Greene, owner of Watson’s Marine, told News Channel 11 that Ol ‘Walter will be released within a day of the start of the event to make sure he doesn’t get caught before the prize counts. The fish will be released to an undisclosed location on the lake.
The prize is provided through a “hole-in-one” insurance policy that allows the giveaway to take place, according to Greene.
A phone number will be displayed prior to the start of the event which can be called at any time if Ol ‘Walter is caught.
Pendergrass says bass must be caught with a rod and reel, but no entry fee is required. Anglers can use live bait or lures in pursuit of Ol ‘Walter. Greene said the fish must be alive and shown to himself or to Watson’s Marine management to be checked.
Greene said he wanted to organize the event to encourage people to go fishing and also out of nostalgia. In the 1980s, a former Ol ‘Walter was released into the lake with the same price offered. Greene said he fondly remembers the excitement around the event and wants to recreate it.
The search for Ol ‘Watson was set for June 12 and 13 in part because June 12 is Tennessee Free Fishing Day, during which anyone can fish without a license. However, a fishing license will be required if you plan to catch the prize fish on Sunday June 13th.
TWRA told News Channel 11 that the Free Fishing Day initiative is a great way to introduce Tennesséens, and others, to the sport.
“The Free Fishing Day is a great time for families to get out, enjoy the outdoors and go fishing. It is for all family members, residents or non-residents. So now is a great time for people to go out and fish without a license, ”said Jason Harmon, director of communications for TWRA.
There aren’t many rules to follow on free fishing day, but there are limits, Harmon pointed out.
“Other than following height limit regulations and that sort of thing, you don’t need a permit, just go out and have a good time with your family, and that’s all Saturday June 12, and if you want to fish the following week, it is also free fishing week, so from June 12 to Friday June 18 children can fish for free, and you can find more information about it at tnwildlife.org too, ”he said.
Anglers are expected to flock to water bodies across the state on Free Fishing Day, so TWRA recommends safety measures.
“If you’re taking advantage of Free Fishing Day this year and you’re on a bank somewhere, just make sure you know who’s around when you go casting, don’t hang your sibling behind. You know, just make sure you know what you’re doing there, and if you’re out on the water on a boat, always make sure you’re wearing your life jacket. It is very important to stay safe, to wear your life jacket, but to have fun. Have fun this Saturday June 12, ”said Harmon.
As for the anglers who can’t wait to get out on the lake this weekend, few are as excited to get out on the water alongside their daughter and search for Ol ‘Walter 2.0 as Joe Cross.
“Well the $ 100,000 doesn’t hurt, and it’s another day on the water with my daughter, so it’s going to be a fun day, a fun weekend,” he said.
News Channel 11 asked Cross what would happen if he caught Ol ‘Walter.
“After the heart attack?” I don’t know, I would have broken up with [his daughter] number one, but maybe buy a boat, ”Cross said. “It’s going to be a fun day. We’ll see how it goes and hopefully someone gets lucky and captures Ol ‘Walter.
No registration is required to participate in the Ol ‘Walter hunt, but anglers are warned to get to the water early to grab a spot.