Fishing tourney back on the hook


* Fulton leaders decide to give crappie tournament another chance.

Although Fulton leaders initially decided to let it go, it now seems the city’s would-be annual fishing tournament is back on the hook.

Last week, the Fulton Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to sponsor a second Crappie USA fishing tournament. The event, to be held in March, will be organized by Kentucky-based Crappie USA, a company which specializes in hosting similar fishing tournaments in more than 20 states.

The cost of the event is $3,000, plus expenses for advertising. This is a significant cut to the cost of last year’s tournament, which was approximately $6,000.

This decision represents a change of heart for the board, which in August voted against hosting a second Crappie USA fishing tournament following this year’s rain-soaked, underwhelming inaugural event. That event, held in March, drew a total of 24 professional teams and garnered $2,400 worth of registration fees, netting a loss of more than $3,000 for the city before the cost of advertising was taken into account.

When he spoke to the board in August, Larry Clark, a representative of Crappie USA, promised the first event would be the slowest. Not only do these kinds of tournaments require time to build momentum, he said, but the near-constant rain (and a smattering of sleet) played a hand in keeping people away from last year’s event.

The previous board had discussed hosting the tourney for at least three years to give it a chance to grow. It did not, however, enter into any form of official agreement about the matter, leaving open the option to back out. That option remains. The board will decide the future of the tourney based on this year’s attendance.

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