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World Cup of Fishing Covers All Anglers

May 28, 1994

ATLANTA (AP) _ The World Cup of Fishing offers everyone a chance to be a champion.

Anglers can choose a favorite fish, lake and bait. A boat isn’t necessary, and anything from a cane pole to a graphite rod can be used.

The tournament opens June 1 nationwide.

There’s no entry fee, but entrants must have an entry kit, which costs $10 at K mart. One kit lasts the whole tournament.

Eligible species are bluegill sunfish, brook trout, brown trout, crappie, channel catfish, chinook salmon, lake trout, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, perch, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, striped bass and walleye.

″We tried to pick the 15 most popular species in North America and I think we have,″ said David Abbott, president of Bass Brothers Fishing Network, producers of the event.

From the expected thousands of entries, there will be daily winners of $200 in every state and province, regional championships and eventually a national championship tournament with $1 million to the winner.

Here’s how it works:

Get an entry kit and go fishing in any fresh-water pond, stream or lake. If something is caught that’s big for its species, it should be measured and photographed.

Three pictures are needed - one showing the angler holding the fish full length, one showing the fish being held down against the measuring tape in the kit, and one showing the head of the fish, close-up, on the measuring tape. Complete instructions are in the entry kit.

The fish can then be turned loose to fight another day.

A toll-free number listed in the kit should be called to enter the fish.

Winners are based on how the fish compares with the average for the species in their state.

That means, for example, a largemouth bass from Michigan won’t have to compete with a largemouth from Georgia, where the world record fish was caught.

″We assign length factors based on state and provincial records and discussions with fish biologists in every state and provence,″ Abbott said from his headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Each entry is recorded in the computer and the length factors are updated weekly.

A fish gets a point score based on its relationship to others of its species in the state where it was caught.

A largemouth bass from California, for example, would score 1,200 points if it were 30 inches long. But in Michigan, a 23 1/2 -inch fish would score 1,200 points.

Abbott said it probably would take bigger fish to win the $200 daily awards on weekends than during the week because more people would be fishing.

The competition lasts two months, followed by regional tournaments in August. They will be at Minaki, Ontario; Brainerd, Minn.; Traverse City, Mich.; Grand Lake O’Cherokees, Okla.; and Kentucky Lake, Ky.

Five winners from each regional go to the championship, Sept. 3-4, at a site to be announced.

At the regionals and the finals, the rules change a bit. Eligible fish will depend on the lake where the tournament is held. It will be a one-fish tournament. The angler with the highest-point fish wins.

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To get an entry kit by phone call 1-800-FISH BIG

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