Concordia Parish lakes will play host to the G.G. King Bass Tactix National Invitation on July 7-9 and the Miss-Lou area will reap the benefits.
The fishing tournament will bring in approximately $1.1 million to the local economy, help local and national youth and expose the area to a national audience, according to Bass Tactix Fishing Director of Operations Richard Parker.
Parker said when tournament participants and their families spend money it gives the local economy a boost when they come to the Miss-Lou.
“By the time we come in there and book hotels and eat at local restaurants and fix boats and flat tires, and mom and grandmothers go shopping, it all adds up,” Parker said. “Then you have to restock all that stuff.”
People from different regions of the country will give the Miss-Lou added exposure, according to Jim Allgood, owner of Miss-Lou Media and Mid-South Broadcasting and event organizer.
“These people are coming here to live, stay and play for probably up to seven days,” said Allgood. “All of these individuals will then take a piece of the Miss-Lou home with them for life, but they will also go back to their respective areas of the USA and other countries and they will speak loudly and boldly about the positive southern hospitality that our Miss-Lou lays out to them.”
“That is one economic impact that is unmeasurable because when you talk about national and global coverage of our area it is kinda hard to put a price tag on that.”
Those fishing in the tournament will be in the area Tuesday through Saturday. The event will see 150 teams who represent 250 to 300 families.
“With our program, you are getting a lot more impact in the community versus single tournaments,” Parker said. “With these kids, grandmas, grandpas, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles come.”
Teams of two will feature youth ages five to 18 from across the nation. Each team will fish Lake Concordia, Lake St. John and Black River Lake on different days during the tournament.
“They can have a partner from anywhere,” Parker said, of the teams. “We do not require a school nor a particular team to be from a particular area.”
It is an open tournament with recent high school graduates also participating, Parker said. Prizes, including scholarships, will be awarded to the top 15 spots.
First place team in the high school division will take home $2,500 cash and prizes plus an $80,000 scholarship. First place team in the junior division will take home a $40,000 scholarship.
In total, the tournament will award approximately $250,000 worth of scholarships, according to Parker.
Bass Tactix partners with LSUS, Kentucky Christian University, Montebello University (number one ranked bass fishing team) and Simpson University’s fishing teams.
Fishing could pay for a college education. According to Parker, several youth have signed with colleges to fish.
“(A fisherman) and his partner won and $80,000 scholarship last year,” Parker said. “When he signed with KCU … he got another $80,000 by himself. His parents are paying little to nothing for a four-year degree.”
Last year, the area hosted Bass Tactix’s state tournament. One hundred sixty-two youth from multiple states fished the event and $600,000 worth of scholarships were awarded.
According to Parker, the reason the organization came back was because of the support of the community.
“We appreciate people like Mr. Robercieux over at Lake Concordia and Mr. Charles Anderson with Shongaloo Outdoors, Mr. JimBob Allgood and Sonic of Natchez,” Parker said. “The entire community has been so supportive.”
“Because of that southern hospitality and that red carpet that was rolled out last year, our Miss-Lou area will probably see somewhere around up to 400 anglers come from all over America and somewhere around $750,000 in scholarships, cash and prizes,” Allgood said. “One hundred and sixty-two youth fished from multiple states because Mayor Buz Craft of Vidalia and Mayor Dan Gibson of Natchez, Vidalia Police Chief Joey Murrell, Sheriff David Hendrick and about 55 other partners rolled out the red carpet for these young men and ladies.”
A good friend
The national tournament is named after a good friend of Parker’s who worked with youth and was an ambassador of fishing: G.G. King.
“It didn’t matter where he was or what he was doing, he would drive hundreds of miles to take a kid fishing,” Parker said.
The Pierre Part, Louisiana native was killed in an accident near Toledo Bend. According to Parker, King was in his 1960’s when he tragically died and was still very vibrant.
For more information about Bass Tactix and how to sign up for the upcoming tournament go to www.basstacticsmhs.com.
“We’ve been blessed to work with Richard Parker for a number of years with our TV shows,” Allgood said.