On the same weekend (November Sat 21st and Sun 22nd) as the Korean Pro 2009 Bassmaster Classic, the same Bass Pro League (KSA – Korea Sportsfishing Association) held the Challenger Pro Bassmaster classic and an Amateur tournament. However, these two tournaments were only a 1 day event.
These Tournaments were also sponsored by the same main sponsor as the Pro tournament – Surecatch, a Korean Lure company.
First off I’ll talk about the Amateur tournament. This was a free to enter fun tournament where anybody could enter on the Sunday morning (same day as 2nd day as the Pro tournament). All entrants signed in at 6:30am and all received a free long sleeved t-shirt from the main sponsor (Surecatch), a weight card and a big clear plastic bag.
The rules for this tournament were simple;
• Fishing time, 4 hours – 8:00am until 12:00pm
• Fishing from the bank only
• 2 fish limit (the reason for the big plastic bag)
• 2 biggest bass is your final weight (reason for the weight card)
• Weigh-in time – anytime between 10:00am and 12:00pm
There were around 50 or 60 anglers entered into this amateur tournament (including myself). The start time was very cold and foggy, with temperatures lower than 30 degrees and there was ice around the edges of the lake, but once the sun came over the mountains and the fog lifted from the lake the temperatures reached a pleasant 45+ degrees.
All of the amateur entrants stayed close to the weigh-in area, so the banks were rather crowded, which I guess made the bass a little more spooky than normal. But the good thing about fishing in the weigh-in area is that all the bass released after every tournament is released in this same area. Some of the amateur guys made it work, and they caught some very nice fish around 4lbs, possibly fish released by the Pros on day one of the Pro tournament. I only managed one small bass of just over 1lb, but it turned out that that was enough to get me on the podium. Many of the other amateurs failed to catch a single bass, so I ended up in 5th place, claiming the last spot on the podium and winning a rod and reel combo worth $200 USD. The winner won prizes worth $1000 USD. Not bad for a free to enter tournament!!
Ok, now onto the Challenger Pro league Tournament. I’ll start with a little information regarding this league.
The Challenger Pro league is a league for Korean Pro anglers that don’t have access (or funds) to a large high powered bass boat. The Challenger Pros fish in smaller aluminum or inflatable boats powered by electric motors only and they fish in a closer area surrounding the boat launching area. These boats must have a fully functioning livewell installed as these anglers have a 3 fish limit and penalties are given for dead fish. They fish the same days as the Pro guys and on the same water, but they also fish a few extra tournaments around the country. The annual fees pay-in are a little less than what the Pros have to pay, but the pay-out is a little less also. The rules for the Challenger Pros are the same as the regular Pros, with the exception of having only a 3 fish limit rather than the usual 5 fish limit.
Now for the fishing results;
The challenger guys got going about 7:45am right after the Pros had blasted off to the distant parts of this long lake (Andong Lake). The challenger area is around 1 or 2 miles either side of the launching area (regular Pros are off limits here). Again as I said before, this area where the Challenger Pros fish is where all the big bass are released after every tournament, so there are some good fish up for grabs, but on this tournament day, due to the extremely cold weather front, the fishing was extremely tough. Of the 41 Challenger Pros fishing this tournament, only 12 anglers weighed in fish. There were no limits caught on this cold November day, only 11 anglers weighed in one bass and only one guy weighed in 2 bass. Weigh-in time was between 14:30pm and 15:00pm
Place Name Limit Weight Prize money
1 Kang HyoSik 1 1955g / 4.3lb US$1000
2 Park KiHyun 2 1670g / 3.7lb US$800
3 Lee SungYub 1 1590g / 3.5lb US$600
4 Kim MyungJin 1 1500g / 3.3lb US$400
5 Um GunSik 1 1260g / 2.8lb US$200
6 Kim HeeWon 1 1175g / 2.6lb
7 Ahn GyuYung 1 1170g / 2.5lb
8 Beng YungKwan 1 1020g / 2.2lb
9 Bae JongMan 1 855g / 1.9lb
10 Ban YongPil 1 840g / 1.8lb
11 Kim DalNyun 1 820g / 1.8lb
12 Jung HeeJin 1 440g / 1lb