Government Shutdown Keeps Locks Closed for B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament
The government shutdown is affecting people across the United States. In West Virginia it's even affecting some recreational sports, including the B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament.
The government shutdown is affecting people across the United States. In West Virginia it's even affecting some recreational sports.
Participants in the B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament were expecting to be able to fish from Marion County waters all the way up through Morgantown and more. But Jim Summers, Vice President of BASS Nation said that didn't happen because of the shutdown.
"We can't get through the locks to fish those waters," Summers said. "And a lot of those guys were anticipating the locks being opened because we had a agreement with the Corps of Engineers that they would open the locks for us this weekend."
The tournament had 88 fishermen in 44 boats.
Jerod Harman said they were expecting to bring in 10 pounds for weigh-ins but the average was only around six on Saturday.
"The river's been pretty tough this weekend for most people," Harman said. "The weigh-in yesterday was a lot less than what we expected. And after talking to the guys yesterday evening I think a lot of them were a little frustrated that all of us are stuck in one pool. It's making, the fish are feeling a lot of pressure from it."
The bass fishermen still had the same rules for the tournament. But most agreed they were disappointed that the locks were not opened for the event.
"They can still bring in unlimited bass, but it's harder to catch unlimited bass in this pool of water there's 44 boats out there," Summers said. "You'll see when we go down the river, these guys are going to be close together. They're fishing on top of each other."
"We feel that the government shutdown has really affected the tournament a good bit," Harman said. "Congesting us to one pool of water where we would normally have three it's made it really tough on the guys, it has made it tough on the fish, and it has made it tough on this area of the river."
The Opekiski and two other locks were shut down for the entire tournament. Participants are hoping that Somersville will be open for the B.A.S.S. Nation Statewide Championship on October 22.