WEST FRANKFORT — The Lake of Egypt, located in southeast Williamson County, will be the site for the Big Kahuna World Championship Bass Fishing Tournament, part of the Bass Widows Fishing Series.
In all, $1.3 million in prize money will be awarded throughout eight weekly qualifying tournaments leading up to the championship round, according to information from tournament organizers.
“This will be one of the largest prize money tournament series in America,”said Jody Perrotto, one of the event’s organizers and owner of the Johnny Bass Fishing Campus and Event Center at Egyptian Hills Resort, where tournament activities will be centered. “This is an incredible event to be held in Southern Illinois and an incredible amount of money to be won. If you can set the hook, you could be the big Kahuna and take home the $400,000 prize.”
The tournament starts Oct. 2. Registration for the tournament began July 15.
To qualify for the championship tournament, fishermen must place in one of the top 15 positions during any one of the eight qualifying tournaments; qualifying tournaments are held each week leading up to the championship, the news release said.
First place in the qualifying tournaments pays $20,000, the release said.
“There will be a total of 120 entries competing for the championship,” Perrotto said. “Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 15 finishers.”
Prizes range from $400,000 for first place to $2,000 each for 13th through 15th place.
Lake of Egypt is a 2,300-acre reservoir located about seven miles south of Marion, just off Interstate 57.
It has 93 miles of shoreline. The lake’s average depth is 19 feet with a maximum depth of 52 feet.
There is a $2,000 entry fee for the qualifying tournaments.
Each qualifying tournament will be limited to 125 two-angler boats.
“Anglers wanting to participate are included on a first-come basis and should enter early, as we are receiving inquiries from all over the country.” Perrotto said.
For more information: www.basswidowsfishing.com or the Fishermen’s Information Line at 995-2151 or (708) 669-4988.