Nackawic preparing for bigger, better bass tournament

by | May 13, 2024

More entries, sponsors and the addition of a youth fishing derby highlight the 2024 Destination Nackawic Smallmouth Bass Open

Anglers from across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and other areas are heading to the Big Axe Community on May 18 and 19 for the bigger and better Destination Nackawic Smallmouth Bass Open. 

Speaking at the May 6 council meeting, Nackawic-Millville Mayor Tim Fox said the bass tournament committee is finalizing preparations for the exciting weekend event. 

“There’s a lot of moving parts coming together in the next week and a half,” Fox told the council. 

He said an added highlight to this year’s event is the youth fishing derby scheduled for Sunday afternoon, May 19. 

Fox added that the 2024 tournament will have a significant increase in participants compared to the approximately 60 teams that competed last year. 

“We have 76 signed up so far this year,” he said. “We expect to hit our target of 80.”

The Nackawic-Millville bass tournament lived up to its “Destination Nackawic” namesake last year. Pete Bowman and Angelo Viola of the popular fishing show Fish’n Canada featured the tournament and the St. John River angling opportunities. 

Fox added sponsorship for the bass tournament continues to grow, noting three boat manufacturers added potential additional prize money for any winners using their boat models. 

The 2024 tournament prize pool will deliver $15,000 to the Destination Nackawic champion, with $7,500 for second, $5,000 for third, $3,000 for fourth, $2,000 for fifth, $1,000 for sixth, $750 for seventh, $700 for eighth, $650 for ninth and $600 for tenth. Anglers finishing 11th through 20th take home $400 each. 

The daily lunker (largest bass of the day) can earn $1,250 for the winning team. 

Deputy Mayor Greg MacFarlane congratulated Mayor Fox, Tournament Lead Organizer Tanya Fox and the committee for their success in making the Destination Nackawic tournament an economic and sporting force for the community and the province. 

MacFarlane noted they achieved a significant part of the tournament’s goal of promoting sports fishing in the area. 

The 2024 Destination Nackawic Smallmouth Bass Tournament begins with an opening reception on Friday, May 17, at the Big Axe Brewery. The event will provide anglers with a review of the rules and a draw of starting positions. 

The fishing begins on Saturday, May 18, with boat inspection at 5 a.m., anglers’ breakfast at the Nackawic Lions Club at 6 p.m., and takeoff at 7 p.m. The weigh-in for the day’s catch begins at 4 p.m.

Sunday’s action follows the same morning itinerary with inspection, breakfast, and 7 p.m. take off. 

The Youth Fishing Derby Registration begins at noon, with the young anglers casting their lines between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Weigh-in for the bass teams begins at 4 p.m., with closing ceremonies and award presentations at 5 p.m. 

Nackawic-Millville’s deputy mayor and mayor welcome the hosts of Fish ‘n Canada to the 2023 Destination Nackawic Smallmouth Bass Open. From left, Deputy Mayor Greg MacFarlane, Mayor Tim Fox, Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman. (Jim Dumville photo)

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