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Anglers Can Win $1 Million In The First Major State-Sponsored Fishing Tournament In More Than 20 Years
“Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge” will run June 3 through July 18
ANNAPOLIS —Take note Maryland anglers: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that it will be hosting its first major sportfishing tournament in more than 20 years. The Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge will run from sunup on Friday, June 3 to sundown on Monday, July 18, and is sponsored by Boater’s World and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). Through the Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge, DNR hopes to demonstrate the productivity, diversity and value of its fisheries resources, while at the same time generating excitement for fishing in Maryland.
“It’s amazing what people will do, eat or perform for a million dollars these days – just watch any of the reality television shows,” said C. Ronald Franks, DNR Secretary. “We thought offering people the chance to win $1 million while doing something as fun and close to home as fishing on the Bay would be the perfect way for them to seize the day in Maryland.”
The Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge is open to everyone who is legally licensed to fish in Maryland, fishing in one of Maryland’s License Free Fishing Areas, or fishing on one of Maryland’s three Free Fishing Days (June 4, 11 and July 4). There is no registration required, no fee to participate and no age restrictions. Youth anglers are encouraged to try and catch one of hundreds of tagged striped bass, Atlantic croaker, largemouth bass and white perch that will be released into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Anglers who catch one of the specially tagged fish will be entered into a drawing to play for the $1 million prize on Saturday, July 23. Individual fish may also be worth an immediate prize.
"It's the fun and excitement that draws fishermen to fishing tournaments, as well as the pride of catching a big fish and the thrill of winning big money. Having a chance to win $1 million is indescribable for a fisherman," said Jay Jolly, Vice President of Boater's World Marine Centers. "We are thrilled to be sponsoring such an innovative and unique fishing tournament.
Each year our company sponsors over 100 tournaments across the country because they get fishermen to go fishing. The Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge will be one of our biggest events of the year and is guaranteed to get fishermen out on the water."
Sport fishing tournaments have a long tradition on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The vast majority of these tournaments have been privately sponsored. Some are held for fun, others to challenge skill and ability, and still others for the chance to compete for prizes and money. Anglers may remember the Catch a Fortune Contest or Governor’s Cup Challenge of the 1980s – a few may recall “Diamond Jim,” which offered a cash prize of $25,000 in the late 1950s. These contests were highly popular, and the concept of a contest for a big money fish is even more appealing today.
“Fishing is an important recreational opportunity for our visitors and residents to enjoy. We look forward to many more visitors ‘Seizing the Day Off’ to enjoy not only fishing, but the many great other recreational opportunities that Maryland has to offer,” said Dennis M. Castleman, Assistant Secretary of Tourism, Film and the Arts.
DNR has created a special content area on its DNR Online website for the Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge, http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fish4cash/ that includes everything from contest rules and FAQs, to how and where to fish in Maryland and why it’s important to use circle hooks. In addition, bait and tackle and other fishing-related businesses are encouraged to be a part of the Challenge by becoming fish sponsors. Anyone interested can also find that information on the Challenge web page.
May 9, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s mission is to attract new businesses, stimulate private investment and create jobs, encourage the expansion and retention of existing companies and provide businesses in Maryland with workforce training and financial assistance. The department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development, international trade and tourism. Because they are a major economic generator, the department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit www.choosemaryland.org.
Boater's World Marine Centers, headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland, is the second largest marine retail chain in the United States. With over 110 locations, Boater's World specializes in fishing, electronics, watersports and cruising for both small and large boaters. Boater's World, started in 1988, operates boating and fishing superstores in busy boating areas coast to coast. Boater's World is a division of Ritz Camera Centers, the nation's largest photo retail specialty chain.