The one-day tournament will include a $10,000 guaranteed purse with first prize pulling in $6,000. Proceeds from the tournament’s $200 entry fee will benefit the Ohio River largemouth bass stocking study being conducted by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The study, a five-year effort, began in June of 2007 with the stocking of largemouth bass fingerlings into embayments of the Ohio River. This study will determine whether stocking fingerling largemouth bass can be used to improve largemouth bass fishing in the Ohio River. The second phase of the study includes the evaluation of habitat in the Ohio River and possible plans for future habitat improvements.
“This is one of the largest bass stocking efforts that the Department has ever conducted in the Ohio River,” said Ryan Oster of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “It’s a great opportunity for local anglers to be able to play a role in improving the largemouth bass fishery in the Ohio River. Kentucky’s waterways are important not only for recreation but for our environment as a whole.”
Kevin Wirth, a former Kentucky Derby jockey and a member of Team Early Times, wanted to make an impact on his home state by helping to restore the Ohio River. Wirth and members of Early Times worked with the Derby tournament coordinators at B&J Marine to build a program that not only raised the profile of the Derby tournament but also gave something back to Kentucky’s fisheries.
“I travel the country competing in bass tournaments at some of the best lakes in the United States,” said Wirth, a resident of Crestwood, Kentucky. “I want to know that I can come home and find good bass fishing in my own backyard. Projects like the Largemouth Bass Stocking program help to ensure that we have good fishing in Kentucky for generations to come.”
Early Times and associate sponsors of the tournament will donate giveaways including an Early Times / Kevin Wirth custom rod and reel and fishing equipment from Berkley.
For an entry form to the Early Times Derby Tournament or to see the official rules, contact Dana Robertson at 502-664-3278 or [email protected] The cut-off for entry forms is April 18, 2008. Any entry forms received after April 18 will incur an additional charge of $50.