National fishing tournament reels in big money for Henry County

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Hundreds of anglers are hitting the waters this weekend in a unique fishing tournament.

It’s the biggest showdown in competitive kayak fishing and a chance for new anglers to get into the sport.

“This weekend, we have over 500 anglers. Right now, we have 527 unique anglers,” said Chad Hoover, founder of Kayak Bass Fishing. “We have two tournaments that are going on. We have Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship and the Kayak Bass Fishing Open.”

This is the third year Henry County has hosted the championship. This year, 37 states are represented in the competitions.

“They are going out to our restaurants and eating, they are staying in our hotels, our campgrounds,” Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said. “So it’s a tremendous impact — I would estimate a over a million-dollar impact — on our community.”

“It’s a more intimate experience,” Hoover said. “When you set your hook, it pulls your boat. When the fish kicks its tail and splashes water on you, it’s like fishing in 3D.”

If you want to watch, all you have to do is log on.

“You can go to and check out the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship and the Kayak Bass fishing On Kentucky Lake and you can see the guys as they are catching the fish all day long,” Hoover said.

Organizers said they are already planning to bring the championship back to Kentucky Lake next year.