FLW Series Championship reeling in business

For the first time, Paducah is hosting an FLW Series Championship tournament this Thursday to Saturday. The tournament is bringing in hundreds of anglers to the Ohio River and providing an economic boost for the community.

Professional angler Casey Martin says he likes the convenience of competing in Paducah.

“It’s one of the better places to come, actually. It’s easy to get from ramp to ramp. There are a lot of ramps up and down the rivers,” Martin said.

The easy accesses to the river, along with the new Ohio River boat launch, are factors Paducah-McCracken Convention Visitors Bureau Sales Director Fowler Black hopes will encourage more fishing tournaments.

“Other players in the fishing industry certainly start to understand you can pull things off. We have been getting new calls already,” Black said.

Black says to host the tournament costs $35,000, but the direct economic impact is about $700,000 through people staying, eating out, and fueling up in Paducah.

“Anytime you can get into sports tourism, or any kind of tourism that is aligned with your identity as a destination, it’s going to be a positive impact,” Black said.

Black says economic impact to the community could be as much as $1.2 million through their publicity on the FLW tournament’s live streaming and in national magazine exposures.

Black hopes by the end of the week anglers will also see Paducah as a top fishing destination.

“This is the best pool along the river for fishing,” Black said.

Anglers will be going after a top prize of $50,000 in cash plus a boat. Weigh-ins Thursday and Friday will be down at the foot of Broadway Street at 3 p.m.

Saturday’s final weigh-in will be at the Wal-Mart on Hinkleville road at 4 p.m. The first 50 kids age 14 and under who go to that final weigh in will receive a free Zebco rod and reel.

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