A bass fishing event is coming to Boundary Dam this month, but it will be different from what people are used to.
Bass Battles, sponsored by Tourism Estevan, is a catch photo release event that will be held from Sept. 18-27.
Event organizer Dallas Kirkpatrick said participants will use the MyCatch mobile app, which is a product of Anglers’ Atlas, the company that Kirkpatrick works for. When someone catches a fish, they take a photo of it, and the app will indicate the length in inches or centimetres.
“Basically you catch a fish, you take a photo of it on a measure board, and you release the fish. And the format for this tournament is it’s a 10-day tournament, and it’s your best five fish throughout those 10 days based on (cumulative) length in centimetres,” said Kirkpatrick.
Somebody from Anglers Atlas will review the picture of the fish before it’s approved.
People can catch as many fish as they want, but they can only enter the top five fish.
Once somebody signs up and pays the entry fee, they will be sent an information package, which includes details on the MyCatch app.
“The photo must be taken in real time. You don’t have the option to load an existing photo from your gallery, because when you take a photo with the app, that photo is time and date and GPS stamped, so you can verify when that photo was taken and where it was taken, so in this case, it has to be on Boundary Dam,” said Kirkpatrick.
The tournament has a maximum of 100 entries, and the payout will be based on the number of competitors. If it’s full, the payout for top spot will be $5,000. The top 10 finishers will receive a payout. Kirkpatrick said they have received some entries already, with some from outside of the community coming to participate.
Competitors will enter individually rather than in teams, but participants can fish from the same boat.
Since it is a catch photo release tournament, no fish will be kept in live wells, and all fish will be released live.
Kirkpatrick noted that the MyCatch app has existed for about 2 1/2 years, and it was originally designed to be a personal log book for tournaments. People could record their own catches and keep the information for themselves.
He’s been involved with Walleye Wars fishing tournaments, and took steps in the past year to include capabilities within the app to be a tournament platform. It was redesigned, with new features, and they have been running tournaments since the start of this season.
Catch photo release derbies have been around for a while, but they are growing in popularity amid the current pandemic. The development of MyCatch was fast-tracked due to COVID-19.
“So many of our existing tournaments in Saskatchewan, and all across Canada, were cancelled, especially in the first half of the season. We had put our plans into overdrive to make it possible and make it so that we could run events this year. Originally we would have been looking at the following season, but we fast-tracked our development so we could be where we’re at today in our development.”
To register for the event, visit www.bassbattles.ca.