Redneck Fishing Tournament reels in huge catch

The village of Bath removes thousands of invasive fish from Illinois River
Bath, Illinois tries to combat invasive fish
Bath, Illinois tries to combat invasive fish(25 News)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News) - This year’s Redneck Fishing Tournament was quite the catch. Over the two days of the tournament, the participants netted over 3,300 of the invasive copi. All the fish together ended up weighing a whopping 20,000 pounds.

Aside from removing invasive species, the tournament also brought more good into the community. Over $6,700 was raised for veterans’ charities with the help of the local VFW chapter in Havana.

The tournament is unique from others, because fishing poles aren’t used. The fish shoot up from underwater whenever a boat goes by, and the participants try to grab the fish out of the air with nets. The first place team alone were able to catch 346 fish in just two hours.

The event that began as a slightly futile, but fun way to fight back against the growing copi numbers, has grown to attract people from around the world. A media crew from South Korea made the trip to Bath for this year’s hijinks.

Tournament founder Berry DeFord was excited to have a fun way to help with a good cause. DeFord said “We’ve educated thousands of people about the very real dangers of these fish getting in your waterways, raised money to help veterans and had a blast doing it. Can’t wait for next year.”

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