McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 19, 2014

Tuesday Night Jackpot starts April 1

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — The Tuesday Night Jackpot will kick off its 2014 bass-fishing season April 1 and will continue every Tuesday throughout the summer at Eufaula Cove.

Each night’s tournament will cost $10 to enter and will be a two-fish limit.

“I’m ready,” TNJ organizer and local angler Lester “Ripper” Wray said Tuesday.

Wray added that TNJ has been going on for more than 30 years, making it one of the oldest such tournaments in the area.

Wray said all but $20 of each night’s pot will be paid back to the angler whose two bass total the most weight. If the pot reaches $300 or more, it will be split between the winner and runner-up, with the winner taking 80 percent and the runner-up taking 20. This split, Wray said, is an increase for the winner from last season, when it was 70-30.

The remaining $20 each week will be put towards the end-of-season championship, which in the past has usually taken place in September. To be eligible for the championship, anglers must participate in at least five weekly TNJ tournaments.

Tournaments will start at 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday and continue until the specified weigh-in time, which Wray said he’d decide on each week. Anglers can find their fishing spots before 5:30 p.m., but actually fishing early could result in disqualification and barring from future TNJ tournaments.

“We don’t want any cheaters there,” Wray said. “We’ve kind of cleaned it up, and it’s probably the best it’s ever been.”

Along with weekly payouts for the top adult, a youth prize will be given out for anglers 14 and younger.

Each week’s results will be totaled together, then prizes will be handed out at the end of the season. Categories in which anglers can win prizes will be: biggest single largemouth bass caught during the season; biggest smallmouth bass; biggest Kentucky bass; biggest rough fish; most TNJ tournaments attended; most TNJ tournaments won; oldest fisherman; and total combined weight caught for all tournaments.

Wray said the specific nature of the prizes has yet to be decided, but in the past prizes have included new rods and reels or gift certificates. Kenny Beale of Beale Tire, Wray said, will sponsor the youth fishing competitions and has donated gift certificates for the weekly winners.

For more information, contact Wray at 918-470-2583.

Wray said, “Keep a sharp hook and a tight line, and I’ll see everybody on the water.”

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.