By Louie Stout
The Major League Fishing concept is coming to Michiana as part of the Indy League Fishing (ILF).
Lake Drive Marine will be the title sponsor of two Michiana qualifying series that kicks off in early April and could earn anglers berths in the Kahlo Cup held near the end of the year.
Lake Drive Marine, located in Coldwater, Mich., ran a “test” event last fall and it was an overwhelming success. The event was won by South Bend native Greg Mangus of Fremont, Ind.
“Everyone said it was the most exciting format they had ever fished,” said Lake Drive Marine President Jeff Uetrecht. “Based upon that excitement and overwhelming interest, we decided to sponsor two more qualifying series and an invitational this year.”
The field for the two series will be limited to 24 in each series and Uetrecht expects the events to fill up within a couple of weeks.
The Lake Drive Marine Series 1 runs May 5 and May 6 with the championship held July 1. A second series runs June 23 and 24 with that championship on Aug. 12. The top 6 finishers in each qualifying round advances to that series’ championship.
Those who have accumulated enough points get invites to the Kahlo Kup competition slated for late August.
The ILF also will conduct three other qualifying events elsewhere in Indiana. For more details, visit www.indyleaguefishing.com.
The Kahlo Kup brings together the highest finishing anglers in all of the ILF events where they will fish for approximately $7,000.
Here’s how each event works:
Only 12 anglers compete on mystery lakes in each of the two qualifying rounds of the two series. Entry fee is $250 and covers qualifying and championship rounds. There will be no payout for the qualifying round but those advancing to the series championship will fish for a $4,500 purse.
Uetrecht said lakes will be chosen from somewhere in the upper third of Indiana and anywhere in Michigan but kept secret until the day of the event. Contestants will be told where to meet the day before and the group will caravan to a lake within one-hour from the meet site.
Each angler must bring a marshal (who will be assigned to a different contestant). The marshal weighs and measures fish caught by the contestant in his boat and penalizes the contestant with 2-minute sit-down periods per violation based upon ILF rules.
Anglers fish three, two-hour periods. They fish a 12-inch size limit and fish are released after they have been recorded. There is no bag limit; every 12- inch bass caught is weighed and counted.
In addition, to the IFL events, Lake Drive will conduct a Lake Drive Marine Invitational October 21. The one-day event is open to 12 anglers – two of whom will be invited – and fished under the same IFL concept. The entry fee for that is $250 with a 2,250 payout.
All events will recorded and updated live on the ILF website.
More information and entry forms are available at www.indyleaguefishing.com.