Carp fishing, music, beer garden all featured at 10th Annual Red - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carp fishing, music, beer garden all featured at 10th Annual Redneck Fishing Tournament


The 10th Annual Redneck Fishing Tournament returns to the Illinois River this weekend with events and entertainment running Saturday through Monday.

“The flooding earlier this summer forced a delay, but we’re back and ready for another great event,” said organizer Betty Deford. “I’d invite everyone to check us out and come have some fun, and maybe learn a little about the river and these horrible fish this weekend.”

In addition to the fishing, there are bands, charity raffles, food booths and a beer garden  at the Redneck Fishing Tournament.

A schedule of events and entertainment can be found by clicking here.

Bath is located south of Havana along the Illinois River in Mason County.

Deford started this tournament a decade ago to fight back against the invasive Asian carp that had choked local stretches of the Illinois River. The sound from boat motors causes the fish to propel themselves out of the water several feet. Boaters crossing a school of the fish might suddenly be pummeled by dozens of flying carp.

There are two heats on Saturday and again on Sunday during which teams motor up and down the river trying to net -- no fishing poles allowed -- or knock as many flying carp into their boats as possible. The tournament annually removes thousands of the invasive carp.

“If you don’t have these invasive fish in your area, you want to keep them out. Now that they’re here, this is our way of taking back the river, if only for a weekend,” Deford said.

A regular pole-and-bait contest for kids is scheduled for Monday.

State and federal governments are spending millions of dollars trying to stem the carp invasion and keep them out of Lake Michigan, where they would decimate commercial fishing just as they’ve done along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

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