Sit back. Put another log on the fire. This story has to be told!
June, 1987 I am spending some time looking at lures and some of the latest gadgets in a small
sport shop in La Crosse, WI. Stuffed off in a corner near the entry door to the store was a rather
classy looking display of tournament entry blanks for upcoming local and regional events. Down
near the bottom I found "one" that had been tacked to the bulletin board.
Usually there are stacks of entry blanks. Why only one? I read thru it and became interested in
what it had to offer.
In short it was an entry invite into a regional tournament that was to include entry's from three
states; Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. A nationally known Tournament competitor and Promoter
by the name of Euwl Parker had come up with the concept of "Match Fishing" and had sold the
idea for Syndication on National Television.
The concept of "Match Fishing" was as follows: Once eight Regional Champions could be
determined from across the United States he would host them all over a ten day period in
Clarendon, Texas and during this time he would "Match" the Champion from one region against
the Champion from another region in a heads to heads filmed, timed, refereed, duel to determine
the winner, and then those winners would again be "Matched" until finally only one man would be
left standing and he then would be declared the National Champion.
The entry fee was rather steep for the time, $100.00. The prizes and offering of a moments fame
were to much to pass up. Win the Regional (Wisconsin, Iowa, & Minnesota) tournament to be held
within 20 miles of my house and you would be guaranteed an all expense paid trip for you and
your spouse to Clarendon, Texas to compete and be filmed for Television. The winner of every
match in Texas was guaranteed a Ranger 330 bass boat with a 115 HP Yamaha Outboard Motor.
Win the second Match and the size of the boat won would increase and so would the HP of the
motor. The eventual "National Champion" would win the ultimate prize of the largest Ranger Boat
and motor package available at that time.
What to Do? Should an up and coming "Wannabee" bass pro go for it? After all that first hurdle
of a Regional Tournament between entrants from the three states was bound to draw a lot of
entry's. What the heck. Gotta get your feet wet sometime entering a "solo" tournament. Only
experience thus far had been a few club tournaments and a couple local "buddy tournaments.
In Short, the entry application and fee were mailed. Several months later after hearing nothing
from the Tournament hosts I checked with my bank to learn that my check had been cashed. In
just a few days the tournament itself was to be held on the Mississippi River out of Lansing, IA. On
tournament day I showed up to compete only to find I was the only one there. Returning home I
felt disgust and angry at being duped out of $100.00.
A little detective work, a few phone calles to Texas, and I was on the phone with Mr. Euwl Parker,
the Promoter. After a few less than pleasant words from me he apologized for not contacting me
and sending me back my money. Apparantly the Tournament concept had not been promoted
properly in this area and I had been the only entry. Thus, there would be no Regional winner from
my area. Quick on my feet or should I say with my tongue, I let him know that since I legitimately
entered I should be declared the winner and should be entitled to move on. After a moment of
silence he agreed and the rest is history. After getting this far if you would like to see the pictures
click the link below.