The Oklahoma Bass Anglers Tube and Mini Boat Association requires anglers to fish from boats that are 12 feet or smaller, but don’t try to tell the anglers that they’re at a disadvantage. They’re having a whole lot of fun.
The “Outdoor Oklahoma” TV crew will follow the club on the tournament trail to Bell Cow Lake near Chandler. The episode will air April 28 at 8 a.m. on OETA. “Outdoor Oklahoma” is the official television show of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In addition to airing at 8 a.m. Sundays on OETA, the show can also be viewed on the Wildlife Department’s Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/outdooroklahoma.
Todd Renfro, club president, says the tournaments are set up like a typical fishing club.
“We launch from a designated site and fish for 8 hours then meet back up for the weigh in,” Renfro said. “You just have to fish from a mini boat or tube.”
The club has 10 to 12 tournaments every year in Oklahoma, ranging from small lakes in the northern part of the state to large lakes in the south, such as Lake Texoma.
Renfro says the club has about 20 members, with three original members that started competing when the club was founded in 1981.
Billy Coats, a club member in Norman, says the mini boats have their advantages.
“You can go a lot of places big boats can’t go,” Coats said. “You have a tenth of the money tied up compared to a big boat club, and you have just as much fun.”
Renfro says the boats that qualify for the tournaments typically cost less than $1,000 and the tournament entry fees cost $30 to $35 with $5 from each entry going to the big bass pot.
“For years we relied on word of mouth to contact new members, and now we have our own website,” Renfro said. “I can get on there and update standings after each tournament, upload pictures and post important information about upcoming tournaments.”
Logo courtesy Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation