Every Summer along the Illinois River, thousands of fishermen gather for the Redneck Fishing Tournament.
Interested in an unconventional way of addressing the invasive Asian carp situation? Then check out the Redneck Fishing Tournament in Bath, Illinois.
The technique is simple: boats power down the river, causing Asian carp to leap into the air, where boaters snag them with hand nets. Most carp caught per boat wins.
Fruit Ninja fans, take heed; this ain’t your granddad’s fly fishing. Watch this clip from John Patterson.
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There’s already been quite a bit of media coverage of the Asian carp infestation creeping it’s way across the Midwest, posing threats to local populations of largemouth bass, walleye, and jet skiers alike.
Well, the good people of Bath have decided that they won’t take giant, flying Asian monster fish lying down. So they’ve turned the war with the carp into a competition, and in early August, prizes are awarded tournament-style to registered boats for catching and killing the most Asian carp. Last year, the carp death toll topped 7,146. Less carp means healthier native fish populations.
Asian carp come in four varieties, all of which pick away at the base of the food chain in the Great Lakes and Midwestern rivers, reducing native populations by out-competing them for mollusks and plankton, and destroying huge swaths of aquatic plant-life that act as fisheries for bass, walleye, and salmon.
Plus, they occasionally fly out of the water and hit you in the face.
So ante up for a fishing tournament anyone can win, help protect the Illinois River native fish species from extinction, and take part in what may be the only type of fishing where wearing a helmet is considered a best practice. For more information, or to register for next year’s tournament, click here.
Weigh in on your favorite Asian Carp Recipes, or tell us if you think this even should be considered “fishing” below.