Big-name bass tournaments might be shelved for the short term, but for every day anglers, lakes, rivers and reservoirs remain open for business. Across America, fishing license sales are skyrocketing as anglers from every walk of life are enjoying the nation’s aquatic resources. We’re adapting, too, forging ahead with a new breed of ‘virtual’ fishing tournament that anyone with a rod and reel and a few bucks can enter.
Beginning Saturday, May 16, Aqua-Vu will launch “Fishing for Dreams”— an online fishing tournament provided by Fish Donkey, benefiting the Outdoor Dream Foundation. For a full three weeks, anglers who enter will qualify to win an abundance of amazing prizes, from Aqua-Vu Underwater Viewing Systems and St. Croix Rods® to tackle packages from Z-Man® Fishing.
“We think an online fishing tournament is a neat way to generate awareness and giving for this tremendous charitable organization, the Outdoor Dream Foundation, during a challenging fundraising time,” says Kolt Ringer, president of Aqua-Vu. “The neat thing about the virtual tournament format is that anyone can enter and compete, simply by fishing your favorite bass lakes. And one-hundred percent of the entry fees benefit Outdoor Dream.”
Since 2004, the Outdoor Dream Foundation has helped more than 1,000 kids and their families enjoy the great outdoors, granting outdoor adventures to children and youth under 21 years of age who have been diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening illnesses. One-hundred percent volunteer-driven, Outdoor Dream is a non-profit organization with a mentoring program that provides fellowship with youth and families in similar circumstances, while learning and enjoying the traditions of our outdoor heritage.
“Fishing for Dreams provides anglers with a fun way to compete in a catch, measure, photograph and live release tournament format, while contributing to a wonderful faith-based cause,” notes Ringer. “Simply fish your favorite local bass waters for a chance to win some great fishing gear and contribute to a meaningful cause.”
To enter the online tournament, download the free FishDonkey app on your Wi-Fi device, search for the Fishing for Dreams tournament and enter by paying a $30 registration fee—essentially your donation to the Outdoor Dream Foundation. On Saturday, May 16, the fun and fishing begin, running to Sunday, June 7.
A leader in hosting online fishing tournaments, including high-school fishing leagues, Fish Donkey and the Fish Donkey app provide a simple-to-use interface for measuring, recording and logging each fish into a live leaderboard. They’ve also developed anti-cheating technology that helps authenticate each catch. “Fish Donkey offers a total catch-and-release tournament that eliminates the transport of bass across the lake, assuring that all fish caught are immediately and safely returned to their natural environment,” says Fish Donkey CEO Darren Amundson.
Weekly prizes will award the biggest 5-fish limit of largemouth, smallmouth and/or spotted bass as well as big bass in each of two regions, North and South. A host of fantastic prizes include: Aqua-Vu HD10i Pro, Aqua-Vu micro Stealth 4.3, Aqua-Vu micro Revolution 5.0, St. Croix Mojo Bass and Avid X rods and generous ElaZtech® and ChatterBait® packages from Z-Man Fishing.
“With so many large gatherings being cancelled, including the Outdoor Dream Foundation’s regularly scheduled “Fishing for Dreams” event, we felt it was important to continue to raise awareness and critical funds for the kids and families who benefit from the great work done by the volunteers at the Outdoor Dream Foundation,” adds Ringer. “Even if you’re unable to fish right now, you can still donate by entering the tournament or by visiting www.outdoordream.org to make a donation.”