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Courtesy of Oakley Big Bass Tour
Phillip Cox won the 2012 Oakley Big Bass Tour event at Smith Mountain Lake with a 7.18-pound largemouth bass. The popular tournament returns April 20 and 21.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
For two years the unique Oakley Big Bass Tour has created a notable buzz at Smith Mountain Lake.
Thanks to an expanded prize purse, the buzz is even louder for this year's tournament, which runs April 20 and 21.
At the previous tournaments, anglers who registered the heaviest bass each hour won $500. This time the top hourly prize is $1,000.
The Oakley tournament, which drew 502 anglers to Smith Mountain Lake last spring, combines fishing success with strategy.
When anglers catch a bass they feel could contend, they need to decide what time frame among the seven hourly windows each day to show up to weigh the bass.
That choice could mean the difference between winning a $1,000 prize or not even placing.
The entry fee for the tournament is $100 for a day, or $150 for both days.
Five prizes are awarded during each hour of the tournament. Counting the grand prize, that gives anglers 71 chances to win, pretty good odds even in an event with 500 entrants.
Second place is $500, third is $300, fourth is $200 and fifth is $150.
The big prize is the $30,000 Nitro Z7 bass boat that goes to the angler who weighs the tournament's overall largest bass.
Phillip Cox took the prize last year with a 7.18-pound largemouth bass.
As in the past two years, tournament headquarters will be at Bridgewater Marina.
Registration will be available on site, or online at www.oakleybigbass.com . The site also includes additional information about the tournament.
Training for cyclists
Learn-to-run programs have proven immensely popular in the Roanoke Valley.
Now a couple of groups in the cycling community are taking the concept to the road.
East Coasters bike shop and Ride Solutions are partnering to offer an Open Road training program for aspiring road cyclists.
The program will run for 16 weeks, during which riders will get a chance to improve their fitness and gain confidence for road riding under the helpful direction of experienced mentors.
The program gets underway May 4 and runs through Aug. 17.
Weekly group rides will be offered, with a variety of options to best meet the individual needs of participants.
Starting Saturday, East Coasters will host weekly information and registration sessions at the shop. The sessions, which start at 10 a.m., are free and there's no obligation.
The cost of the program is $100, and includes a custom Open Roads cycling jersey, a year's membership in the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, bike fit assistance and a mechanical checkup, and shop discounts.
Contact the shop at 774-7933 or visit www.eastcoasters.com for more information.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday