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Central Illinois Asian carp fishing tournament set to return

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BATH — A central Illinois fishing tournament that was canceled two years ago because the Illinois River flooded and last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic is returning next month.

The Redneck Fishing Tournament held in Bath along the river for about a decade is once gain on the calendar, with this year's event set for Aug. 6 and Aug. 7.

“We’re back, and the fish had better look out,” event organizer Betty DeFord told the ( Peoria) Journal Star.

The event will also include bands, a beer garden, raffles and food vendors, with the proceeds going to veterans organizations. Admission is $3 for the day and $5 for the weekend.

The tournament is one of the more creative responses to the invasion of the Illinois River by Asian carp — a fish that overwhelms natural ecosystems and is known for jumping out of the water high into the air.

The tournament is noteworthy for another reason: Fishing poles are not used. Instead, competitors either use nets to catch the fish as they leap into the air or collect them as they land inside their boats. Previous winners have caught hundreds of the fish in just a couple hours.

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