The six-month-long tournament, which utilizes a mobile app to keep track of results, kicks off at 6 a.m. Topeka time April 6 and runs until 11 a.m. Sept. 28.
Anglers will be able to submit photographs showing the measurements of their longest fish of each species throughout the tournament via the iANGLER Tournament mobile app, with the top three finishers in each species category earning a cash prize during a live-streamed awards ceremony online.
Those wishing to register for the tournament can do so for just $25 by going to http://www.fishingfundsthecure.org/. Registration is open now through the end of the tournament.
Proceeds from the event will go to the NPCF, which is a Florida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer.
“We focus on the research and finding a cure for cancer,” said Chris Geib, corporate development coordinator for the NPCF. “Finding less toxic, more targeted (treatments) for kids. I think what a lot of people don’t know is that only 4 percent of all funding for research goes to focus on pediatrics, so that’s what we’re trying to change. We’re trying to get more focused care on them, because they’re receiving the same aggressive treatments.
“We’re trying to find better ways for that. Our organization funds the research to find better cures and faster cures and less toxic cures and everything else. You know, there’s a lot of organizations that do some of that, and they also do quality-of-life type of things. The Make a Wish Foundation or parts of what St. Jude does are all great, but we want to focus solely on finding that cure. That’s 99 percent of what we do. We have a safety net program for some families, but it’s all about the research.”
There are 10 different freshwater and saltwater species eligible for the tournament, with $1,000 in cash prizes for each species. Among the eligible species for the competition are largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, rainbow troat, cutthroat trout, striped bass, red drum (redfish), spotted sea trout, snook and flounder.
Cash prizes will go to the three longest fish of each species. The first-place cash prize for each species is $500, with the second-place prize set for $300 and the third-place prize $200. Additional prizes will be announced throughout the tournament on the NPCF Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/y5os7lrh/, meaning people placing lower than third will still have a chance to win a great prize for their efforts. For instance, one of the event’s key partners will be JL Marine Systems Inc., makers of the Power-Pole shallow water anchoring system, and Geib said the organizers will be giving away some Power-Poles as prizes in addition to the $10,000 in cash prizes.
Geib said the mobile app keeps a running leaderboard of the longest fish of each species. He added that anglers would need to position the measurement photos a certain way and include a quarter for comparison to make sure there was no cheating involved.
The organization has done fishing tournaments in the past as a way of raising funds. Its #FishingFundsTheCure program has put on several events in the past, including last October when the 21st annual Yerrid Foundation/NPCF Grand Slam Fishing Tournament at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., helped raise $465,000 for pediatric cancer research.
Though this is the second year of this tournament’s existence, it’s the first year the event has gone nationwide.
“Last year we piloted it as a local thing, but we wanted to make it available to anyone,” Geib said. “We put enough species on there to where anywhere you are in the country, you have a chance to catch at least probably four to five. Some places like the southeast and the Gulf Coast, they have those saltwater fish too that are a lot easier to get to, so they have an opportunity to catch seven or so of them.
“We threw in rainbow trout, we threw in steelheads for people in random places. The freshwater people pretty much anywhere can do the bass, the crappie, the bluegill. And then the other species are kind of regional.”
The awards ceremony will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and will be broadcast on Facebook Live.
To donate to the cause or become a sponsor of the event, contact Geib at (813) 269-0955, extension 486, or by email at CGeib@nationalpcf.org.