KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. -- The local economy around Table Rock Lake could reel in thousands this weekend, as fisherman try to reel in the big one.
The FLW College Fishing Central Conference is holding is first tournament of the year at the Point of Kimberling Marina. As many as 50 teams from across the Midwest will be participating.
"Everyone has that fire in their eyes," says Winona State senior, Cade Laufenberg. "It’s really a stepping stone for college anglers to make that jump to become a professional angler."
Laufenberg and fellow teammate, Wiatt Stout, traveled more than 10 hours from Minnesota to compete in the event that allows anglers to use the 5 best fight caught between them. Both fisherman have been at the Lake since Tuesday, getting accustomed to the patterns of the fish.
""Pretty much we wake up in the morning and it's dark...¦ and when we get off the water it's dark again," says Laufenberg.
The freshman says the action been slow, because the cold water has made natural bait, like shad, readily available for Bass. He says that's not stopping them from using their full arsenal of tools.
"One that everybody knows about is called the Alabama rig.. also jerk baits, and in dirty water we're starting to use jigs and crank baits, " Stout says.
Both teammates believe this is one of the best times of year to fish, because the large fish are moving to the banks to spawn. It’s not just anglers that could have success this weekend. Organizers with FLW say the tournament could help pump more than 100-thousand dollars into the local economy.
Among those buying food and gas, and staying the hotels is IUPUI student, Thomas Spandau.
He says Table Rock is a different environment from the bodies of water he normally fishes in Indiana.
"You've got spotties, small and large mouth (Bass) all in the same area, " says Spandau, referring to the clear water.
Spandau says in addition to the $2,000 top prize going to the winners, bragging rights are also on the line; which is why all the anglers are protective over how they work the fish.
"There was a tree in 15-feet of water where I caught that fish, " Winona State Senior Cade Laufenberg said, referring to his strategy. "So now I'm going to look for another tree in 15-feet of water."
The anglers will launch at 7 a.m. from the Port of Kimberling Marina. The weigh in for each team will begin around 3 p.m.