Fishing tournament boosts Muskogee economy

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 9/19/2013 7:00 pm Published: 9/19/2013 6:40 pm

Hundreds of fishermen are competing for the catch of the day with the three-day Bassmaster Open Division Tournament. It began Thursday at the Port of Muskogee.

Almost 200 boats left from the Port of Muskogee on the Arkansas River. FOX23 learned people came from all over the state, country and world.

Empty trailers mean the boats are on the Arkansas River.

Thursday, 340 anglers fished for the Bassmaster Tournament at the Port of Muskogee.

Janice Woods lives in Muskogee and sold hotdogs with her husband at the tournament.

She said, "Oh, I think it's wonderful."

Her hotdog stand had extra customers because of the tournament, and so are a lot of other businesses around there.

Woods said, "Muskogee needs that. Muskogee is a great city."

FOX23 learned hotels and motels are packed because of all the visitors.

Kimbra Scott, with the Port of Muskogee, said finding a room around there right now wouldn't be easy.

"Right now it’s going to be tough. They're staying out on south (highway) 69 right now," said Scott.

Hundreds of boat trailers hooked to trucks is driving business into Muskogee.

Scott said the Port of Muskogee hosted a Bassmaster tournament three years ago. She said last time, the city saw a 30 percent increase in hotel and motel tax revenue and a 3 percent increase for sales tax revenue.

She said, "It's a huge economic impact for us."

While anglers are catching fish, the best catch may be for the area. 

FOX23 learned that the city has already signed to have the competition there again next year.

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