Reel in the big one at Fish Your Bass Off


Twice a year the very best in NASCAR racing and in the sport of fishing descend on the Irish Hills. The world’s No. 1 ranked bass angler Kevin VanDam will take to the waters with NASCAR driver Ryan Newman to compete against 30 teams to earn the coveted title as Fish Your Bass Off champion.

Mark Zona, from Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, will also be fishing in the competition. The trio of VanDam, Zona and Newman will emcee the event.

The third annual Fish Your Bass Off tournament will begin at 12 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 on Wampler’s Lake off the shores of Jerry’s Pub.

As the largest fundraiser for MIS Cares, Fish Your Bass Off allows fishing enthusiasts to enjoy the weigh-in, silent and live auctions along with dinner at Jerry’s Pub and Restaurant. The gates will open at 5 p.m. for the silent auction with dinner at 6 p.m. Check back often during the silent auction to make sure nobody out bids you for that prized item.

After dinner, the live auction will take place beginning at 8:30 p.m. It is jammed packed with great items and packages that are being compiled daily. Some of the items for the live auction already include a Zona Awesome Fishing basket, a Kevin VanDam jersey and tickets to attend the Ryan Newman Foundation VIP dinner and fishing tournament in December.

“It is exciting to see Wampler’s Lake come to life for these two weekends a year with awesome NASCAR racing and fishing at Jerry’s Pub,” track President Roger Curtis said. “The drivers and anglers who participate in Fish Your Bass Off always have a great time. The best part is that it all goes for a good cause, MIS Cares, helping us give back to the community.”

In 2012, the Fish Your Bass Off tournament raised more than $40,000, providing MIS Cares the opportunity to contribute to several community programs in the area.

The Qualifier fishing tournament was held in June at Jerry’s Pub on Wamplers Lake. The top-three fishing teams from The Qualifier automatically gained entry into Fish Your Bass Off on Thursday, Aug. 16.

To buy your ticket to attend the weigh-in/dinner/auction for Fish Your Bass Off, please call the MIS ticket office 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (517) 592-1178. Tickets are $40.

MIS Cares, a 501© (3) non-profit entity under the umbrella of the NASCAR Foundation, focuses on raising funds for various local charitable causes the speedway supports. MIS Cares in 2011 alone awarded $75,000 in cash donations to local charities through its grant program. Another $50,000 was awarded through sponsorships and tickets those groups raffle off, also to raise money.

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