Outdoors

The nation is going see just how good the bass fishing is on Chautauqua Lake on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. on NBC.

Calling Chautauqua Lake and Chautauqua County a “tremendous destination with a great feel,” Jack Link’s Major League Fishing commissioner Don Rucks announced last year that the organization was filming its second television series on the 13,000-acre lake. The Jack Link’s Major League Fishing Summit Cup began filming on Aug. 27, and it wrapped up on-site production on Sept.1.

For the past five weeks sportsmen from around North America have been watching 24 of the best bass fishermen in the world dissect Chautauqua Lakes’ bass fishery. Millions of viewers have been seeing just how great the bass fishing is on Chautauqua Lake.

Major League Fishing event’s production was set up on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution.

“We could not have be more pleased to announce that Major League Fishing is filming on Chautauqua Lake,” Rucks said. ” As part of our broadcasts, we will showcase the competition water and the local community. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have first-class partners in Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Institution.

“It has been enlightening for us to get familiar with the history and the culture that the county and Chautauqua Institution offer. We are confident we’re putting together an outstanding television show.”

Jack Link’s Major League Fishing is a partnership between Outdoor Channel and 24 of the world’s best anglers. The league features made-for-television bass fishing events designed to bring high-level challenges to participants and entertainment, as well as insight, to audiences.

Major League Fishing was scheduled to film two events last year. The first, the Summit Cup, was aired on Jan.1 on Outdoor Channel. The Summit Cup’s championship round on Chautauqua Lake will broadcast on NBC on Feb. 9.

Under the league’s innovative format, anglers were allowed to weigh all the score-able bass they caught. The bass were immediately weighed after they were caught, then released back into the water. In Major League Fishing competition, anglers know where they rank in the standings at all times via real-time leader boards in their boats. Anglers are not allowed to practice before events and were notified of the Summit Cup location two days before the start.

“One of our goals in choosing Chautauqua County was to select a body of water and a community that our pro anglers are not familiar with,” Ricks said. ”We have found that our competitors knew Chautauqua Lake by reputation and good recommendations, but only a handful of our anglers have ever spent time here.”

While the Major League Fishing event gave Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Lake national exposure, it didn’t happen overnight. The event took a team of people and organizations to pull off. It all started with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua County Visitor Bureau, which worked with local businesses such as 3C Catering, Chautauqua Suites, Mayville Marine, WeWanChu Cottages, the Athenaeum Hotel, the Comfort Inn, Elegant Edibles, the Watermark and many others.

None of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication to promote the outdoors and the excellent fishing opportunities we have here in Chautauqua County as demonstrated by County Executive Greg Edwards, the Chautauqua County Legislature and the Chautauqua County IDA and Bill Daly.

Without Chautauqua Institution and its staff acting as the host site, the Major League Fishing event would not have gone off as smoothly as did. From lodging folks to the restaurants’ on the grounds to ladies who cleaned up after the anglers and crew at the Sailing Center, everybody at the Chautauqua Institution rolled out the red carpet and made the MLF event first class.

The great shots from other boats couldn’t have been made possible without the dozens of bass boats that spend hours following the pros around. Members of the Chautauqua Lake and Southern Tier Bassmasters and others donated their time to help give TV viewers the shots that make MLF in a league of its own.

Major League Fishing is a partnership of 24 of the world’s most talented, influential professional bass anglers and Outdoor Channel.

For more information about the new game, with new rules and no limits, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com.