Cold Weather Just Fine For Fishers Of Men Open On Lake Keowee

Last year the Fishers of Men Upstate Division opening tournament of the year had to be postponed because of severe winter weather, but this year the winter storm came a week early and everything should be ready to go for the Division’s first open tournament of the year on Lake Keowee Saturday.

“This open tournament is a predecessor of our first Upstate Division event on Lake Keowee,” said Tournament Director Rodney Floyd. “It’s a good way to get new folks to come out and see what Fishers of Men is all about and hopefully draw a little bigger crowd to the regular tournaments in 2011.”

Floyd said participation fell off slightly in 2010, mainly due to the poor economy, but he is hoping for it to pick back up this year.

“There is a little bit of travel involved with Fishers of Men. Guys are still fishing tournaments, but most are focusing on one or two lakes near their home. But we are getting new people calling us, so we hope to see our division start growing back this year.”

With plenty of snow and ice still covering much of the South Carolina upstate, fishing will be cold Saturday, but that will be okay, Floyd said.

“Before this front came through I talked to some folks and fishing was kind of tough, but Keowee is a winter lake. Some say the colder it is the better the fishing is. If you can stand to be out there you can catch the fish down deep.”

Those who fish the FOM Open on Keowee and sign on for the regular season will find plenty of incentive with more sponsors stepping up and expanding the payout program, he said.

“I think the biggest attraction of Fishers of Men for a weekend angler is that there are some good payouts,” said Floyd who noted that Skeeter and Yamaha have signed on as national sponsors this year and Markel Insurance has launched a points reward program for FOM anglers, providing $10,000 to the national points champion team and $5,000 to the runner-up points team.

Participants must get a boat insurance quote from Markel Insurance prior to competing in their second tournament, and then compete in at least 5 Fishers of Men Team Series tournaments with 30 or more competing teams. Points awarded at the Regional Championships this fall will be added to the team’s regular season best five finishes for their final points total.

But the main attraction for fishing Fishers of Men, Floyd said, is the Christian emphasis at the tournaments.

“I hear over and over from our anglers that they fish this trail because of the attitudes of the people involved. The anglers see and understand and appreciate what is going on through Fishers of Men on a much bigger level than just the competitive side.”

Floyd said that in the regular season on the Friday night before a tournament there is a meeting of anglers usually at a local church. However, this is an open tournament and there will be no pre-tournament meeting and anglers do not have to be members of Fishers of Men. They can just show up at the ramp on Saturday morning and pay their $120 entry fee before fishing.

Following Saturday’s Open tournament, the Fishers of Men Upstate Division schedule will include tournaments Feb. 5 on Lake Keowee, March 5 on Lake Russell, April 2 on Clarks Hill, April 30 on Lake Greenwood and June 4 on Lake Hartwell.

For details, call Floyd at (843) 283-1230 or (843) 756-3719, or email him at: [email protected].

Fishers of Men SC Upstate OPEN

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lake Keowee

Mile Creek