The 2007 Battle on the Border at Amistad

This past weekend, Amistad National Recreation Area welcomed 216 anglers from all over the world to compete in the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series “Battle on the Border.” Saturday, that number was cut in half with 50 anglers fishing the professional side and another 50 fishing the co-angler side. On Saturday, Seiji Kato won the co-angler side of the tournament with a 3 day weight of 48 pounds and 8 ounces. On Sunday, anglers fishing the professional side of the tournament were narrowed down to a group of 12. But the real prize of the weekend went to rookie Derek Remitz, who won this year’s “Battle on the Border” with a staggering 4-day weight of 111 pounds and 7 ounces.
 
Local musicians The Family Jewels entertain spectators before the final weigh-in for the Battle on the Border at Amistad.
Local musicians The Family Jewels entertain spectators before the final weigh-in for the Battle on the Border at Amistad.

NPS Photo

On the final day of the tournament, the weigh-in ceremonies opened an hour early due to the threat of an incoming thunderstorm. Despite the warnings of bad weather, the crowds flooded in from Del Rio not only to support the anglers, but to support local talent. The Family Jewels, a local band from Del Rio whose members range in age from 12 to 16, leant their musical styling to the festivities. Volunteers behind the scenes, as well as tournament contestants, commented on how hospitable the town had been during their stay in Del Rio. Some tournament anglers have purchased land in Del Rio and plan to build homes.
 
Tournament officials use a technique called
Tournament officials use a technique called "fizzing" to prolong the life of tournament caught bass.

NPS Photo

Behind the scenes, B.A.S.S. members and experts worked to ensure that the prize catches of the day made it safely back to the water. Representatives from the Texas Bass Federation spoke before the weigh-in about a $13,000 BASS Conservation Fish Care Grant they had received towards the purchase of a catch and release boat. The goal of organizations such as these (along with the National Park Service) is to provide the means by which natural resources such as the largemouth bass population in Lake Amistad may continue to thrive. The concept of catch and release tournaments was introduced almost 30 years ago. Tournaments of this type have little effect on a large-scale fishery like Amistad. Organizations such as B.A.S.S. Conservation have taken positive steps to improve the survival of tournament caught bass. These efforts play a role in maintaining Amistad as a top fishery and the best bass fishing lake in the world.
 
Angler Scott Campbell holds up the biggest catch of the weekend, a bass tat weighed in at 12 pounds and 7 ounces.
Angler Scott Campbell holds up the biggest catch of the weekend, a bass that weighed in at 12 pounds and 7 ounces.

NPS Photo

While this weekend’s tournament did not set records like the 2006 “Battle on the Border,” Amistad remains a favorite of the anglers on the tournament circuit due to the size and numbers of black bass that can be caught. On the first day many of the contestants were amazed by their catch bags, commenting that Thursday had been the best day they had spent on a lake. After this weekend, Amistads’ reputation of being one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States will spread even further.
 

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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