ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - With the spring season bringing in warmer weather and lots of sunshine, many people are heading out on the water to fish. But what if that simple hobby could win you some serious cash?
OGS Fishing Tournaments, a local fishing company, is putting a unique spin on a traditional fishing competition by holding Crank 4 Bank, a thirteen-week fishing event that gives competitors the chance to catch prize fish that cost up to $1 million.
“It’s our second year doing the tag fishing,” said Vivian Autry, co-owner of OGS. “We’ve tagged 200 fish, and you have a chance to catch those fish if you’re registered. You can win a million dollars; you can win a skier bass boat, you can win a Chevy pickup truck, or $1,500 if you don’t win one of the bigger prizes.”
It was an idea that came at a pretty unconventional time but has since paid off in a big way.
“Last year, we had a really good storm, and it knocked the power out. So our family was just sitting around, and my husband said, ‘I want to do a tagged fishing event,’” said Autry. “That was January 15th, 2020 or so, and by April 1, we had put it together, and it was very successful. We had 14 winners.”
This year’s event kicked off last Thursday and already has local anglers in a fishing frenzy.
“I have three kids, and they usually fight over who gets this seat over here on who’s getting to go,” said Dadeville bass fishing coach Heath Daniel. “That million-dollar opportunity has a lot interested, so I’m sure we’re gonna be competition with a lot of people out here.”
The best part about the tournament? It stretches across nearly four months - and you don’t have to be in a boat to hook a winning fish.
“You don’t have to have the most expensive equipment; you can go out to Wind Creek and fish anywhere as long as it’s on Lake Martin,” said Autry. “I know one guy’s fishing right now out of a kayak! The other benefit is that it’s not a one-day tournament. This tournament is from April 1st to July 4th, so you can fish any time, day or night, for 13 weeks. $100 gets you a lot of bang for your buck, and the chance to win a million dollars is insane!”
Now I know what you’re thinking - there’s got to be a catch, right? Not Crank 4 Bank. In fact, the more you catch, the more you can win.
“Anytime you’re out there trying to catch that coveted tagged fish, you’re gonna catch a lot of untagged fish,” said Autry. “This is where the virtual tournament comes in. You take a picture of the fish and put it on the fishing chaos app under Crank 4 Bank, and then you have a chance to win some really great prizes.”
If the money isn’t enough bait, Crank 4 Bank also is giving back to the community by partnering with local high school fishing teams.
“We have eight high schools that are selling our tickets, and for every ticket they sell, they get $10, so it’s a great fundraiser for them,” said Autry. “The fishing teams don’t get a lot of money from their schools, so this is our way of giving back to those kids, those young anglers.”
“Last year, that money helped us pay for our hotel rooms when the high school had to travel,’ added Daniel. “So every little bit helps, and we’re very thankful for that.”