Electric-only tournament competition

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Local clubs and pot tournaments are prevalent throughout the country wherever there is an electric-only fishing presence. But a few tournament trails now are starting to put up fairly substantial payouts.

Cummings and his tournament partner Gary Murphy who fish primarily in Georgia, won one of the bigger tournaments recently-the Electric Elite Championship on Hard Labor Reservoir, bringing home nearly $7,500 between their first-place prize, big fish winnings for the event as well as having capped off the season with the biggest fish for the year.

Cummings believes electric-only will be the next big segment in bass fishing to blow up.

“It’s just as affordable to get into as kayak fishing and the boats fish a lot better than a kayak in my opinion,” he said. Cummings also credited the increase in availability and affordability of lithium batteries.

“We’re going to start seeing speeds increase and bigger electric outboards,” he said. “I also think you’ll start seeing them show up on some of the big lakes in some of the bigger tournaments.”

The rise in population in areas without readily available drinking water is also contributing to the increase in the electric-only scene. Cummings’ partner Gary Murphy stated that there were roughly 15 to 20 electric-only lakes within a 50-mile radius of them in Georgia now and that number is increasing.

“There’s probably a new lake every 3 to 5 years,” said Murphy. “It takes several years to build them and that number is increasing heavily now with all of this construction.”

Lakes are having to be built to retain drinking water for these new communities that are being built in barren areas. These lakes are often open for recreational use, but combustion engines are prohibited. The majority of the electric-only lakes where Murphy and Cummings fish tournaments range from 200 to 1,200 acres, which can make for a crowded day on the water.

“You’ve got to compete with people beside you and fish a lot of used water,” said Murphy. “It’s tough and those boys can whack ’em. You might have 30 boats show up on one of these small lakes to fish a tournament on top of kayak anglers and other people who are out on the water.”

Still, the increase in lakes where electric is the only option and the advancements in the technologies and horsepower ensure that electric only fishing isn’t going away and as Cummings predicts, will likely be the next segment of fishing to explode onto the main scene and larger fisheries. Only time will tell but if the growth of kayak fishing over the last few years and the rise in popularity of fishing in 2020 have taught us anything, it’s to not doubt the interest and potential growth in any area of fishing. Electric-only may just be that next big thing.