Virginia Tech’s 35th annual Mudbass Classic Tournament takes place on April 28

Mudbass Classic Tournament

The Annual Mudbass Classic Tournament is open to children of all ages. Photo by Jason Falcone.

The Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society will host the 35th annual Mudbass Classic Tournament on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Duck Pond on the Blacksburg campus.

The tournament is free to the public and open to all ages but caters to younger anglers. Most participants in past years have been between 6 and 12 years old. Registration occurs the day of the event. Fishing gear will be provided; the first 20 registrants will receive a free rod and reel to keep. Limited parking is available near the Duck Pond; no parking permit is required on the weekend.

Participants may catch any of several species of fish, but the event’s namesake mudbass — another term for carp — is one of the most abundant fish species in the Duck Pond. Stephen Stang, outreach chair of the Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, explained that catching a mudbass presents a challenge.

“Carp are a very intelligent fish and have very sensitive hearing, which makes them difficult to approach,” said Stang, of Bluemont, Virginia, a junior majoring in fish conservation in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. “Carp are also very strong fighters and put up an exciting fight for anglers.”

All caught fish will be weighed throughout the tournament. At 5 p.m., awards will be given to the youth anglers with the biggest catch and the most catches.

The Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, which hosts the event every year, is motivated to do so by the prestige of the tradition and the opportunity to engage with the community.

“It gets more anglers, particularly youth, involved with the sport of fishing and hopefully grows their passion for natural resource conservation,” Stang said.