Art & Bass Fishing in Lake County, Florida

Do anglers in town for a fishing tournament actually spend money in the community or do they just stay in their boat? Last week I had the opportunity to present at Destinations Florida’s 2021 Destination Marketing Summit with Steven Clenney, Interim Director at Visit Lake. One of the highlights of our presentation was showcasing a case study on the Big Bass Tour event that took place in early February in Lake County, Florida. Bass fishermen...what do they do when they’re not catching fish?

Lake County is known for some of the best bass fishing in the country and is home to more than one thousand named lakes, including the Harris Chain of Lakes. Yes, one thousand! Visit Lake has embraced this destination attribute including sponsoring professional bass angler and hometown hero, Tim Frederick. The area is home to multiple pro and recreational fishing tournaments every year. Overall, sporting events have been a key segment during recovery and Visit Lake’s diversified product strategy has built resilience for the community.

VL_Tim Frederick_Boat_Fishing

Tim Frederick, Visit Lake 

Historically, Visit Lake has only been able to measure tournament success with the traditional metrics, such as estimated attendance, room nights and projected economic impact. We worked with their team to glean more insights using geolocation data. We helped Visit Lake identify visitation patterns pre and post-event to monitor both visitor and resident behavior. 

During the Big Bass Tour weekend, more than 59% of visitor trip types observed in Lake County were overnight stays. Top origin markets for overnights were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach. Using geo-location data, we created a timelapse to measure movement within the destination, and Visit Lake is now able to demonstrate the impact an event such as Big Bass Tour has on the entire destination region.