There is no blastoff crowds or weigh-in lines for Tim Hawkin's high-tech Hammonds' Digital Tournaments on Lake Lanier. The Hammond's Fishing Center's top gun worked for months developing an app that would allow fishermen to weigh and then photograph their catches in real time. Tim says what really drove him to design this system was the need to keep bass alive in the summer heat--to get them back into the water as soon as possible. Of course, the no-contact tournament was a big benefit when Covid-19 struck last year.
It's a pretty simple process: you register on-line before the tournament at the Hammonds website, then the morning of the tournament go by the store and pick up your special scale.
"I searched for a long-time to get the most accurate scale on the market," Tim told georgiabigsticks.com. He said you've got to use the Hammond's scale, as the ones made by Rapala and other companies can't do the job. "There was too much fluctuation in the weight when the boat was moving on the other scales," he added. Here's a video Tim provided that shows how the scale works during a tournament.
Here's a photo (below) from today's Hammond's Digital Tournament page on Facebook. If you will look across the page, you will see the team name on the left, what the current 'big fish' is (3.57 pounds) and the total weight of these top teams (this is a five fish limit tournament). You can stay up to date not just while you are fishing in the tournament--but also while you are sitting at home waiting on the NFL playoffs to start. You instantly can you find out who is doing what--and this photo was taken LIVE while the tournament was going on today (Sunday Jan. 17th, 2021) with two hours left to fish! Pretty cool!
So if you want to give the Hammond's tourney a shot, here's what you do: you pick up the scale and the App at Hammonds, you can get back in your truck and head to the ramp (although you cannot fish until 7:30 am, you can put-in and head right to the spot you want). The good part is that you can put-in and take-out wherever you want. You'll need to return the scale back to Hammonds, although Tim says "...it's not a rush, if people want to stay on the water and fish for awhile, they can bring it by when they take out."
While you might miss the trash talking or camaraderie of a blast-off or a weigh-in, you won't have to worry about Covid-19 and the fish you catch are recorded and go right back into the lake. That makes it much easier on the bass--not just the anglers. Hat's off to Tim Hawkins and all he and the Hammond's team are doing to preserve Lake Lanier for future anglers.
Hammond's Fishing Center has been around serving fishermen for more than 35 years, so when you're ready for your next purchase, give them a chance. Not only is their selection equal to anyone else (even Bass Pro Shops), their service is far superior. Check out Hammonds at hammondsfishing.com.