11th annual bass tournament to benefit local Special Olympics|[09/26/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On your mark. Get set. Fish.

A day’s worth of bass fishing is scheduled for Saturday at Lake Chotard for the 11th annual Area 10 Special Olympics Large Bass Tournament with cash prizes, door prizes and plenty of fun planned.

“It seems to get bigger and bigger every year,” said Special Olympics volunteer Sandy Hearn, who has been involved in the fishing tournament for six years.

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Last year, 60 boats with two fishermen in each boat, participated in the event that awarded more than $1,750 in prize money. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Area 10 Special Olympics.

Fishermen can arrive starting at 4 a.m. for registration, which costs $100 per boat and a $5 per boat launch fee from Chotard Landing. At 6 a.m., the boats will hit the water for hourly weigh-ins. Only two fish per weigh-in are eligible and the entire event is a catch-and-release format. Weigh-ins will begin at 7 a.m. and the final weigh-in is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Grand prize for the largest bass will be $1,000, with $500 going to the second largest, $250 to the third and $125 to the fourth largest fish. Hourly big bass winners will receive cash ranging from $150 for the largest fish to $50 for the third largest fish.

Special Olympians will be on hand to help serve lunch to the fishermen as well as assisting with door prizes. A new wrinkle this year will allow Olympians to fish from the pier at Chotard.

“The kids love it,” Hearn said. “Last year, my niece stood on the pier waiting for the fishermen to come in just to get a look at the big fish.”

The tournament is put on by the Grand Gulf Bass Club, and other sponsors help defray costs involved with the tournament.