When we moved to Berkeley Lake, twelve years ago, I was not much of a fisherman. Thanks to coaching from my Father-in-law and a few pointers from the other Lake fishermen, I "caught on". After a few years of talking about it, some friends and myself decided to "just do it" and organized the Berkeley Lake Bass Fishing Tournament. Each year we've had more people fishing and the tournament has grown into a popular event. I just wish I could remember when we started it.
This year we had a record of twenty-one boats participating. Although the hot sunny weather and clear lake conditions were not conducive to fishing, there were about one hundred fifty Bass caught. The participants came from Asheville, Knoxville, New Orleans, Chicago and even Switzerland to fish!
The Bass were extremely healthy looking and were released at the weigh-in. Keith and Anna Wood brought in the heaviest stringer of three Bass at 6.8 pounds. The Davis boat, manned by Shawn McNew and Keith Thurman, caught three Bass weighing 6.5 pounds. Tom Dyer and Chuck Fraley's weighed 6.3. Bill Laber and Shirley Bruno's fish tipped the scales at 5.6 pounds. Sean Barnes and Robbie Brannon's threesome were just out of the money at 5.5 pounds, followed by Daron Strub and myself at 5.3 pounds.
The Big Bass, in the picture above, weighed 4.6 pounds. We had a few reports of line breaking fish, but I was the lucky fisherman of the day. My partner Daron had hooked this fish twice earlier in the day. He lost a Beetle Spin and 6-pound test line, then a plastic worm to the big fish and told me it was my turn to try. When we returned to the hole an hour later, I was lucky enough to hook it and get it in the boat.
Other participants were Chris Holben, Gordon Gearhart, David Hicks, Richard Thompson, Tom Herring, Lisa Alexander, Tricia Clark, Jim Alexander, Jim Jackson, Wayne Mitsch, James Eason, John Dandridge, Minos Delcambre, Todd Houle, David Slaughter, Offie Holmes, Jessie Shelton, Robby Malinowski, Tyler Hamock, Jerry Coleman, Rick & Tim Waxweiler, Tom Peters, Rick Davies, Tyler & Chris Mogle and Mike & Carole Zielazienski. Most of the people caught fish. All Bass were released and swam away. They were reminded to be available for next year's tournament, which should be the first Saturday in April.
We thank the Berkeley Lake Homeowners Association for keeping our lake a great place to fish, swim and enjoy.
Good Fishing, Stu Davidson