The Crossett Bass Club hosted its Annual Youth Tournament on Saturday, July 30, at the Felsenthal/Crossett Harbor.
The club has hosted the tournament every year for nearly half a century, which reflects an avid and continuous interest in the sport enjoyed by the youth of the community.
The tournament opened at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the participants required to be in the weigh-in line by noon.
A parent or guardian was required to accompany each participant. The competitors worked hard on their own for their results. Some parents could be heard telling each other their children’s fish tales, as they were there with them in the boats to witness all the details.
The rules for the tournament stated that “no adult or guardian may cast, reel, or help contestants with fish in any way with the exception of dipping up fish, tying of lures, operating of motor, and repairing equipment.”
The contestants were separated into two age groups, six to 12 years, and 13 to 17 years. They were competing for the payoffs, which were first through fifth places and Big Bass, for both age groups.
The rules specified that the competitors must use only artificial lures, with the exception of prepared pork rind.
The tournament had a minimum 13” length limit on Largemouth Bass, but no minimum length of Spotted/Kentucky Bass.
The fish were released after weigh in as per the rules of the tournament.
Fourteen competitors entered in the six to 12 year old age group, and five of them caught fish.
Thirteen competitors joined in the 13 to 17 year old age group, and eight managed to reel in a fish — or three.
Winners for 6-12 year old age group:
- First place: Brantlee Hanry; 3.110 pounds total, also won biggest bass for his fish
- Second place: Ethan Hill; 1.985 pounds total
- Third place: Ryder Rainwater; 1.765 total; he also won smallest bass (0.215 pounds)
- Fourth place: Gunner Walthall; 1.21 pounds total
- Fifth place: Bennett Pennington; 0.575 pounds total
Winners for 13-17 year old age group:
- First place: Jackson Gee; 8.995 pounds total
- Second place: Hayden Jones; 8.468 pounds total
- Third place: Evan Lee; 7.550 pounds total
- Fourth place: Jared Santin; 5.175 pounds total, he also won biggest bass (4.755 pounds) and smallest bass (0.405 pounds)
- Fifth place: Gauge Walthall; 3.850 pounds total
After the winners were given their prizes, everyone stopped to say grace before diving in to the hamburgers and hot dogs that were being served up to the contestants and their families, who had all worked up an appetite from the morning’s activities.
David Cameron organized the event for the Bass Club, and Cameron gave cooking credit to Willie Johnston, who successfully served up enough to feed everyone’s appetites.
No young person went home empty handed, thanks to Ingevity, Toyota of Bastrop, and Mark Gray of State Farm Insurance in Monticello, and the plethora of donations they and others provided for this year’s tournament winners and participants.
Kathy Welch from Ingevity was there to accept a plaque on behalf of her organization from the bass club for Ingevity’s continued support and involvement in events such as this one.
Besides the loot the winners took home, there were many other prizes available as well. Every child that was present at the tournament went home with winnings, door prizes, or both.
More importantly, said Cameron, “they all left with a smile on their face.”
Cameron, who is in his second year organizing the event, spoke about how much it means to the youth who participate in events such as this one. Any time family members can share something they love with their children, it’s bound to be a great experience.