Left to right: Curtis Melvin and Stephen Melvin, Robert Harrison and Brooklyn, Sgt. Matthew Riley, Trenton Drake and Tim Drake, Jr., Kevin Biskamp and Lottie Griffin, James Moore and Jason Gates, Paul Batman and Cory Harrison, Kyle Mackey and Sheriff Mark Davis.
The rain and cloudy skies did not stop 47 fishing teams from coming out to Lake Sam Rayburn to compete in the 2017 Hardin County Sheriff’s Office Benefit Bass Tournament on Saturday, March 11.
The tournament kicked off at 6 a.m. with the boats launching into the lake to begin their day of fishing; hoping to be the lucky one to catch the biggest bass.
Around 2 p.m., contestants began to bring their boats back in and carry their catch to the pavilion for weigh-in. After weighing the fish, the teams dropped them into a tank that has an opening that shoots the fish back out into the lake.
While waiting for the tournament results to be announced, participants enjoyed food provided by Boutte’s Boudin and Spanky’s Towing. Spanky did the cooking and Acadia EMS provided the soft drinks and water.
Sheriff Mark Davis thanked everyone for coming out to the tournament and then he began to draw winners for the raffle prizes. Prizes included a LED TV, Yeti Coolers, wooden swing, and various gift cards and were all donated for the tournament.
Once the raffle prizes had been handed out; the winners of the tournament were announced.
Third place went to Paul Batman and Cory Harrison for their catch of the day. Second place was awarded to James Moore and Jason Gates. The first place team was Kevin Biskamp and Lottie Grimes who won $500 for their catch.
Competitive spirit and love of fishing are not the only reasons people came out to support the HCSO; it was a chance to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
Sergeant Matt Riley said it was the first time he and his father have been fishing together.
The funds raised from this benefit go to a general fund and toward five $500 scholarships for each high school in Hardin County. The general fund exists to provide financial assistance to officers who find themselves in personal emergency situations.
The fishing tournament is one of two fundraisers for the HCSO annually; the other is advertising sales for the annual calendar. The tournament was organized by Chief Deputy Kenny Davenport and Deputy Jason Griffin.
Sheriff Mark Davis said it was a way for everyone to come out and have fun and “a chance for these guys and girls to support us.”