Monday, May 4, 2009

The Inaugural Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Editor's Note: Because of an overpopulation of bass in Lake Jake - an overpopulation of bass equates to an under-population of sunfish, bluegill, and perch - Camp Gray's Operations Specialist, Tom Thill, challenged the Camp Gray community with the best solution possible: a bass fishing tournament (which, with any luck, would be followed by a delicious fish fry).

Overcast skies during the Inaugural Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament made for optimal fishing conditions, as a dozen intense competitors took to the shores of Lake Jake in the hopes of achieving the largest total weight haul of the day.

Tom Thill, fresh off his 2.5 month stint on the DL (Tom broke his leg back in February, and the tourney was one of his first opportunities to get back out to camp), started the day nicely by pulling in two 11 oz. bass before the rest of the field could even get their hooks wet.

Tom's grandsons, Hayden and Sawyer, made it onto the leader board early as well when they teamed up to pull in an 8 oz. bass:

Meghan settled on the unorthodox fishing style of attempting to catch fish with a net while laying over the dock. After nearly two hours of struggles and near-catches, she scooped up an impressive crappie! The crappie, of course, wasn't added to Meghan's total weight haul, but it did provide extra food for the post-tourney fish fry.

When the horn blew at 5:15, indicating the end of the tourney, the tension in the air was thick with anticipation as Pat, the Official Bassmaster Tourney Judge, added the day's catches.

When it came down to it, nobody really stood a chance at beating Tom, who was crowned the 2009 Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament Champion with a total haul of 2 lbs. and 15oz.

Regardless of who won, it was a fun afternoon for all, and the challengers caught enough fish to feed everyone, even those of us that only caught sunfish.

Thanks to Tom and Micky (Tom's lovely wife), for a wonderful afternoon of fishing!

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