Fishing tournament at Boone Lake
By Jonathan PleasantThe Mountain City Bass Club hosted another successful tournament Friday night, this time at Wing Deer Park’s Kinch Landing on Boone Lake. Despite rough weather early in the evening, more than a dozen boats made their way onto the water, kicking off at 7:30 and coming back in at 2:30. One of 16 regularly scheduled tournaments that make up the club’s annual circuit, the event featured a $150 first place prize as well as $90 for second place and $150 for the biggest single fish.
However, as Dan Taylor, club member and co-owner of TNT Outdoors, pointed out, the prize money at the end of the night is only part of the incentive to bring in a big catch. “You get a point for every ounce weighed in”, said Taylor. “Everyone drops five tournaments and then the one at the end of the year that still has the highest points is angler of the year. They can fish them all but they have to drop their weights for five of them. It can also be a team. Most of the time these guys fish together in the same boat and have the same amount of points. You can end up with a single angler of the year or a co-angler.”
For the majority of those fishing in Friday’s tournament, the outcome proved to be less than lucky. In fact, only 11 of the fish caught actually met the size requirements to be officially weighed in, with only two teams bringing in a full count. The tournament is catch and release, with a two-point deduction on fish that don’t survive. The angler with the biggest average weight for up to five fish takes home the top prize.
At the end of the night first place went to Tim and Sheryl Leonard of Butler, weighing in at 12 pounds 10 ounces. Coming in at a respectable second was Keith Brown and Dan Fletcher at 11 pounds 14 ounces and the big fish went to Jerry Gentry with a 4 pound 11 ounce smallmouth. As the only woman in the bass club, Leonard was naturally proud of the victory.
When asked what gave her the advantage when so many of he other anglers were having a bad night, Leonard replied that, “It might have been what we were using, but we also came and practiced here, which I think made a big difference. We caught the bigger one before dark, and the other day we did just about as good, so maybe it was just the spot we found.”
Although many members of the club much prefer the closer waters of Watauga, Leonard has no problem with taking the competition farther down river. “Boone is my favorite. This is our lucky lake. We usually do well here. We know Watauga like the other guys do, but we just do better here,” she said.
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