Balls Creek Bassmasters

HICKORY, N.C. › The Balls Creek Bassmasters supplied both manpower to run the event and competitors to fish in the Hickory-Catawba Valley Homebuilders Association Big Bass Tournament, Oct. 4, on Lake Hickory.

Balls Creek Bassmasters member Curtis Barlowe initiated the tournament six years ago. As a general contractor and member of the Hickory-Catawba Valley Homebuilders Association, Barlowe wanted to set up a scholarship fundraiser for area high school students interested in going to college and entering a construction-related field of study, so he organized the benefit event for the homebuilders association.

This year's event drew 38 boats and raised $13,950 for the area high schools. Barlowe and fellow Balls Creek club members Tony Wells, Bob Patrick, Bron Hemphill fished in the tournament and then ran the weigh-in.

The buddy tournament was divided into three divisions. Bryan Thrift and Andy Montgomery won the overall prize of $2,500 by catching a five-fish limit weighing 18 pounds. The parent-child division winners were Marty and Makayla Newton, who caught one largemouth weighing 8.47 pounds. They won a $100 gift certificate and the $180 big bass pot. Jesse and Amanda Smith won the husband-and-wife division with two bass weighing 6.47 pounds, and they received a $100 gift certificate.