DUBLIN, Va. — A huge turnout at a benefit tournament will help habitat enhancement efforts at Claytor Lake.
An impressive 287 boats showed up to compete in the Friends of Claytor Lake Fall Classic, Sept. 10. The event drew the largest field ever for a tournament at Claytor Lake and featured the highest payout in the history of tournaments at the lake.
The benefit tournament awarded $112,000 to the competitors, with most of the prize money provided by an anonymous donor.
Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tracy Adams and his father, David Adams, of Wilkesboro, N.C., won the tournament and the top prize of $50,000 by catching a five-fish limit weighing 12.90 pounds.
Second place and $25,000 went to the father/son team of Ray Orey, Harrisonburg, and Donald Orey, Dublin.
The tournament was organized by Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL). Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation members who assisted with the registration and weigh-in were Mike Bryant, Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation president; Pam Bryant, secretary/treasurer; Steve Woodroof, vice president; Ed Clayton, Region 10 director; Stephen Davis, Region 4 director; Joan Woodroof, from Region 2; Mike Burchett, Region 4; Bruce Shephard, Region 10; and Joan Blankenship, conservation director. Wayne Burchett served as the announcer.
The event raised funds for projects the FOCL conducts, including efforts to improve the lake. FOCL is a nonprofit corporation with a mission statement “dedicated to conserving and protecting the quality, sustainability and tranquility of the environment of Claytor Lake.”
The Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation also helped run the Claytor Lake Bass4Grass tournament Aug. 20 to raise money for the FOCL projects to create more fish habitat and restore more native vegetation in the lake. Bryant, Blankenship and Wayne Burchett assisted FOCL in running this event that drew 58 boats.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of partnering,” Blankenship said. She said she believes the fundraiser tournaments are a good example of the Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation working as partners with the FOCL and VDGIF to improve one of the state’s bass fisheries.