Guntersville, Ala. – For the past nine years, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Lane and his family have hosted a kids fishing camp that is designed to help kids enjoy the sport of fishing and learn some skills along the way. Last year, Foodland Supermarket and its parent company, Mitchell Grocery Corp., decided to join in the festivities and added the Foodland Bass Team Tournament to the outing.
This past weekend, the ninth annual “Reeling in Future Pros” fish camp and second annual Foodland Bass Team Tournament were held at Bucky Howe Park on the shores of beautiful Lake Guntersville, in the city of Guntersville, Ala. The festivities kicked off Friday night with a team meeting and rib dinner presented by Bryan Meats, the flavor of the South. The 400 participants of the tournament, and other guests, reviewed the tournament rules from Lane and enjoyed a rib dinner while listening to live music from local musician James Miller.
The two-day event is showcased by the “Reeling in Future Pros” fish camp and a 200 boat, three-fish limit bass tournament on Saturday. The kid’s camp features five stations where kids get to decorate lures, learn to tie knots, practice casting techniques, take boat rides and fish off the pier at Bucky Howe Park. The bass tournament features a first place payback of $10,000 along with a 100 percent registration payback to anglers.
In Saturday’s Foodland Bass Team Tournament, the team of Bryan Gregory and Marshall Deakins of Rainsville, Ala., and Dunlap, Tenn., took home the $10,000 first prize with a three-fish limit weighing 20.92 pounds, anchored by an 8-pound largemouth bass that was the day’s big bass!
The team reported catching their fish two ways. “We used jigs and Scottsboro Tackle Swimbaits,” said Gregory and Deakins. “This was really a lot of fun, we’ve been doing this together for a long time, and it’s been a while since we’ve won something this big; it really was a great time.”
Event host Chris Lane said that the event is something designed to give back to the sport of fishing and to highlight the wonderful Guntersville community. “This event is all about food, family, fun and fishing,” said Lane. “This is a way for all of us to help kids experience the sport of fishing, show off our community and one of the best lakes in the country, and help fund high school fishing and sports along the way.” In the end, the event raised a total of $3,400 for the Arab, DAR and Guntersville High School fishing teams.
While the teams were slugging it out on the water, approximately150 kids attended the “Reeling in Future Pros” fish camp. Along with Lane’s family and friends, there were Foodland volunteers, community volunteers, local high school anglers, and fellow Elite Series pros Matt and Jordan Lee, to help with the kids camp activities. Each child who registered and attended the event was presented with prizes from Lane’s sponsors. They received rod and reel combos and gift cards from Bass Pro Shops, along with products from Power Pole, Mustang Survival, Stren, Luck-E-Strike, Costa, Frogg Toggs and Eagle Claw TroKar. At lunchtime, everyone was treated to delicious foods prepared by Tony Chachere; who came from Louisiana to cook for the crowd.
Foodland’s Kirk Clark said that the company is extremely pleased with the result. “We are all encouraged by the turnout from the anglers, the kids and the community of Guntersville and surrounding areas,” said Clark. “We started this to give something back to our area, and it is truly turning into a premier event that people look forward to.”
Like any event of this sort, it takes a lot of people to execute it well, and Clark had a lot of thanks for those who helped. “As with any event of this magnitude, there are many moving parts,” said Clark. “We can’t thank all of them enough starting with Chris (Lane) and his family, our employees and friends, and most importantly the sponsors who helped make it happen. Thank you for helping us do something great in our community.”
The 2016 Foodland Bass Tournament was sponsored by Bryan Meats; the flavor of the South, Jack Links Protein Snacks, Frito Lay, Borden Cheese and Gatorade.
Chris Lane Fishing also wanted to thank its sponsors for making the event possible over the years and especially to TH Marine for providing G Juice to all 400 anglers and Stren for providing fishing line to all competitors.
The top ten finishers in the Foodland Bass Team Tournament are posted below and the rest of the standings are posted on the event website; view them by visiting - http://foodlandbass.com/results/2016-results/.
Bryan Gregory / Marshall Deakins
Justin Aaron / Terry Prior
Ryan Salzman / Phillip Hand
Brian Shook / Randy Tolbert
Tracy Robinson / Michael Carter
Lake Blasingame / Triston Crowd
Allen Bass / Randy Blankensopp
Rickey Campbell / Trey Swindle
Jesse Rigsby / Scott Rigsby
Michael Stevens Jr. / Paul Arnold