Clemson raising funds for Tackle the Storm

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson University Bass Fishing Team held a charity tournament to benefit Tackle the Storm Foundation Nov. 16, 2013, on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

The Clemson Bass Fishing Team has been holding two open tournaments annually since 2008, but this is the team’s first charity tournament.

“There are a lot of local tournaments that donate to individuals in need, but we wanted to find a charity that was involved with fishing,” said William Shipes, the Clemson University Bass Fishing Team president. “Tackle the Storm seemed like the perfect fit.”

Tackle the Storm Foundation was founded by writer Don Barone after Cullman, Ala., was devastated by tornadoes in spring 2011. The foundation focuses on giving back to communities affected by natural disasters by putting fishing rods in the hands of children, allowing them to escape from the destruction around them to the peace of their favorite fishing hole.

The tournament was an open format with a $110 entry fee, 15 percent of which was earmarked for Tackle the Storm.

Jamie Rampey and Brandon Cobb won the contest with 10.25 pounds and are regulars at the Clemson open events, winning the last four tournaments that the team has hosted.

“The tournament was really well organized,” said Rampey. “I’m sure we will fish the next open tournament Clemson puts on.”

With only 11 boats participating, though, the team did not raise the funds it expected to be able to contribute to Tackle the Storm, so it is auctioning off an official Clemson Bass Fishing Team jersey with proceeds going to the Tackle the Storm Foundation. The jersey is available by auction through Nov. 28, on eBay; click here to bid.

The Clemson Bass Fishing Team is looking to hold a much larger charity event in late March or early April 2014. Keep up with the team on its website and its Facebook page for more information as it develops.