Friday, May 19, 2017

St Jude's Bass Classic

Joel Willert: Facility Services Manager

With the warmer weather upon us and fishing season officially open, it's that time of year where the weekends consist of tournament bass fishing and spending time on the water. 

I started out my first tournament of the year fishing on the Mississippi River on Pools 4 and 5, for the St Jude's Bass Classic out of Wabasha, MN. This is the third year in a row competing in this tournament and not only do the teams get to spend 2 days on the water competing to catch the largest weight, but they also get to do fundraising to help out the kids and families of the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Over the last three years that I have been part of this tournament, each year has been a new record setting year for the amount of funds raised for St. Jude's. This year the anglers, which included 72- 2 man teams, raised over $370,000 for St. Jude's.

Back during my first year fishing this tournament, my fishing partner Scott Pellegrin, and I were able to take first place out of approximately 80 teams. Last year was another success, coming in second place, only ounces behind the leaders. This year we got some redemption and once again took first place out of the 72 teams competing in the tournament.  We managed to catch 6 smallmouth bass on day 1 for 24.38lbs, which set the record for the heaviest 1 day bag ever weighed in 19 years.  We also followed that up on day 2 with a limit of fish weighing 20.78lbs.