On Sunday, May 25, the 31st Annual St. Jude Bass Classic will be held at Sardis Lake.
The Memphis Bass Club, made up of around 100 volunteers from the mid-south area, sponsors the tournament each year along with national and local businesses.
The bass tournament raises money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Center and has so far donated over $1,656,000 to the hospital. The tournament, which gets kicked off from the Engineer’s Point boat ramp, is one of the largest charity tournaments in the world with a field of up to 350 boats and 700 fishermen.
This year’s total cash payout is $ 24,500 with a grand prize of $2,000 and a new boat. There will be a "No Bass Pot" prize for anglers that do not weigh in any fish as well as a "Grand Attendance Prize" for the tournament’s participants.
There will be a drawing for a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. Tickets for this drawing will be $100 each and only 1,000 tickets will be sold. The big bass prize will also be awarded for the largest bass caught.
This is a cash prize of $5,000, based on the full 350 boat slots being filled. Scoring for the tournament is the traditional weight method and contestants can weigh-in 5 fish. There will be cash awards for 1st through 30th place and prize bags awarded to 31st through 50th place contestants.
The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital helps an estimated 4,300 patients annually.
The hospital treats patients and helps find cures for children with various medical conditions. The American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, or ALSAC, is the primary fund-raiser for the hospital. The hospital also operates by way of federal grants, investments, and insurance. St. Jude has treated in excess of 19,000 children from the U.S. and 60 foreign countries. There are four affiliate hospitals of St. Jude, one in Tennessee and Illinois respectively and two in Louisiana.
The tournament offers a great experience and challenge for anglers and definitely funds a much needed and appreciated cause. For more information on the tournament, contact The Memphis Bass Club.
If you would like to compete in the tournament, the price is $250 per boat. Entries will be accepted up until the day of the tournament to a maximum of 350 boats.
Participants will be responsible for paying the Corps of Engineers User Fee for boat launching. The directors of the tournament are Dennis Morlock, Gary Conklin and Charles Jenn.