BREAKING NEWS 1 – Bass Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bass Classic draws anglers to Sardis Lake

By John Howell
St. Jude Bass Classic officials are expecting an increase in the number of anglers entering this year’s tournament that begins with check-ins at the Batesville Civic Center on Saturday.
Tournament co-director Tracy Williams, whose Performance Marine in Sardis is a Gold Sponsor, said that about 200 fishermen are expected. The 44th annual fund-raiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, includes the bass fishing competition on Sardis Lake that starts early Sunday morningwith weigh-in at Engineer’s Point after noon Sunday followed by a live auction that starts at 3 p.m.
The Grand Attendance Prize is a fully rigged War Eagle 761 Renegade Boat with a 115 h.p. Yamaha Outboard. Fishing prizes include $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 cash for the top three catches, respectively.
There’s even a “No Fish Pot,” Williams said, that allows tournament fishermen who arrive at weigh-in with a slim catch to forego entering their fish. Instead, their names are put in the pot for a $1,000 cash prize.
 Activities for kids are also planned during the weigh-in and auction, according to Williams.
Teams include many local fishermen as well as out-of-town teams, including a group from Louisiana who fish tournaments regularly and pool winnings in the Fishing for Kids program that raises additional funds for St. Jude.
“Last year they brought a check for St. Jude for $60,000,” Williams said.
Pre-fishing Sardis Lake waters has been underway for about two weeks and began in earnest last Friday, the tournament Co-director said.
“Ninety percent are saying they can’t find a fish — you know fishermen — and 10 percent are wearing them out,” Williams said. “That may have shifted to 80/20 yesterday (Wednesday).”
Sunday’s weather looks typical for late May — good for fishing but with a possibility of a shower.
Even before the tournament fishermen arrive at Engineer’s Point for their early Sunday start, there’s another group who will have arisen even earlier to have coffee and breakfast items on hand.
The Panola Partnership Ambassadors have provided that hospitality for fishermen and tournament officials since at least 2005.

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