The morning started early, much earlier than I'm used to getting up, I can assure you of that. I got to Lady Bird Lake around 5:30 am and the cars were already lining up. I thought that was pretty cool and with the turnout we had this year I can understand why people wanted to get their scorcard numbers early. We let people use their own measuring devices this year and we dispensed scorecard numbers on site. This is a fun event but still needs to be run with integrity.
The competitive anglers picked up their cards and numbers and drove off to their respective honey holes. Cars went left, cars went right, I noticed a lot of wives and girlfriends who looked rather annoyed in the front seats. Forced to play shuttle driver, many of these women would most certainly be paid back in some way I'm sure. The amateurs filed in later that morning and surprisingly we had only 1 no show. Pretty darn good turnout if I may say so.
Ivan, one of our employees, decided to fish the challenge on a Stand Up Paddle Board and since we were issuing ID numbers on a number system I just came up with that morning I didn't see any reason that he couldn't fish the challenge.
While I ran out to get us some breakfast Ivan launched at the boat slip and padled across the way. When I came back he had already snagged his first fish, a monster 17" that he had to bring over to show us. I was impressed. Ivan packed up the SUP board and took off for his favorite fishing spot.
Justin and I loaded up the tables and supplies and headed downtown to the launch spot near Austin High School. We were gonna have some fun if only for an hour and get on the water and do some fishing. Since my shoulder is still busted up I took the Ocean Kayak Torque
which is an awesome kayak that has a Minkota trolling motor. I had so much fun watching the expresions on peoples faces when they realized I didn't have a paddle and was cruising right by them. I'm proud to announce that I did catch a bass! A nice big 4 inch baby bass. Whatever....it was a fish and Justin didn't catch any!
We set up
the weigh-in at the Rock Garden in Zilker park and waited for the anglers to come in. We had pizza and drinks and a TV to watch some football while we waited. It was a good setup. The anglers strolled in one after another to weigh-in which consisted of providing a memory stick from a digital camera with the pictures of the fish and your scorecard number.
Some people got skunked and were just happy to have pizza in their belly but the top contendors hauled in some nice fish. We had 2-19" fish recorded and one massivly pregnant Bass that was almost as long as wide. When it came down to it, local youngster Regan Vega had the big catch with a 5 fish limit of 81.75" taking first place followed closely by Troy Lawson at 80.25" and local 'King of Lady Bird Lake' Steve Garcia at 76.5".
I'm really proud of the fact that we put on one heck of a tournament and gave out some great prizes. We are thrilled that every single competitor left with something. Big Thanks go out to all of our competitors, contestants and friends that made this day special.