You know winter’s over when Scotty’s Bait and Tackle announces the first fishing tournament of the year at Blewett Falls Lake.
It’s time to get boat motors running, break out the stink bait and head to a favorite fishing spot because this Saturday’s catfish tournament is for a good cause — and prizes.
“We’ll have first, second and third place prizes — with 50, 20 and ten percent payouts,” said Scotty Huneycutt, owner of Scotty’s Bait and Tackle, at 11699 U.S. Highway 74 E., Lilesville. “Those prizes are for highest total weigh-in with three fish. Then we’ll also have a ‘big fish pot.’”
The tourney entry fee is $50 and entry for the big fish pot for 100 percent payout is $10.
Last year, 14-year-old Aaron Locklear and his dad David swept the total weigh-in and big fish competitions at the last two catfishing tournaments hosted by Scotty’s.
The pair revealed in an interview last year that fishing with shad was one key to their success. However, they never would share their secret method of bait cutting.
As usual, the proceeds remaining after prize payouts will be donated to Backpack Pals for Richmond County. Backpack Pals is an organization that provides weekend meals for children whose primary source of food during the week is the school cafeteria. Volunteers with the group pack backpacks of food for children to take home and eat over the weekend.
“We are truly blessed to receive a donation from this event each year,” said Kim Lindsey, spokesperson for B.P.R.C. “The fishing tournament participants are supporting a worthwhile cause and having fun at the same time. We currently feed more than 535 children each week. We appreciate the support from Scotty’s.”
T-Bo Dixon, event organizer, said he found out about Backpack Pals through Church of God of Prophesy in Hamlet, where Pastor Steve Crews started the organization a few years ago with just a few backpacks.
“A lot of kids in Richmond County wouldn’t have anything to eat over the weekend if it weren’t for Backpack Pals sending food home with them,” said Dixon. “It’s a great organization, and the more it grows the more kids they are able to keep feeding.”
Competitors will meet at the Blewett Falls boat landing Saturday morning around 6 a.m., and hit the water as soon as there’s light across the lake.
“Boats will come back for weigh-in at 3 p.m. Saturday,” said Huneycutt. “I’ve already seen some catfish in the 30 to 40 pound range this year, so I know they’re starting to bite.”
The first overnight catfishing tourney of the year will be on June 1.
For more information on the tournament, call Scotty’s Bait and Tackle at 704-848-8764.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org