Dollars come swimming in during fishing tournament - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dollars come swimming in during fishing tournament


Anglers from across the Midwest gathered again on Crab Orchard Lake for the Bill Harkins/Don Sanders Four-Man Tournament.

This marked the 40th year that fisherman have cast their lines for a shot at the winners purse.

And the weather for the two-day tournament couldn't have been better.

"We draw teams from as far away as Western Indiana, Chicago and many areas in Northern Illinois. As well as the local guys that fish," said Mike Tompkins. "It has quite an impact between the people coming and staying for three days to a week, while they're fishing. So the tournament does help the economy here quite a bit."

The fisherman and local businesses aren't the only ones cashing in on the tournament. So are people who don't even fish.

"Part of the money from the tournament goes to the Williamson County Shrine Club, which they turn around and use to help the Shriners Children Hospital. Some of the money also goes to Take Pride in America, which they do a lot to take care of the refuge. And then we also give some of the proceeds to the Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days."

This years competitors were down eight teams from last years 60 who fished the two-day tournament.

It's a trend that organizers would like to see flow the other way.

"Our participation has been dropping year by year for a number of reasons," said Tompkins. " The economy is still taking a toll on things, there is also a lot of fishing circuits now going on that guys fish, that effects our attendance."

But, that didn't stop the 58 other four-man teams from catching fish during the tournament.

The four-man team who is taking home this years winners purse of more than $4,000 thousand dollars are; Glenn Dalton of O'Fallon, Brian Gass of O'Fallon, Rusty Rosenthal of Coulterville and Gene Russell of Carterville.

The winning team weighed in a total of 49.72 pounds of fish.

The Big Bass winner for Saturday was Martin Conaughty of West Frankfort. His bass tipped the scales at 6.77 lbs.

The Big Bass winner for Sunday was Joe Rosenburger of Carterville. His bass weighed in at a hefty 7.56 lbs.

The Big Stringer for the two days goes to Tom Burns of Carbondale and Mike McKineney of Benton. The tandems total hit the scales at 37.33 lbs.

A total of 346 fish were caught over the two-day tournament.

And the total weight of fish caught was 1,174 lbs., all fish that were caught were also released.

The tournament was sponsored by the Bass Busters Association, Harrison's Sport Shop and Angler's Choice.

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