5/29/2013 6:00:00 AM Despite conditions, fish were still biting
DON MARTIN/Special to the Miner
Mark Proudfoot, top, holds a pair of four-pound largemouth bass that he and his father, Fred, caught at the Firefighters Tournament at South Cove on Lake Mead. Looking on is Mark’s son, Colton. DON MARTIN/Special to the Miner
Van Butler of Kingman shows a striped bass he caught on a recent trip to South Cove. Striper fishing is picking up as the weather warms, but high winds slowed fishing in recent days. DON MARTIN/Special to the Miner
Don Martin Outdoors Writer
Despite absolutely horrible lake conditions for the first evening of the annual Firefighter's Tournament at South Cove on Lake Mead, the team of Fred and Mark Proudfoot literally blew away their closest competition to win the bass division of this annual event.
Teams found that high winds made the lake look like the Pacific Ocean. Waves four to five feet high were all over the basin.
Teams braved the swells and waves to make their way to some fishing spots that were out of the wind. But the Friday night weigh-in quickly became the Fred and Mark Proudfoot show, at least as far as the bass division was concerned.
Participants could compete in two divisions. Bass division competitors could weigh in 15 largemouth or smallmouth bass, but no more than 10 bass could be checked in on the second day of the tournament.
The goal was to weigh in at least five fish that first evening. Teams had just four hours to fish, but it was productive for many of the competitors.
Ed Walker, who always seems to be at the top of the leaderboard, fished without his partners, but still checked in five fish that weighed almost 10 pounds. The Olivas family was represented and they, too, had a good bag that weighed over nine pounds.
Then Mark Proudfoot brought his team's fish to the scales - five largemouth, and three of them were monsters that weighed more than four pounds. Their total weight was 14.4 pounds for five fish.
The second day of the tournament saw some more good bags of bass brought in.
Fred and Mark Proudfoot had 10 bass that weighed almost 16 pounds, and they took first place with 30.5 pounds.
Walker's team took second place with a 26.4-pound bag.
Third place was won by Jim Guinn and Dave Bonnee, whose 15-fish limit weighed 24.15 pounds.
The big bass of the tournament was brought in by Brandon Medlin and Brandon Jensen.
That lunker weighed 4.65 pounds.
In the striper division, Tim Flatt, Jack Jenkins and Carl Aimes checked in 40 fish that weighed 61.40 pounds to take third place.
Second place went to Michelle Winder, Dan Winder and Cameron Udall. Their 40-fish weighed 61.5 pounds.
Winning the striper division was Janner Greenhow, Matt Wolsey and Mike Stapleton, who had a 40-fish limit that weighed 65.7 pounds.
The Big striper of the tournament was brought in by Flatt, Jenkins and Aimes. That lunker weighed 4.5 pounds.
There were 11 teams in the striper division and seven of those teams checked in a limit of 40 fish.
A total of 361 stripers were brought to the scales. Those who didn't want their fish donated them to a local church in Meadview.
There were 16 teams in the bass division. Nine of those teams checked in a limit of 15 fish. A total of 187 largemouth/smallmouth were brought to the scales during the tournament.
Those fish were returned to the lake after being weighed in.
According to Stapleton, the tournament raised over $2,000 and all proceeds will go to scholarships for youth in the Kingman area.