Fewer anglers in Firefighters Tournament this year

Annual Stripe-R-Rama tourney coming up

Johnnie Hoeft, center, shows the striper he caught during the Firefighters Tournament that turned out to be the big fish of the tournament. Looking on are teammates Gary McGregor, left, and Tim Sampson. (DON MARTIN/Special to the Miner)

Johnnie Hoeft, center, shows the striper he caught during the Firefighters Tournament that turned out to be the big fish of the tournament. Looking on are teammates Gary McGregor, left, and Tim Sampson. (DON MARTIN/Special to the Miner)

KINGMAN - The annual Firefighters Tournament, held for 25 years out of South Cove on Lake Mead, raises scholarship money for local youth.

Last year, more than $2,000 was raised. This year, just over $1,500 was brought in.

Mike Stapleton, one of the co-directors for the tournament, said that there were 12 fewer teams in this year's event and that it had lost several key raffle sponsors.

The Firefighters Tournament is the first of the two largest local overnight team striper fishing tournaments out of South Cove. The other tournament is John Patel's annual Stripe-R-Rama, which will be held on May 31.

Stapleton and Matt Wolsey have been the tournament directors of the Firefighters Tournament for the past three years.

Last year, there were 32 teams in the tournament. This year there were just 20.

In the largemouth/smallmouth division in 2013, the father/son team of Fred and Mark Proudfoot took top honors with 15 bass that collectively weighed 30.5 pounds. This year, the father/son team of Rick and Nick Olivas took first place with 15 bass that weighed 30.3 pounds.

The amazing story behind the Olivas' win is that on Friday afternoon, only Nick went out fishing. But he found the big fish and he brought in a five-fish bag that weighed more than 18 pounds and included the tournament's big bass - a lunker weighing 6.65 pounds. On Saturday, the team brought in 10 more bass, but they collectively weighed just over 12 pounds.

In 2013, the largest bass tipped the scales at 4.65 pounds and was caught by Brandon Medlin and Brandon Jenson.

Second place this year went to Fred and Mark Proudfoot. Their 15-fish bag weighed 20 pounds. In 2013, second place went to Ed and Ariel Walker, who had 15 bass that weighed 26.4 pounds.

Third place went to Gayron Hopper, Colton Kincheloe and Ethan Hopper. Their 15-fish bag weighed 19.95 pounds. In 2013, third place was won by Jim Guin and David Bonnee, who had 15 bass that weighed 24.15 pounds.

In the striper division, Stapleton, Wolsey and Janner Greenhow brought in a 40-fish limit that weighed 86.7 pounds. Their big fish weighed 6.05 pounds, and they brought six stripers to the scales that weighed more than 4 pounds each.

Last year, this same team took first place in the striper division with a weight of 65.7 pounds.

Taking second place this year was the team of Tim Flatt, Jack Ginkins and Mike Gaal. Their 40-fish bag weighed 68.6 pounds.

In 2013, second place was won by Michelle Winder, Dan Winder and Cameron Udall. Their 40-fish bag weighed 61.5 pounds.

Third place went to by Bob Casson, Mallory Casson and Dale Saylor. They checked in 35 stripers that weighed 44 pounds.

In 2013, the third-place team of Tim Flatt, Jack Ginkins and Carl Aimes checked in a 40-fish limit that weighed 61.4 pounds.

The big striper of the 2013 tournament weighed 4.5 pounds.

This year, Johnnie Hoeft brought the largest striper to the scales, a lunker that weighed 7.05 pounds.