Despite the first afternoon of bass fishing being canceled by tournament directors Mike Stapleton and Matt Wolsey due to Red Flag condition on Lake Mead, the father-son team of Fred and Mark Proudfoot put on an awesome display of fishing prowess Saturday to easily win the largemouth and smallmouth portion of the 27th annual Kingman Firefighters Association fishing tournament.
The Proudfoots, who seem to always be in the top three places of this annual tournament, brought in a 10-fish limit that weighed 24.35 pounds, besting the second place team of Luke Eggers and Brandon Lawrence by a full 3 pounds. Eggers and Lawrence had a two-person limit that weighed 21.35 pounds.
“We caught over 50 fish today,” Fred said. “We have been fishing every weekend for seven weeks and we had these fish figured out.”
Proudfoot didn’t say where he was fishing, but he was seen going toward Temple Bar very early in the morning.
Third place was won by the team of Ed Walker, Sean Parker and Mason Harryman. Their 10 fish limit weighed 18.65 pounds. Biggest bass of the tournament was brought in by the team of Ted Roper and Clifford Wright. The bass weighed 3.85 pounds.
Tournament regulations required that all of the largemouth and smallmouth bass had to be released alive after the weigh-in at South Cove.
In the striper division, the team of Janner Greenhow, Matt Wolsey and Mike Stapleton once again proved that they know where to find the striped bass at Lake Mead.
The trio’s 40-fish limit weighed 62.40 pounds, besting the second-place team of John Morris, Dan Reed Jr. and Brandon Barkhurst by just over a pound.
That trio of anglers had a bag that weighed 61.12 pounds.
Third place was taken by the team of Johnny Hoeft, Johnny Sr. and Gary MacGregor. Their 40 fish limit weighed 58 pounds, narrowly edging out Mike VanZandt, Karen VanZandt and Charlie Suttles who had 40 stripers that weighed 57.9 pounds. Biggest striper of the tournament was brought in by the team of James, Frank and Les Chance. That striper weighed 2.4 pounds.
Stapleton noted that due to the high winds Friday night they had trouble even anchoring their boat, much less catching any fish.
“We had just four fish at 9 a.m. but we stayed out and fished until we had a solid limit,” he said.
Stapleton said most of the fish were taken on anchovies, but a few were caught on lures that were fished 5 to 7 feet deep in water that was about 20 feet deep.
Twenty-seven teams participated in the event, but due to the extremely high winds, only the striper teams could go out after 7 p.m. Eighteen of the teams fished only for largemouth and smallmouth bass, while nine teams fished exclusively for stripers.
For many teams with smaller watercraft, they didn’t venture out until early Saturday morning, when the winds had abated.
The teams that fished for bass did quite well. Twelve of the 18 teams brought in a two-person limit of 10 fish. In the striper division, seven of the nine teams brought in a 40 fish limit.
After the tournament there was a free all-you-could eat luncheon at the Meadview home of Fred and Carol Proudfoot that was well attended. Each year the Proudfoot, Hopper, and Walker families, along with other volunteers, put on the luncheon and help collect donations of prizes.
It was noted that the raffle at the fishing tournament and at the golf tournament that the Kingman Firefighters Association sponsors, raises about $6,000 annually, money which is given back to the youth in our community in the form of $1,000 scholarships.
One special part of the program was when the four young persons under 16 years old that fished in the event were each given a prize of an Ugly Stick fishing pole.
Tournament Director Matt Wolsey noted that anglers need to keep children engaged in outdoor recreation like fishing.