Perfect weather and fishing conditions for the 34 teams that fished in the annual Stripe-R-Rama overnight striper fishing tournament produced a lot of fish, though big stripers were nowhere to be found.
Unlike the Kingman Fire Fighters Association overnight fishing tournament where anglers faced high winds, the teams that participated in this year’s Stripe R Rama found ideal conditions on Lake Mead.
The teams left out of South Cove, which is on the east end of massive Lake Mead, at 7 p.m. and scattered throughout the lake all the way to just past Temple Bar. Their goal was to bring in the 40 heaviest stripers they could catch from Saturday evening through Sunday morning.
The tournament allows two-person teams to use any legal method of fishing for striped bass, which are the most prolific fish in Lake Mead. Estimates from 2 to 7 million fish inhabit Lake Mead, which is the largest man-made lake in Arizona.
While the tournament originally saw teams mainly from the Kingman area making up the bulk of the participants, now the Nevada Striper Club from Las Vegas has embraced this tournament and have really made an impact on the top spots, especially this year. Four out of the top six spots were claimed by members of the NSC.
Taking first place for the second year in a row was the team of Chris Madden and Josh Holstrom, whose 40 fish limit weighed 69.11 pounds, besting the second-place team of Kingman residents of Robert Nazar and Tim Prentice, who checked in a limit that weighed 67.7 pounds. Madden and Holstrom are Vegas residents and members of the NSC.
Third place went to Kingman anglers Jay Jaramillo and Anthony Tatzel, whose limit weighed 67.7 pounds.
Fourth place was taken by Utah residents Tom and Stacy Sanderson, whose limit weighed 66.5 pounds, beating out the fifth-place team of Vegas residents Warren Wagner and Toby Chandler, who weighed in 66.3 pounds. Sanderson, though a Utah resident, is a member of the NSC.
In sixth place were Vegas residents Robert Keyse III and Kelli Curo, whose stripers weighed 65.9 pounds.
The winners of the odd fish category, which was for the largest catfish or carp, were Vegas residents Warren Wagner and Toby Chandler. That team brought in a channel catfish that weighed 4.61 pounds.
The largest striper brought in weighed 2.9 pounds and was brought in by the team of Larry and James Long.
The money for the second-largest striper was won by Jay Jaramillo and Anthony Tatzel.
The 34 teams weighed in a total of 1,222 stripers that collectively weighed 1,783 pounds.
Members of the Meadview Baptist Church, headed by Don and Doris Lash, collected 784 fish, including 23 channel cats, from tournament anglers who donated the fish to them.
Note that during the recent Kingman Fire Fighters tournament, the Lash’s collected 525 fish, including 15 channel cats.
After the Stripe R Rama tournament, the entire Lash family, some coming from as far as Sierra Vista, along with six members of the church cleaned all of the donated fish. Two members of the Community Church in Meadview also assisted in processing the fish.
As an interesting side note, tournament winner Chris Madden said that he and his partner had worked hard with long hours during the week, and were really tired.
“We only fished till 1:30 a.m., then we went to sleep,” he said. “We woke up at 5:30 and moved to a spot closer to the South Cove ramp, where we fished till 7. We caught maybe 10 fish there and only upgraded our catch with three of those fish.”
Madden said they only had 67 fish total, and they had their limit of good fish before 1:30 a.m.
Madden said he used about 100 pounds of chum, which he said was ground up gizzard shad. Gizzard shad is one of the stripers’ main sources of food in Lake Mead.
Madden noted he has fished Striper-R-Rama seven times and has been in the money five of them.
“We got two firsts, one second, one fourth and one fifth-place finish.”
When asked why he uses so much chum, the veteran striper angler said, “Hey, we had a title to defend!”
Madden said he thinks the Stripe-R-Ram a tournament is the most fun for him and his partner.
“We have fished in a lot of tournaments and by far we have the most fun at this one!” he said.
Stripe-R-Rama is the only area tournament where members of every team that brings in at least one fish will receive a prize off the table of prizes that tournament sponsor John Patel buys every year.
In addition to the prizes donated by John Patel, this year one of the tournament participants, Wayne Asplin, donated 5 new rod and reel combos to kids who fished in the tournament.