Column | Madden claims third consecutive Stripe-R-Rama title
Chris Madden came all the way from Idaho to defend his title of champion at the summertime classic striper fishing tournament, Stripe-R-Rama.
And for the third straight year, when all the fish were counted and weighed, Madden and his partner, Tom Lima, were declared the winners.
Stripe-R-Rama is the longest running overnight team striper fishing tournament on Lake Mead in Mohave County. Here is how it got started.
Many years ago, I approached local hotel/motel magnate John Patel about sponsoring a fishing tournament where every participant, not just the top teams, would win a prize.
Patel agreed and Stripe-R-Rama was born. Local angler Fred Proudfoot agreed to be the tournament director. Patel has sponsored the event every year since the inception of the event 28 years ago.
Over the years, others worked with Proudfoot, including Ed Walker, to make it one of the best events available for the everyday angler, who could pick their own partner and fish for striped bass, the most prolific fish in massive Lake Mead.
With liberal limits of the good eating fish for anglers – no limit on fish under 20 inches, and 20 fish per day per angler over 20 inches – it was an ideal species for anglers to try and catch.
Over the years a number of teams have won this tournament, including Proudfoot and Walker. I have been fortunate to have won a few of them, too, with partners Bruce Hudson and Shane Moline.
More recently, the team of Tim Flatt and Jack Ginkins have done well, winning Stripe-R-Rama twice.
Madden set a new mark when Madden was on the winning team for the third straight year, this time with Lima, a fellow Nevada Striper Club member.
Earlier this year Madden had moved to Idaho, but wanting to try for three in a row he came down and teamed up with Lima, and once again was in the winner’s circle at the end of the day.
New tournament director gets her baptism by fire
This year, just six weeks before the tournament was held, anglers learned last year’s tournament director, Johnnie Hoeft, was not going to oversee the tournament as he had in years past.
With no one to take over the duties, it looked like the event would be canceled. But then a young lady, with no previous experience in running a fishing tournament, stepped up and announced she would take over.
Courtney Martzen is only 25 years old, but she is full of energy. The Kingman resident is herself an avid angler, but she also has good organizational skills.
Even though she was supposed to have a lot of help from others, I told Martzen that I would help, too.
The event started to take shape when Martzen, Page McDonald and I went to Boulder City, Nevada and met up with Lake Mead National Recreational Area Ranger Naomi Shibata, who handles the permitting of special events like the Stripe-R-Rama tournament.
With the application done, it was time to obtain insurance, prizes, and trophies. Trophy Mart in Golden Valley has done the trophies and plaques for this event for many years. And this year, they went above and beyond, creating a cover plate from a photo of Lake Mead that I was fortunate enough to take.
Teams could bring in a maximum of 40 stripers for the event. They could also bring in a catfish or carp to be entered into the odd fish category. No largemouth or smallmouth bass could be kept. If caught, they had to be immediately released.
Anglers were required to keep their fish on ice, and every boat was checked prior to launch to ensure there was adequate ice on board.
Anglers had the option of donating their legally caught fish after the weigh-in to the Meadview Baptist Church or tournament sponsor.
The tournament ended at 7 a.m. and the weigh-in started at 8 a.m. at Fisherman’s Landing in Meadview. These folks have generously offered the parking lot to their business to be used at the weigh-in. They also provided, free of charge, coffee and breakfast items for the anglers.
I was in charge of the weigh-in, but I was assisted by Kingman resident Bill Schleeter, along with NSC members Toby Chandler and Warren Wagner. With their assistance, the weigh-in was fast and went off without a hitch.
There were six places that were awarded cash awards and plaques:
1st place, Chris Madden, Tom Lima, 40 fish, 79 pounds, 13 ounces.
2nd place, Steve Ayala and Steve Ayala Jr., 40 fish, 76-14.
3rd place, Ryan Asplin, Dr. Sadeh Sadeh, 40 fish, 71-7.
4th place, Wayne Asplin, Alex Asplin, 40 fish, 69-9.
5th place, Anthony Tazel, Dylan Vigil, 40 fish, 69.
6th place, Tim Flatt and Jack Ginkins, 40 fish, 68-5.(This prize donated by Joe Bartmus)
1st Big Fish (Striper) 3-4, Steve Ayala.
2nd Big Fish (Striper) 2-7, Mike VanZant and Charlie Suttles.
Odd fish: Carp, 9-6, Steve Ayala Jr.
According to Martzen, there were 885 stripers checked in during the tournament. The total weight of the fish weighed 1,305 pounds.
Though some may think this tournament may impact the striper fishery at Lake Mead, it absolutely does not.
The estimated striper population in Lake Mead is between 2 and 7 million fish. If anything, this tournament helps the fishery.
Martzen said she was pleased with the tournament and looks forward to doing it again.
“I thought it went well, and I was amazed at the number of anglers who came up and asked if they could help,” she said. Martzen added that next year, “will be bigger and better!”