Nearly 200 anglers turned out from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to compete for $18,000 in prize money in The Blind Tiger’s Joes and Pros Touranment in Bay St. Louis. But it was a Bay man who was the big winner in the 4th annual tournament.
Sick’s 7.05-pound speckled trout was a third of a pound bigger than second place finisher, Phillip Levine’s 6.70-pound trout and third place finisher Donald Bosarge’s 6.40 pounder. Sick earned $5,000 for his first place catch, followed by Levine with $1,500 and Bosarge with $1,000.
In the redfish category, Jeffrey Waltman won the top honor with a 38.35-pounder and $2,500 in prize money, followed by Chad Waltman with a 36.35-pounder and $1,500 in prize money, and Troy Helwig won $1,000 in prize money for his 32.10-pound third place catch.
In the 5-trout stringer category, Donald Bosarge won $2.500 with 26.70 pounds, followed by Steve Rhodes who earned $1.500 (20.55 pounds), and Timothy Smith earned $1.000 for third place (20.20 pounds).
OLA coaches, captained by volleyball coach Mike Meyers, won the schools division, earning $2.500 for Our Lady Academy. Other schools participating were Bay High (second place), Hancock High (third place) and St. Stanislaus (fourth place).
“This is the fourth year, and this is the highest turnout we’ve ever had,” said tournament organizer Thomas Genin. “The tide wasn’t perfect and the wind forecast was a little rough for the guys, but from what I’m hearing, everybody caught decent fish.
“We had calls from as far away as Pensacola, and as far west as Lafayette,” said Genin. “We had calls from 150 miles in each direction. And this year, as the crowds come in, we’ve got the streets shut down; we don’t have to worry about people being hit by cars.”
In the ladies competition, Carolyn Lundemo’s 4.05-pound trout earned first place honors, followed by Kay Schuengel second place 3.40-pounder and Tara Scott’s 3.25- pound third place catch.
In the children’s division, Eli Perry’s first place Redfish weighed in at 25.35 pounds, and Aiden Young’s 8.95-pound redfish earned second place.
Other money winners included the fourth and fifth place finishers in the trout division. Richard Hughes earned $750 for a 6.30-pound trout and Brody Blaker earned $500 for a 6.15-pound trout.