Every fisherman and woman knows that a bad day spent fishing still is better than a good day at work.
The anglers who competed Saturday in the Hinesville Rotary Club’s inaugural fishing tournament, staged near the dock behind Sunbury Crab Company, can testify to the truth behind that fisherman’s proverb.
The weather was foul and the fishing for trout and redfish could have been a lot better, but the wind and rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the contestants. Most caught something, some caught several, and a few won cash prizes or fishing gear, including a fishing rod and Yeti ice chest.
“It was a terrible day for fishing,” David Rogers said. “The winds were 20-25 miles an hour. It rained about all day. It was just a terrible day for fishing, and I hated it for the tournament because I think we’d have had a better turn out if the weather had been good … We did fair. I don’t think we placed, maybe third place. We caught about 16 trout, no redfish.”
Mark Germonprez, who organized the tournament with Danny Creasy, jokingly said it was Creasy who was in charge of the weather.
“We paid out a total of $3,150 in cash prizes,” said Jeff Ricketson, Rotary member and executive director of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission. “In each of the two categories, we paid $775 to first place, $475 to second place and $325 to third place. We had 21 boats in the tournament, and we paid out 100 percent of the registration fees in prize money.”
Germonprez said Roy Clark caught the largest trout, which weighed in at 1.54 pounds. Jason Tuten caught the largest redfish, which weighed in at 3.05 pounds.
Casey Rearley, 12, turned in a large trout among the four caught by his team, which included his father, Steven Rearley, and grandfather, Lance Mueller.
When asked which fish in the basket was the one he caught, without hesitation, the young man pointed to the largest fish. He won the Outstanding Junior Angler title.
Laura Morgan had little competition for Outstanding Female Angler as she was one of only two female anglers competing.
When all the scores were tallied, fishermen and the families gathered downstairs at the Sunbury Crab Company for awards and door prizes. The rules for the event allowed each team to turn in their four largest trout and two redfish.
The winners in each category were as follows:
First place — Denny Clark, Mitchell Clark and Roy Clark, 4.14 pounds
Second place — Jimmy Martin, Paul Rice, Mike Smith and Brent Smith, 4.11 pounds
Third place — David Rogers and Paul Crowley, 3.81 pounds
First place — Jason Tuten, Dan Tuten and Joe Bell, 5.03 pounds
Second place — Gary Maire, Dennis Shaff, Royce Maire and Scott Pickren, 2.27 pounds
Third place — Travis Crowley, Ashley Sittle and Jason Blizard, 1.42 pounds