It’s no secret our area is known for the benevolence of its residents and last weekend was a prime showing. For those who like “cast or blast” opportunities benefiting worthwhile causes the events were met with great success. Even though all the activities were conducted outdoors, among sometimes pouring rain, the wet weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who took part. At the end of last weekend, funds were raised for area children and fallen soldiers. Are there any better motivations? First on the agenda was the 14th annual Jim “Moose” Carden Kids Fishing Clinic benefit bass tournament, sponsored by Adams Auto Group and Adams Tire Outlet. The friendly competition was staged at the Kokomo Reservoir and hosted the largest contingent of anglers since its inception. This shows the dedication and skill of area anglers considering they dealt with, of course rain, and water that resembled chocolate milk. At the conclusion of the weigh in it was the team of Mat Temme and Dennis McKee who came away winners with five largemouth bass dropping the electronic scales at 11.35 pounds. They also took home the annual event’s “big fish” honor with a bass tipping the scales at just under four pounds. Second place went to Jerry Pickett and Wayne Eads with four fish totaling 7.14 pounds. Even after encountering a mechanical failure, cousins Adam Blankenberger and Ethan Miller snagged third place with two fish weighing 5.35 pounds. Notable was the display of kindness shown by competing angler Eric Kinney. When Miller’s boat developed engine problems and with no way to make the weigh-in on time, Kinney stopped fishing and loaded Miller and their team’s catch into his own boat so his competitors would avoid weigh-in time disqualification. “What a great display of sportsmanship,” said tournament director Mat Temme. “He quit fishing just to help people he is competing against. That shows you what kind of people we have fishing out here.” In addition to providing the trophies for the top finishers and donation to Kokomo’s Kids Fishing Clinic, Adam’s Tire Outlet also provided new trailer tires to one lucky angler. After the random drawing Steve Kelley was named the winner. “How great is that,” said Kelley. “Plus my trailer is a tandem axle so I ended up with four new tires,” he added with a laugh. 3rd annual Sgt. Bradley Atwell memorial shoot Scott Sholty draws on a fast flying clay target at the 3rd annual Sgt. Bradley Atwell memorial sporting clays shooting event.
Photo by John Martino While the Kokomo Reservoir was filled with anglers dedicating their time benefiting youth, nearly 100 shooters gathered at the Howard County Izaak Walton League for the third annual Sgt. Bradley Atwell Memorial Sporting Clays Shoot. This event was presented by the Albert E. Shockey Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Sporting clays involves shooting 100 rounds from a number of different locations. It was developed to simulate almost every shot one would encounter in real hunting scenarios. Over the past few years this has been the fastest growing shotgun sport. Proceeds from the event will be used to help support the families of fallen soldiers as well as youth shooting sports and military honors for veterans funerals. Atwell was a seven year Marine from Howard County working in avionics electronics on Harrier jets. On March 2012 he was deployed to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. In the middle of the night, on Friday evening, September 14, 2012, over a dozen Afghan insurgents broke through the perimeter fence to attack the flight line and barracks of American soldiers. Atwell heard the shots and immediately sent another marine to wake those sleeping in the barracks while he took three others to help secure his post. Atwell was killed by an IED. Because of all who served our country, past and present, we are granted our freedom to engage in our hunting and fishing endeavors at our own discretion. So who were the eventual winners of the sporting clays event? Everyone who took part! Bustin Guts Outdoors benefit crappie tourney Billy Clark, (L. to R.) with winners Chris Richards and Brandon Brooks, and BGO founder Bryan Gates, hold some of the crappies caught at last weeks benefit tournament.
Photo By John Martino The following day after these two worthwhile events, “Bustin Guts Outdoors,” a popular and well known outdoor promotional group conducted their first annual Kokomo reservoir Crappie Tournament, also benefitting our area’s Kids Fishing Clinic. Anglers again encountered rain but it did nothing to diminish their enthusiasm. “Given the weather and water conditions we are amazed at the turnout,” said Bryan Gates, the group’s founder. “After serving as a boat captain for the first time at last year’s Kids Clinic I knew that as a group we wanted to do more,” he added. In spite of muddy water a good number of fish were carried to the scales. Chris Richards and Brandon Brooks won first place with their tournament imposed limit of 10 fish weighing just under seven pounds. Tony Richey and Shane Nelson brought in the biggest fish of the event with a white crappie measuring 14 ½ inches, tipping the scales at 1.3 pounds. At the conclusion of the tourney Gates along with the group’s officers Billy Clark and Jeremy Burns presented everyone with numerous door prizes and lunch. No doubt BGO wanted to do things right on their first, of hopefully many, worthwhile events.