Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail, VA East Legacy Division

Palmer and Christopher Sweeney Win Big On Chickahominy River

Congratulations to the 1st place team of Palmer and Christopher Sweeney, who caught 5 largemouth bass weighing in at 13.40 lbs which included the Big Fish of 3.67 lbs caught by Palmer. They reported catching their fish during the morning hours. The winning duo, a Grandfather and Grandson team reported catching their fish in 2’ to 5’ of water on plastic stick baits mid river in slightly stained water pitching to wood cover. Palmer and Christopher wanted to praise our Savior Jesus Christ and Pop’s Marina. Their efforts were worth $340.00 for first place and $42.50 for Big Fish (3.67 lbs); 2nd place: Richard and Daniel Showalter (11.82 lbs.); 3rd place: Wade and Bryce Rook (11.17 lbs.); 4th place: David Croson and Mitch Willis (8.74 lbs.) which included a tie for Big Fish at (3.67 lbs); 5th place: Allen and Austin Colgin (8.01 lbs.). Fourteen teams out of seventeen teams caught fish with only six teams weighing in a five fish limit. Total combined weight for our second tournament consisted of 43 bass weighing at 82.54 lbs. Year end subtotals are 93 Bass weighing at 183.44 lbs with 100 % being released to be caught another day.

Saturday, May 3rd was the second tournament event for the 2008 season of the VA East Legacy Division of Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail. The tournament conditions included brisk SSE winds with gust above 18 mph making conditions tough in this tidal water throughout the day. Temperatures at blast-off were in the mid 60’s and rose to the mid 80’s by noon bringing about a perfect sunny day. The water was partially stained with temperatures in the high 60’s.

The pre-tournament meeting included food, fun and fellowship in an uplifting environment. 38 fishermen and family members attended the meeting, where they were served complimentary and a pristine BBQ meal, topped with ice cream for dessert. This fine meal was provided Darrell Hooker of Hooker Bait and Tackle in Williamsburg, VA. Darrell holds a special place in the Hearts of the Fishers of Men VA-East Divisions. Fishers of Men, John and Sue Pass provided music for those in attendance. Chuck Moss gave the inspirational message, titled “The purpose within us”. The Lord touched many hearts and 5 attendees indicated that they rededicated their life to Christ. I want to thank Pastors Steve Suders and the Deacons of Kings Way Church for hosting our event. Our heart felt thank to Kings Way Church Youth Pastor, Darrell’s wife and Mother and the many youth for orchestrating the meal preparation and services. Many hands helped make this event a huge success!

Congratulations to the participants who won over $800 in door prizes. Throughout the season the VA East Legacy Division will raffle off over $3,000 retail value of merchandise at our events. In addition, the team of Jim Whittman / Johnathon Moon became eligible to win 1 HarmoniX bait caster rod (Just Out of the Money Consolation Prize). Also, teams Jesse and Jay Hathaway, John Pass and Nick Covington, Charley McDaniel and Derek Young became eligible to win 1 HarmoniX spinning rod (One That Got Away Consolation Prize). This winner will be chosen through a drawing pending the divisional incentives rules. Conner Harrison still holds the biggest Bass over 4 lbs for the (Laban’s Taxidermy Award). This is some of the many ways we thank our anglers for their participation.

Jim Whittman and Jonathon Moon are the current Divisional Points Leaders vying for the jackets, plaques and associated prizes. Palmer and Christopher Sweeney are the current Big Bag Award leaders. Jim Whittman is still the current Big Fish Award leader. Year end winners will be awarded trophies to commemorate their accomplishments.

The next tournament of the season will be held June 7th on the James River. All the information for this event can be found on the national website (www.fomntt.com) on our VA East divisional page.

I would like thank all of our local sponsors including: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA State Parks), JDC/5ive Alive Baits, HarmoniX Rods, Big Ray’s Jerky, Laban’s Taxidermy, Capt Karl’s Bass’n Adventure, Save Phace Inc, Castaway Sporting Goods, Woods & Waters Magazine, Dance’s Sporting Goods, 3C Lures, Hammer Time Guide Service, and Firehouse Embroidery

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine companies that make Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail possible; Triton Boats, Mercury, Shakespeare, All Star Rods, Pflueger, Strike King Lure Company, Reese Marine Towpower, XTools, Solar Bat, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Berkley, Keelshield, Grace Full Gospel Church, MotorGuide, SOSPENDERS, Marshall’s Marine Lake City SC, Kistler, Mizmo Bait Company, Dual Pro Charger, , Buckeye Lures, Stanley Jigs, Deka Marine Master Batteries, Spike-It, Jacobs Glass, Poor Boys Baits, T&H Marine, Rejuvenade, and Keep Alive Oxygen Infusers

Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail, VA East Legacy Division Jesse and Jay Hathaway Win James River Tournament Tim and Tyler Covington win Division Championship for 2008

Congratulations to the 1st place team of Jesse and Jay Hathaway, who caught 5 largemouth bass weighing in at (9.65 lbs). They reported catching their fish primarily during the morning hours between safe light and 9 AM. The winning duo, a Father and Son team reported catching their fish in 0’ to 10’ starting with Top water plugs and eventually switching over to Senko’s covering lay downs and underwater structure. Jay wanted to praise God for their win, a special thanks extended to Palmer Sweeney for instructional techniques provided the week before the event and the staff of VA East Legacy. Their efforts were worth $315.00 for first place; 2nd place: Tim & Tyler Covington (9.44 lbs.); 3rd place: Wade and Bryce Rook (9.14 lbs.); 4th place: Steve and Brittany Colgin (7.51 lbs.) to included Big Fish at (3.12 lbs). Fourteen teams competed, with eleven teams weighing fish. Total combined weight for our third tournament consisted of 39 bass weighing at 65.94 lbs. Year end subtotals are 132 Bass weighing at 249.38 lbs with 99.6 % being released to be caught another day.

The tournament conditions were brutally HOT tipping the scales at 103 degrees with an heat index exceeding 110 making it tough to stay focused throughout the day. Our youth should be commended for hanging in under these harsh conditions.

The pre-tournament meeting included food, fun and fellowship in an uplifting environment. 52 fishermen and family members attended the meeting, where they were served complimentary fried chicken, green beans with ham hoc, potato salad, and a desert selection out of this world. This fine meal was provided by Glendale Community Bible Church hospitality committee. Several youth of the church provided up lifting music for those in attendance. Fishers of Men Sr. Vice President Bobby Eads gave the inspirational message. The Lord touched many hearts at the meeting with 1 attendee making their first professions to Christ with an additional 8 attendees indicated that they rededicated their life to Christ. I want to thank Pastors Palmer Sweeney and the hospitality committee of Glendale Community Bible Church for hosting our event. Our heart felt thank to the many hands for orchestrating the meal preparation and services making this event a huge success!

Congratulations to the participants who won over $800 in door prizes. Throughout the season the VA East Legacy Division raffled off $2800 retail value of merchandise from our gracious sponsors at our events. In addition, the team of John Pass and Nick Covington won the HarmoniX bait caster rod (Just Out of the Money Consolation Prize). David Corson and Mitch Willis won the HarmoniX spinning rod (One That Got Away Consolation Prize).

Congratulation to the following teams who won our 2008 divisional awards. Jim Whittman, 2008 Big Bass award; Conner Harrison, 2008 Youth Big Bass award; Palmer and Christopher Sweeney, 2008 Big Bag award. All award winners received Plaques professionally crafted by Champion Awards in Richmond; JDC Baits merchandise certificate, and Wal-Mart gift cards.

Our Divisional Points Champions came down to the last tournament of the year with 5 teams in contention pending the event results. As if it was going to be easy, go figure after the weights were entered in the data base we had a tie between Harrison’s and Covington’s father and Son duo’s. The overall accumulative weight for the three tournaments would be the deciding factor. As the drums rolled Tim and Tyler Covington was announced as the 2008 VA East Legacy Divisional Points Champions. Congratulation Tim and Tyler along with the awards listed above the team will receive division jackets and the youth angler will be receiving “The Joseph Thomson Memorial Scholarship” presented by Paul, Sara and Clark Thomson of Front Royal.

These bonuses, prizes and awards were exclusive to the 2008 season of the VA East Legacy Division.  They have been set up to provide our participants additional recognition and financial reward above and beyond the national program.  They have also been set up to REWARD regular team participation.

I would like thank all of our local sponsors including: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA State Parks), JDC/5ive Alive Baits, HarmoniX Rods, Big Ray’s Jerky, Laban’s Taxidermy, Capt Karl’s Bass’n Adventure, Save Phace Inc, Castaway Sporting Goods, Woods & Waters Magazine, Dance’s Sporting Goods, 3C Lures, Hammer Time Guide Service, and Firehouse Embroidery

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine companies that make Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail possible; Triton Boats, Mercury, Shakespeare, All Star Rods, Pflueger, Strike King Lure Company, Reese Marine Towpower, XTools, Solar Bat, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Berkley, Keelshield, Grace Full Gospel Church, MotorGuide, SOSPENDERS, Marshall’s Marine Lake City SC, Kistler, Mizmo Bait Company, Dual Pro Charger, , Buckeye Lures, Stanley Jigs, Deka Marine Master Batteries, Spike-It, Jacobs Glass, Poor Boys Baits, T&H Marine, Rejuvenade, and Keep Alive Oxygen Infusers.

In closing I praise and provide God the Glory for our wonderful season. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your director and I look forward to the 2009 season.

Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail, VA East Legacy Division

Chris and Conner Harrison Win Big On Lake Anna

Congratulations to the 1st place team of Chris and Conner Harrison, who caught 4 largemouth bass weighing in at 12.41 lbs which included the 2nd Big Fish of 4.84 lbs caught by Conner. They reported catching their fish between 7:00 and 11:00 AM. The winning duo, a Father and Son team reported catching their fish in 5’ to 10’ of water on Green Pumpkin Jigs mid to upper lake in slightly stained water holding to rock and wood cover. Chris and Conner wanted to praise our Savior Jesus Christ for all he has given them. Also, Chris thanks his Father for taking him fishing when he was little and teaching him the fine arts of this great sport which he is passing on to his son Conner. Their efforts were worth $315 for first place and $36 for 2nd Big Fish (4.84 lbs); 2nd place: Jim Whittman / Jonathan Moon (10.91 lbs.) which includes 1st Big Fish at (6.11 lbs); 3rd place: Mark and Mark Hardy (10.90 lbs.); 4th place: Tim and Tyler Covington (9.59 lbs.); 5th place: Jesses and Jay Hathaway (8.81 lbs.); 6th place: John Pass / Nick Covington (7.49 lbs.). Sixteen teams out of eighteen teams caught fish with only three teams weighing in a five fish limit. Total combined weight for our first tournament of the year was 100.9 lbs and all Bass were released to be caught another day.

Saturday, April 5th was the first tournament event for the 2008 season of the VA East Legacy Division of Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail. The tournament conditions included brisk NE winds throughout the day. The predicted severe thunderstorms passed (Blessings) where heavy clouds gave way to partial clearing around 1:00. Temperatures at blast-off were in the high 40’s and rose to the mid 50’s in the afternoon. The water was partially stained with temperatures in the mid 50’s.

The pre-tournament meeting included food, fun and fellowship in an uplifting environment. 72 fishermen and family members attended the meeting, where they were served complimentary and delicious meals including lasagna, salad, rolls and dessert. The dessert bar was out if this world and would be the envy of any country buffet restaurant. Fishers of Men, John and Sue Pass provided music for those in attendance. Tommy Ball gave the inspirational message, titled The Ultimate Master Craftsman (God). The Lord touched many hearts and 4 attendees indicated that the rededicated their life to Christ. I want to thank Pastors Don Sanders and Tommy Ball for opening the doors and hosting our event. Our heart felt thank to Jim, Jacque Harrell for orchestrating the meal preparation and service through the Little River Baptist Church Hospitality Committee. I would also like to thank Little River Baptist Church for hosting the event. Many hands helped make this event a huge success!

Congratulations to the participants who won over $800 in door prizes. Throughout the season the VA East Legacy Division will raffle off over $3,000 retail value of merchandise at our events. In addition, the team of Becky Gore / Ben Bresnahan became eligible to win 1 HarmoniX bait caster rod (Just Out of the Money Consolation Prize). Also, team Anthony and Devon Bowling became eligible to win 1 HarmoniX spinning rod (One That Got Away Consolation Prize). Conner Harrison holds the biggest Bass over 4 lbs for the (Laban’s Taxidermy Award). This is some of the many ways we thank our anglers for their participation.

Chris and Conner Harrison are the current Divisional Points Leaders vying for the jackets, plaques and associated prizes. Chris and Conner are also the current Big Bag Award leaders. Jim Whittman is the current Big Fish Award leader. Year end winners will be awarded trophies to commemorate their accomplishments.

The next tournament of the season will be held May 3rd on Chickahominy River. All the information for this event can be found on the national website (www.fomntt.com) on our VA East divisional page.

I would like thank all of our local sponsors including: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA State Parks), JDC/5ive Alive Baits, HarmoniX Rods, Big Ray’s Jerky, Laban’s Taxidermy, Capt Karl’s Bass’n Adventure, Save Phace Inc, Castaway Sporting Goods, Woods & Waters Magazine, Dance’s Sporting Goods, 3C Lures, Hammer Time Guide Service, and Firehouse Embroidery

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine companies that make Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail possible; Triton Boats, Mercury, Shakespeare, All Star Rods, Pflueger, Strike King Lure Company, Reese Marine Towpower, XTools, Solar Bat, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Berkley, Keelshield, Grace Full Gospel Church, MotorGuide, SOSPENDERS, Marshall’s Marine Lake City SC, Kistler, Mizmo Bait Company, Dual Pro Charger, , Buckeye Lures, Stanley Jigs, Deka Marine Master Batteries, Spike-It, Jacobs Glass, Poor Boys Baits, T&H Marine, Rejuvenade, and Keep Alive Oxygen Infusers

Let’s all hope that spring is here to stay and the unpredictable weather that has swept through the country is gone for a while!

I know many of you are starting your Junior Tournament Trails and we have some important dates to remember.

First the cutoff date for the angler age groups is August 31st. This date was voted on by the presidents a couple of years ago and its now in effect. Make sure your anglers are competing in the correct age group.

Please remember that you are qualifying only one angler from each age group (11-14 and 15-18) for the National Guard Junior World Championship.

Speaking of that event let me assure you that it is one of the greatest experiences that these young anglers can participate in. We are working every year to continue to refine the event and we’ll continue to try and do that again this year. If you didn’t see the press release in January the NGJWC is held in conjunction with the FLW Cup which is the richest professional fishing event in the world. It will be held the week of August 11 thru the 17th in Columbia South Carolina.

We will be sending out our championship application and bio-sheet for your state winner’s in the coming months. If you can get an individual picture of each champion angler cropped from the waist up that would be great and would really help out with the bios. Don’t worry about pictures with them holding fish; I really just need the shots of the anglers with a good quality digital camera. (No cell phone shots please)

As we learned at our angler marketing session last year please watch what sponsor logos are on the shirts the anglers are wearing in the picture. You never know where these pictures have the potential to end up!!

Don’t forget to keep those Reel Kids Event Summary forms coming in! Remember if you applied for kits this year we will need to see what events you used them for or there will be no kits available next year. This is the only real requirement of the program and it’s mandated by the sponsors who provide us with the products we use!

If you need boat owning volunteers for your events lets remember to look outside the box. Talk to your local boat dealers about asking their customers to signup to volunteer boats for your events. I have a couple of sample signs that work well when placing them by a dealer’s service counter.

Good luck with your qualifiers and please remember to instill the key values like safety, sportsmanship, and conservation to all our young anglers!!

Until next month, don’t forget to take a kid fishing today!

Mark