By Bob Groene, The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus
A tight finish? The top three places in the 2012 Children’s Therapy Center Charity Bass Tournament were separated by less than two ounces, and that tiny amount of weight meant the difference between winning $3,000 or $1,000 or $750.
Adam Crigger of Davenport and his brother, Jacob Crigger of Clinton, won the 38th annual CTC Charity bass event and $3,000 with a five-fish tournament limit weighing 12.81 pounds. Just 0.02 pounds behind were Bill Onken of Morrison and Bobby Jones of Fulton, who had 12.79 pounds and took home $1,000.
“This was a family win,” Adam Crigger said after the tournament dust settled last Saturday afternoon at Albany landing. “Usually my brother Scott and I fish tournaments together, but he has a new job and couldn’t fish. Even so, with little sleep, he was out prefishing with me all day yesterday in the rain to prepare for our younger brother, Jacob, and me to fish.”
“We locked up to pool 13, but we also caught fish in pool 14,” Jacob added. “We caught a total of 10 keepers (over 14 inches) and about 15 “shorts” using crankbaits along rocks and plastics on wood. Both areas were 4 to 10 feet deep and had some current.”
“We stayed here in pool 14 and caught 10 keepers and about same number of shorts,” Bobby Jones said. “We threw crankbaits and chatterbaits on wood in dead water (no current) about 10 feet deep.”
Well-known veteran tournament basser Bob “Coach” Walker and Andy Murphy, both of Clinton, earned third-place honors and $750 with a limit weighing 12.70. They reported fishing riprap in pool 13 with crankbaits.
Big-bass honors, bragging rights, a new MinnKota trolling motor and $100 went to Jim Van Hecke of East Moline and his partner Jon Jannes of Davenport for the only four-pounder of the day — a 4.11. That dandy bass was fooled by a senko fished in pool 14 wood.
The CTC tourney was also the culmination of the inaugural four-event Greater QC Area Charity Bass Tournament Trail that included: Mississippi River Eco-tourism Tournament, Reelin It In for the Red Cross Tournament, City of Hope Tournament and CTC. Anglers earned points (100 for 1st, 99 for 2nd) that accumulated over the four events. And the top two places in this circuit were even closer than the CTC event.
Ryan Beeman of New Windsor and Dusty Carlson of Rock Island won the points race, huge bragging rights, trophies and $300 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards by edging Bob Walker by just a single point. Beeman and Carlson fished all four events together, while Walker fished with three different partners. Walker won $200 in BPS gift cards; while Gary Carlson of Rock Island won $100 in BPS cards for 3rd place.
The Greater QC Charity Bass Tournament Trail is moving toward 2013 in a very positive mode.
“We had about 300 total anglers compete in the four events,” said Jeremiah Hass, who took care of the stats for the circuit, “and that’s a significant number of fishermen. All four of the 2012 events are a go for 2013 and we are looking into a fifth tournament as well — we have the months of April and July open.”
The CTC event also has a wee bit of competition between participating bass clubs. Upon entry, anglers have the option to have their tournament weight added to that of other anglers within a club of their membership. The Twin Rivers Bass club was champ (again) this year and when presented with the $250 Club Challenge check; they respectfully donated the money back to the CTC.
Considering the steep weather change from most of last week to Saturday dropping to 40 degree temps and 25 miles-per-hour northwest winds, fishing wasn’t too bad for many of the 97 boat loads of anglers in the CTC event. Twenty-one boats brought in five-bass limits, with 15 of them double-digit weights.
The reel (pun intended) winners of this sterling event will be the youngsters who will receive much needed therapy from the professionals at the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities, Moline.
“This is a great event for a great cause,” tournament director Scott Ford of Geneseo said. “The CTC staff always tells me they put the kids first — every decision they make is based on what will help more kids who need services. The many volunteers, the sponsors and all the anglers of this event all pull together to put the kids first, too. It’s a good match. This year our fundraising total is well over $11,500 and depending on the outcome of the Canadian fishing trip auction, we have a shot at breaking $12,000. All of those funds stay local and provide feeding, speech, physical and occupational therapy. That will cover two children once a week for an entire year.”
The Canadian fishing trip on-line auction ends tonight. Go to the www.ctcbass website, then click on auctions. This is a 6-night 5-day guided trip for four on Lake of the Woods.