By Bob Groene, The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus
(September 23, 2015) When the final flopping fish was weighed last Saturday afternoon at the 41st annual Children’s Therapy Center Charity Bass Tournament held out of Albany Landing on Mississippi River pool 14, the top finishers looked like family affairs.
It included fishing partners consisting of two brothers, a father & son and a husband and wife. Quite fitting considering that the funds raised will go toward providing professional therapy services to QC area youngsters who have developmental disabilities and delays from birth, injury or illness. Therapy is provided for medical rehabilitation that will help these youngsters achieve their highest level of independence — situations that most often affect entire families.
Financially, this was a banner year for the CTC Charity Bass Tournament. The event raised a total of $14,700, bringing the 41-year grand total to a whopping $508,400. Yes, this year the event eclipsed the half million-dollar mark in funds raised. Few fresh water charity fishing events survive 41 years of time or raise more than $500,000.
Brothers Scott and Adam Crigger from Clinton and LeClaire, won the event with a five-bass tournament limit that tipped the scales at 15.28-pounds.
“We caught all of the bass we weighed up in Pool 13 fishing a shallow weedbed using surface frogs and plastic tube lures.” Adam said. “We caught some fish here in Pool 14 both before and after we locked, but our biggest fish came from 13. We caught a total of about a dozen keepers and a couple of shorts (under 14 inches long) and had a slow but somewhat steady bite all day.”
Three Crigger brothers have won this event three times over the last five years, Adam and Jacob won it two previous times. The event has a first-place purse of $3,000.
Father & son Dave and Ryan Beeman of Davenport and Lynn Center, took second place with a limit weighing 13.48. “We fished up in Pool 13 using surface frogs and some plastics in a weedbed with clean water,” Ryan said. “And we caught a total of nine keepers and a couple of shorts.”
Third place went to wife and husband Mary and Gary Jones of Coal Valley who brought in a limit of 12.79 pounds. They were fishing in sight of the Beemans and used the same type lures.
The event big-bass, weighing 4.94-pounds, was caught by Carl Hoyt Jr., owner of Grace Marine in LeClaire who hosted the event’s Friday evening meet & greet.
Extremely unfavorable weather conditions (rain totals exceeding six inches coupled with a major cold front) over the three days immediately preceding the event caused river and fish location conditions to change which certainly affected fish catching. Even so, the event drew a total of 91 boats who caught a total of 17 tournament limits of bass, most exceeding 10 pounds.
The real (pun intended) winners of the event are the youngsters who will receive professional therapy services provided by the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities. The CTC is an outpatient pediatric rehabilitation center that provides speech, physical, occupational and feeding therapy to children birth to eight years of age. In fiscal year 2014-2015, the Center provided a record 22,428 units of therapy to over 700 children in the Quad-Cities area — of which 56-percent of these services were not reimbursed. Events like the Charity Bass Tournament help guarantee that no child is ever turned away because of the family’s inability to pay for the services needed and provided.
The CTC Charity Bass Tournament was also the third and final stop on the Great River Charity Bass Trail. The top finishers were: 1st place Adam and Jacob Crigger from LeClaire and Clinton won $750. Second-place went to Luke Barry of Machesney and Bill Baker of Winnebago, who won free entry into the trail events next year. Third-place went to father & son Joe and Terry Vance of Aledo and Dunlap, who each received high-dollar fishing sunglasses.