By Bob Groene, The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus
(September 20, 2016) The 42nd annual “CTC Bass Tournament” held last Saturday at Albany Landing on Mississippi River pool 14 was another success.
Why? First and foremost, the stellar event — one of the longest running charity fishing tournaments in the nation — raised more than $12,000 to benefit the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities. That money will go toward professional therapy services to help QC area youngsters who have developmental disabilities and delays from birth, injury or illness achieve their highest level of independence.
Next, several bass-catching CTC tournament thresholds were set: the highest ever winning weight of 18.19 pounds, the top five two-angler teams all caught limits exceeding 15 pounds and the average weight of bass weighed-in was the highest ever at 2.44 pounds. That said, here’s something to ponder: is the Mississippi River becoming a better bass fishery? Or are “our” anglers getting better at catching bass? Or maybe some of both?
Bill Gretten of Blue Grass, and Mike Valster, of Pella, Iowa, took first place honors, a years worth of bragging rights, a couple of nice trophies and $3,000 cash for catching and bringing in the biggest five-bass CTC tournament limit ever to the scales.
Previous two-time CTC winners, brothers Adam and Scott Crigger took second place with a limit weighing 16.47 pounds. They reported catching about eight keepers in pool 13 using frogs and shad baits.
Third place went to Bobby Jones, of Fulton, and Bill Onken, of Morrison, with 15.36 pounds. They stayed in pool 14 and used chatterbaits to catch 10 keepers.
The biggest bass of the event, coming on a frog bait and weighing 4.72 pounds, was caught by Joe and Andy Murphy, both of Clinton.
The entry fee for the 2016 CTC Charity Tournament was raised to $120 per boat. Of the additional fee, $10 went to the CTC and $10 went into an interesting and fun tournament addition called “Beat the Pro.” BASS pro Mike Iaconelli caught the lowest weight five-bass limit (10.69 pounds) at the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament held in LaCrosse, Wis. So, all of the 19 teams who weighed-in more than 10.69 pounds were entered in a random drawing won by John and Steve Kovaka, both of Savanna, who received $860.
Other special awards this year included top parent/child team who were the Kovakas; top rookie team of Garrett Adamson, of Andalusia, and Blake VerStraete, of Atkinson; and top male/female team of Shawn and Nikki Eickert, both of Clinton.
This tournament was the third and final event of the Quad City Charity Fishing Trail for 2016. This year’s top anglers on the charity trail were Bobby Jones and Shawn Eickert, both of Fulton, who earned $750 cash for their sterling efforts. Second place and free entry into the 2017 charity events went to Tim Albrecht, of LeClaire, and Chuck Fiser, of Aledo. Roger Koopman, of Andalusia, and JJ Patton, of Eldridge, won a set of St. Croix fishing rods for their third-place finish.
The real winners of the event are again the youngsters who will receive professional therapy services provided by the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities.