Leavenworth Bass Club Finishes Busy Year

Leavenworth Bass Club Finishes Busy Year

The Leavenworth Bass Club had a very busy year in 2012. Its 29 members spent many hours supporting three of the club’s purposes: to encourage youth participation in the sport of fishing, to support conservation of our lakes and rivers, and to improve members’ angler skills.

The club has a long history of conducting or supporting youth fishing events in an effort to introduce children to the sport of fishing. The club conducted a Kid’s Casting Contest at Cabelas in February. Club members registered, coached, and scored over 60 children ranging in age from 4 to 15 years old. Cabelas provided gift cards as prizes for winners within various age groups.

During the year, Leavenworth Bass Club members provided support to the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club’s spring and fall kids’ fishing derbies. Each of these fishing events attracted over 140 children up to the age of 15. Children catching the most fish and the biggest fish in various age groups received prizes.

The club also is a sponsor to the Northwest Missouri State College Fishing Club, providing seminars and even fishing equipment to the college team in Maryville, MO.

The club also supported three community service projects this year. As it has for several years, the club supported the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun’s Special American’s Fishing Event. This event provided an opportunity for over 50 special needs children and adults from around the local area to enjoy a day of fishing and free food at Fort Leavenworth.

This year club members decided to undertake a project that is totally unrelated to fishing, but an important community service project.  Club members collected 125 coats for the “Coats for Kids” program this past December in support of radio station KMBZ.

The club’s largest service project involved its support of the annual Fishing For Freedom tournament. Club members started this event four years ago to say thank you to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and to other current and former service members. Service members are paired with volunteer boat owners for a day of fishing. Food and lodging are free for participating service members. The tournament has grown from 35 participants in the first year to 125 this past October.

The club has assisted the Kansas Parks and Wildlife department for a number of years by placing brush piles in local lakes to provide fish habitat. This year the club expanded its conservation efforts to include the collection and recycling of members’ used fishing line and soft plastic lures. The club mails the lures to Whopper Baits in Meeker, Oklahoma, to be melted, made into new lures, and provided to youth bass fishing clubs at no cost to those clubs. This project supports the club’s conservation and youth fishing goals.

Even with all these various activities, the club’s anglers found time to test and improve their fishing skills. The club conducted 15 separate tournaments during the 2012 season.  At the season’s end, the Top Five anglers for the season were Dennis Edwards, Bob Jorgensen, and Larry Stoafer of Leavenworth, Ray Cates of Overland Park, and Bill Gevedon of Leavenworth.

The club made a significant change in its affiliation this year. During the past few years, since the club has held its tournaments exclusively on Missouri lakes the membership decided to join the Missouri Bass (MOBASS) Federation. The MOBASS Federation held its annual state tournament in October to determine which anglers would represent it at the Central Regional tournament. Ten members of the Leavenworth Bass Club traveled to Table Rock Lake in October to compete. The Leavenworth Team finished second out of the teams competing in the tournament.  Three club members qualified for the Missouri state team and will fish in the Central Regional Tournament during June 3-7, 2013 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas. The qualifying members are Randy Kenton and Dennis Edwards of Leavenworth, and Sam Morton of Easton, KS.

The last event for the club, before continuing the 2013 tournament schedule in the Spring will be the annual banquet to recognize the accomplishments of the members, and enjoy some on-shore camaraderie.

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