Nineteen (19) boats, each with 2 occupants (notice that I said occupants–4 boats weighed no fish), launched onto Norris Lake in the cold and foggy early morning hours of March 10 in search of cash and trophies in this annual catch and release event orchestrated by FONL’s Rob McNulty and its two sponsors. Prize money of $1,020 was divided among contestants presenting the three heaviest strings of five fish at weigh-in. Additional prize money was generated by fishermen voluntarily contributing $10 each in hopes of landing the biggest fish. Twenty-five fishermen took the bait and created a prize of $250 for the trophy fish.
A large residential crowd joined the 38 fishermen poised for the 2:30pm official weigh-in festivities. A black Lab gleefully furnished an entertaining sideshow as he retrieved sticks thrown into the lake while also making numerous attempts to snag a bass as it was returned to the lake after weigh-in. The Lab whiffed!!
The 3 winning teams and prize money for heaviest string of 5 fish were:
First Place: Jeremy Yancey/Amber Hammond, 13.65lbs, $600;
Second Place: Dean McDonald/Rusty Payne, 12.90lbs, $300;
Third Place: Jack Robbins/John Ferrell, 12.80lbs, $120.
The trophy fish was caught by the team of Robert Smith and Robby Harris, weighing in at 6.95lbs and capturing the $250 big fish pot. The total of all weighed fish was 133.8lbs.