suffering
brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Fishermen cast their lines on Lake St. John during the second annual Lake St. John Concordia Parish Academy Gators Bass Tournament the morning of March 29.  At top, Scott Hoof and Greg McVay hold up their first-place catches at the tournament weigh-in.
brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Fishermen cast their lines on Lake St. John during the second annual Lake St. John Concordia Parish Academy Gators Bass Tournament the morning of March 29. At top, Scott Hoof and Greg McVay hold up their first-place catches at the tournament weigh-in.

Archived Story

Fishermen head to Lake St. John despite high water to raise money for CPA

Published 12:02am Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ferriday — The Second Annual Lake St. John Concordia Parish Academy Gators bass tournament wasn’t what tournament director Shad Roberts expected, but several fishermen came out to support a good cause and get a little wet along the way.

The bass tournament was established in 2013 to raise money for the Concordia Parish Academy of Match Science and Technology.

CPA director Nancy Anders said the money is going toward a play area for the younger students.

“The ground work and the leveling needs to be done for the play area,” Anders said. “We’ve already raised $10,000 for the play set, but we’re trying to get the ground work together now.”

The tournament was able to raised $200 for the CPA.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot but $200 can go a long way,” Roberts said,

The tournament featured 12 two-man teams with first- through third-place prizes and a big bass prizewinner.

Roberts said he was expecting a crowd double the size, but a fierce thunderstorm hit the night before the tournament, which caused several fishermen to back out.

Lake St. John also had parts of the water shut down because of high waters. The entire lake was shut down at 3 p.m.

“Last year, we had 21 teams, but this year we had four to five inches of rain, then a big storm threw another inch on top of it,” Robert said. “The big storm knocked some teams out. The wind blew a little harder than anticipated.

“Next year, we’ll look into our crystal ball and hope for better weather.”

Despite a lack of participation, the race was close.

Scott Hoof and Greg McVay won first place by 0.01 of a pound with a total weight of 8.54 on three fish.

Greg Owens and Jeremy were right behind them with a total weight of 8.53, but the Owens/Myers team still managed to win the big bass prize with a 4.3-pound bass.

Eddie and Brandon Roberts came in third place with 7.6 pounds,

First place won $450, second place $250 and third place won $120. The big bass winner won $100.

With the Owens/Myers team winning second place and the big bass contest, they were able to tally up $350.

Scott Hoof and Greg McVay traveled from southern Louisiana to participate in the tournament, and McVay said he was nervous as the weather got seemingly worse the closer it got to tournament day.

McVay said their worry set in even more when they got out to the choppy waters on Lake St. John.

“It was a slow bite, we didn’t get a fish to 12:30 p.m. and we headed out on the water at 6:30 a.m.,” McVay said. “For the first six hours, we were talking about maybe we should take up golf. We were struggling.”

Hoof said they were drenched in water after battling the waves of the lake the storm created, but he said he had fun and would look forward to coming back again next year to not only try to hook more fish, but to help raise money for CPA.