First ever Lake Okhissa Big Bass Challenge draws a crowd

Published 12:37 am Sunday, April 27, 2008

LAKE OKHISSA — Almost 150 teams of bass fishermen spent a day out on a beautiful lake, caught some fish and helped raise some money for a worthy cause.

Shane Mann was the winner of the Lake Okhissa Casting for Cash Big Bass Challenge, besting 148 other competitors and winning $2,000 with a haul of 6.01 pounds of bass.

Jerry Lee was second with 5.60 pounds and took home $1,000 while Cliff Wheat was third with 5 pounds and won $800.

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There were four separate fishing times and four separate weigh-ins at the tournament.

Weigh-ins were at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The fisherman with the biggest catch at each weigh-in won $300 and the overall winner took home the $2,000 prize.

While there was quite a bit of money paid out to the winners, the tournament also raised over $3,000 for the Homochitto Heritage Club for the club’s Franklin County Scholarship Fund.

“The tournament went really well,” Homochitto Heritage Club tournament chairman Rhonda Terrell said. “It was a really good turnout. It exceeded our expectations.”

Tournament director Eddie Roberts gave credit to Lake Okhissa for the large amount of fish that was caught in the tournament.

“The event went super smooth and the contestants caught a lot of fish,” Roberts said. “Being a young lake, Okhissa is loaded with bass in the 2 to 3 pound range, which kept us busy at the scales. In two or three years this will be a fine trophy bass lake. The Forest Service maintains the lake and they are doing an excellent job.”

Terrell was also impressed by the lake.

“We had some big fish caught today,” she said. “This is a great lake for fishing. The lake is beautiful.”

Roberts gave credit to the Forest Service and said he was looking forward to next year’s event.

“A special thanks goes out to the contestants and the Forest Service for making this event a success,” Roberts said. “We will be back next year for the second annual event.”