Anglers reel in big catches during Relay Team Carry-On tourney

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 31, 2015

 

Eddie Roberts holds up two fish at the weigh station  in the fifth annual Relay for Life Team Carry-On Bass Tournament fish in the rain on Lake St. John Saturday. (Matt Sigler / The Natchez Democrat)

Eddie Roberts holds up two fish at the weigh station in the fifth annual Relay for Life Team Carry-On Bass Tournament fish in the rain on Lake St. John Saturday. (Matt Sigler / The Natchez Democrat)

FERRIDAY — A little bit of rain didn’t stop anglers from bringing in some big catches at the 5th annual Relay for Life Team Carry-On Bass Tournament on Lake St. John Saturday.

Seventeen teams competed in the fishing tournament with some total weights reaching more than 10 pounds.

Eddie Roberts, an organizer of the tournament, took home the big bass and total weight title with a fish of 5 pounds and a total weight of 15.94 pounds.

“It was a good day early, which is to be expected this time of the year,” Roberts said. “The water temperature had climbed to 83 degrees, so your early bites will be good.”

The tournament paid out the top five total weight spots.

Another team that had a big day on the water was Matt Wiggins and Sean Maple, who reeled in 13.01 pounds, good enough for second place.

“The bite was slow, but we dug in there and held with it and tried to do the best we could,” Wiggins said. “Right before the storm hit, we started catching a good bit of fish.”

Wiggins said from then on, things started looking up.

“They started coming in pretty steadily,” he said. “I would say we were getting one about every 30 minutes or so.”

But the tournament wasn’t solely about who could bring in the biggest catches. The event was held in memory of Roberts’ mother-in-law’s memory, who died of cancer six years ago.

“It is overwhelming the support we’ve had since we’ve been doing this,” said Stacy Roberts, who also helped organize the event. “It means a lot. We’ve got good friends that come out and support us, especially for this tournament.”

Stacy Roberts said what really touches her, is the kindness of the people who fish.

“It is really awesome because every year these guys come out and fish all day in the heat or weather, and then a lot of them will turn right back around and donate some of their winnings to Relay for Life.”

Stacy Roberts said this year has been a big one for their Relay team, which consists of family members.

“We can never be like some of the big teams that raise $40,000 a year, but being able to reach a new level each year, we know we are helping somebody else and that is an awesome feeling,” she said.

The tournament raised $500 for Relay for Life, bringing the team total to more than $3,000 for the year.