Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis tournament at Lake St. John raises more than $5,000 for foundation

Published 12:45 pm Monday, May 24, 2021

Sixty-Six boats took the water at the Spokane fishing resort on Lake St. John in the 4th annual Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis fishing tournament Saturday. The event raised more than $5,000  for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. T-Shirt sales are still being tallied up before a true total is known.

Entry fees make up 30 percent of the funds raised. The rest of the funds came from raffle ticket sales, t-shirt sales and outdoor sales. He said the funds raised were at least double what they had been in the past few years.

The first year of the tournament, there were 22 boats, then 27 and last year there were 36 boats. This year’s goal was to have 50, Organizer Chris McVay said.

“I keep getting blown away each year,” McVay said. “This year we had 66. It’s just crazy. I don’t think we can get a bigger number because the lake isn’t quite big enough. I don’t want people fishing on top of each other. I want it to be a good day. I think if we could get 70 to 75 boats it will be the absolute max.”

The tournament was started by McVay to raise funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. His nephew Asher Farmer was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis four years ago. McVay said he told his family he did not know anything about Cystic Fibrosis, but he knew a lot about bass fishing and wanted to hold a tournament for him.

He said seeing a smile on Asher, and his parents’ face is the most rewarding part of the day. Asher ran around with his brother Owen and also ventured on stage to hold a bass caught by David Cooper. Asher’s mom Heather Farmer snapped pictures with a Canon camera before going on the weigh-in stage to say a few words.

“Thank you for coming out and thank you for the support,” Farmer said.

“Thank you,” Asher said.

Coolers, fishing poles and outdoor equipment were donated by businesses to be raffled off. T-Shirts are donated at cost. “It is just really a neat deal how people jump on board for a good cause,” McVay said.

After heavy rains and high lake levels, the weather worked out perfectly, McVay said. He was a little nervous going into the tournament because Lake St. John is known for closing down in high water.

“It could not have been any better,” McVay said. “The lake had been high. We dodged a bullet. The Lord with us and we could not have had any better weather. It was beautiful.”

Stevie Doyle and Matt Doyle placed first with 18.04 pounds of fish, Robby Roberts, Bull Hall placed second with 17.35 pounds and Rusty Russell and Calvin Davis placed third with 16.41 pounds of fish. Russell and Davis also took the prize for biggest bass with a 5.08 pounder.