WRVEC Fishing Tournament Draws in More Than Bass Several from Ava and surrounding areas participated in the fundraising event.

Photo submitted First place winners Laryme Campbell of Thornfield, and David Rogers from Bradleyville.

Branson, Mo. – On Saturday, May 4, fishermen joined again for White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s annual Hooked on Education Fishing Tournament. Teams of two comprised the 152-boat list in support of WRVEC’s Operation Round Up Program.

The annual gathering lured anglers back to raise funds for ORU. The program has collected and distributed more than $3.6 million to students, local organizations, and families throughout the five-county service area. Some of this generosity funds monthly grants to help families and organizations with basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing during difficult circumstances. Other funds encourage the pursuit of higher learning in our community by offering scholarships to students in our community for collegiate hours.

Participating boats launched at 7 a.m. from Pontiac Cover Marina on Bull Shoals Lake. Teams had eight hours for their chance at the title and up to five fish to bring in the highest poundage and biggest bass.

“This event allows the community to support the educational pursuits of our youth while doing something that they enjoy,” WRVEC CEO Chris Hamon said. “One of White River’s core values is commitment to community. This tournament exemplifies that commitment.”

The top 15 teams were awarded prizes at the weigh-in: 1. David Rogers and Laryme Campell with a 19.12 pound catch, and also brought in the largest bass weighing in at 5.21 pounds. 2. Buck Comstock and Greg Blair with an 17.66 pound catch. 3. Mike Smith and Jay Oliver with a 17.1 pound catch. 4. Bryan Barnard and Tyler Matlock with a 16.96 pound catch. 5. Billy Littleton and T. Le with a 16.21 pound catch. 6. Jason Davidson and Darren Tilley with a 15.95 pound catch. 7. Donald Parkin and Rodney Shockey with a 15.84 pound catch. 8. Tony Moser and Randy Ziegler with a 15.15 pound catch. 9. Michael Welch and Phillip McFarland with a 14.94 pound catch 10. Danny Barr and Andrew Rogers with a 14.91 pound catch. 11. Matt Brown and Blake Curtis with a 14.83 pound catch. 12. Kelvin Preis and L.A. Lindsey with a 14.79 pound catch. 13. Jacob Davis and Kenyon Johnson with a 14.64 pound catch, and brought in the second-largest bass weighing in at 4.83 pounds. 14. Robert Pearson and Roger Pearson with a 14.55 pound catch. 15. Derek Leek and Tyler Leek with a 14.52 pound catch.

Additional winners include: Shawn Swearengin and Casey Merrifield who also brought in the third-largest bass weighing in at 4.77 pounds.