In the days leading up to last week Saturday’s 12th-annual Angler Young Angler Fishing Tournament, the weather became the main point of conversation between event coordinators.

It was decided that anglers would participate in the wind and the rain, but the minute lightning was spotted the event would be called off.

On the day of the event, however, the weather cooperated: lightning never struck and the event didn’t need to be canceled off.

“We were really fortunate,” event director Chuck Hurley said. “There wasn’t a lot of wind when we got the waves [of anglers] out on the water.”

AYA 2020

Although there was a 20-minute downpour that caused a few teams to briefly come back to shore, they all were able to finish the event.

The tournament was modified to ensure participant safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, launching anglers from Deacon Mills Park in waves rather than releasing them all at once.

Hurley noted the trickle start eliminated congestion when anglers returned to shore for the weigh-in.

“Last year, we had 50 boats all coming in at the same time; there were guys that were sitting out in their boat for two hours waiting before we could get their trailer out and get them across the stage,” he said. “That was a change that we had to make that we may actually keep in place in future years.”

Each team was allowed to reel in five smallmouth bass, and the one with the heaviest haul was deemed the winner.

Read the full story, which includes information on the winners, in the June 25, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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