The fishing was tough at the 10th-annual “Castin’ for Cash” tournament at Lake Despair Lodge over the weekend.
But when bass were landed, the struggle was worth it.
Jon Evans and Gus McFaddin captured this year’s edition of the tournament, setting a record weight in the process with a two-day haul of 29.35 pounds—breaking the previous mark of 29.03 pounds set by Jeff Gustafson and August Collinson in 2008.
When accepting the trophy Saturday, Evans said he felt relief after recording a respectable second day, explaining he and McFaddin had tended to be a bit of a “crash-and-burn team” in the past.
He recalled the duo was in third place after the first day one year, but was unable to duplicate that success on the second day.
“The second day, at about 3:30 p.m., we didn’t have a fish in the boat yet,” Evans remembered.
“And we had to come through the tent.
“We got lucky and caught three fish at the end of the day and saved our bacon,” he noted.
“But it was definitely a lot more fun to come through the tent with five big ones, that’s for sure.”
Kelvin Caul and Ted Heyens finished in second place with 28.57 pounds, followed by Doug and Solly McBride at 25.53.
While the top weights were impressive, the lower end of the scale was less than stellar.
Seven of the 168 teams were skunked both days while 25 were unable to land a fish on at least one of the two days.
Organizer Bill Godin did note that sometimes teams that are out of contention on Day 2 may not go to the trouble of weighing in smaller fish in order to not cause stress on an animal for the sake of a pound or two.
Jason Cain and Kyle Thompson brought in the big fish of the tournament, hauling in a 4.63-pound lunker on Day 1.
Unfortunately for them, it was the only bass they reeled in—finishing in 29th place overall.
“It’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught in this system,” enthused Cain.
“I’ve seen bigger ones, but it’s really nice to get one that big,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dale Evans and Randy Kirk recorded the largest one-day haul—bringing in 16.48 pounds on Saturday.
Bill and Nell Godin already have set the date for next year’s affair, selecting July 8 and 9 for the 11th edition.
The couple encourages teams interested in vying for next year’s crown to sign up early as 11 hopeful duos were stuck on the waiting list when competition began Friday morning.