Stoner's 14th Annual Catch & Release
Bass Tournament

May 17th, 2008 --- Lake Fork, TX

Like last year we had great weather for the 14th tourney. Highs only in the low 80's, light winds. Very nice. Lake Fork had received a lot of rain in the days leading up to the tourney, so they were letting water out at the dam. That usually turns the fishing off for some reason. We still caught some fish, but maybe not quite as many as in past tournaments. The Legends Bass Tournament has apparently settled on the same weekend that I like to use (i.e. the weekend between Mother's Day and Memorial Day). So the lake was fairly crowded, but mainly on the West side of the lake which is where the Legends tourney is hosted.

There were 36 contestants this year - a larger than usual turnout for the tourney. In fact, as of this tournament, 36 contestants is the most yet. The 2nd Annual Tournament back in 1996 also had 36 contestants. See the Official Results section at the bottom of this page for a full roster of contestants this year.

As always, I appreciate you folks taking the time and effort to come fish this thing. With gas prices being so high (nearly $4 per gal), it's expensive just getting to the lake - much less filling the boat with gas. Some of you even pay to rent boats for the weekend. I thank you for your efforts and I sure enjoy seeing you guys every year.

Theron Hall - 2008 Champion
Theron caught this 8.56 pound beauty on watermelon colored Senko. It's the first over-slot fish someone has weighed in at my tourney since the lake increased the slot (i.e. illegal fish) to 16-to-24 inches. If Theron's fish had still been full of eggs, she could have pushed double digits. Theron's total bag weight was 11.42 pounds - I'm pretty sure that's a record for my tourney. Click here for a roster of this year's contestants and weights. Lynn Hackfield won the tourney last year with a 5-fish limit weighing 8.94 pounds, which is very impressive when you consider that all 5 fish were under the slot. Like this year's winner, Lynn also fished Senkos.

I should mention that my friend Alvin Fogleman (who works for Eagle Claw) donated many boxes of Eagle Claw hooks that I gave to each contestant. Alvin also donated a really nice Wright & McGill rod that I gave to the first place winner. Thanks Alvin!

--- The Night Before The Tourney ---
The unofficial kickoff to my tourney always begins the night before at the crawfish boil at Fisherman's One Stop on FM 515. They may not cook the mudbugs quite as good as Brian does for the Boils at my house, but they are still quite tasty!

I rented the 17-bed "Lodge" at Oakridge Marina again this year. Drinking a few beers - okay, and a few Jack and Cokes - with old friends is a hoot. But it does make waking up at 5am a bit rough :)

Gary & Ryan Krumbholz heading out at 6am

I was thrilled that my ol' buddy Steve Cox was able to fish with me this year. It only took him 14 years to finally fish a Stoner's tournament! We both caught some nice slot fish (which must be thrown back immediately) as well as some decent keepers. I thought Steve was going to win the Big Bass Pot with a very nice 2.40 pound under-slot fish. But the 8.56 pound over-slot fish (see above) took the money. Steve was nice enough to slice the tomatoes and onions for the post-tourney cookout and, along with Dad, flipped many a burger. Thanks Steve!

Walt Zartman caught this very nice 8 pounder during the tourney. Unfortunately it was not quite long enough to get out of the 16-to-24 inch "slot" and had to be released before the weigh-in. Awesome fish though! Walt also caught a 6 pounder ten minutes before he caught the 8. Unfortunately the 6 pounder was also in the slot.

Dale McCullough is holding a very nice Lake Fork black bass. Meanwhile Dale's son, Matt, apparently thought he was fishing in Stoner's Catfish Tournament.

Dustin Cotten weighed in one fish - and it fit in his shirt pocket :) Like all the fish caught that day, it was released back into the water unharmed. In the background you can just make out Scott Henry bringing his bag o' fish to the weigh in. Scott always catches fish at my tourney. This year he knocked me out of third place by 0.3 pounds! I'll get you next year Mr. Henry!

Ryan Krumbholz is holding a very healthy looking 1.58 pounder. As Ryan astutely reported to me, he caught that fish on a blue fleck "jig & pig". That boy knows his bass fishing techniques.

For awhile I thought my 5-fish limit of under-slot fish may take first place. But within a span of 5 minutes my 5.34 total weight was toppled by three others - putting me in 4th place!

Dad drove out for the post-tourney cookout and helped cook burgers & sausages. His help is always appreciated! My buddies always get a kick out of seeing him at the cookout.

Chuck Mandernach and Barry Amrich rode their street bikes out to Lake Fork for the cookout. They sure had a nice day for a cruise!

Jeff, Steve & I did a little evening fishing after the tourney. Back in the mid 1980's the three of us went fishing a lot together. It might have hurt our collegiate grades, but we sure had a ball. So it was nice being in the boat with them after the tourney. Jeff's holding a very nice 6 pounder caught on "Brad's Hump".

Another tourney is in the books - and what a time it was. I'm already looking forward to number 15.

Official Results

36 contestants x $20 entry fee = $720 total payout

First Place........$270....Theron Hall (11.42 pounds)
Second Place...$162....Wayne Godwin (5.72 pounds)
Third Place.......$108....Scott Henry (5.64 pounds)
Big Bass..........$180....Theron Hall (8.56 pounds)



Stringer Weight

 1. Theron Hall



 2. Wayne Godwin



 3. Scott Henry



 4. Brad Stone



 5. Steve Cox



 6. David Hughes  



 7. Michael Bergstrom



 8. Ryan Krumbholz



 9. Matt Hanks



10. Mike Dimond  



11. Jeff Cotten, Jr.



12. Wes Marshall



13. Dustin Cotten



14. Jeff Cotten, Sr.



15. Robb Higginbotham



16. Wes Atkinson



17. Wayne Zartman



18. Walt Zartman



19. Jay Ward



20. Brian Bergstrom



21. Gary Krumbholz



22. Ron Henry, Sr.



23. Ron Henry, Jr.



24. Ronnie Henry



25. Carol Baker



26. Greg Baker



27. Matt McCullough



28. Dale McCullough



29. John Beall



30. Bryan Cox



31. Brad Luna



32. John Luna



33. Lee Parker



34. Zane Parker



35. Clay Terry



36. Justin Terry



   Note that some contestants may have chosen not to weigh-in their fish if they were small.
   Also, some contestants may have caught "slot fish" (currently 16-to-24 inches) that can't be weighed-in.

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