Thereâ€™s going to be a lot of Lake Norman casting going on March 10 and itâ€™s all for a good cause.
That Saturday will mark the 21st anniversary of the Jim Ledbetter memorial team bass tournament.
Bass anglers from throughout the Carolinas and surrounding states will gather for this popular charity team bass fishing tournament.
Organizer Bob Patrick said more than 226 teams entered last yearâ€™s competition.
â€œThe winning 5 fish limit weight was 14.95 pounds. A total of 952 pounds of bass were brought to the scales,â€ said Patrick. â€œWe are expecting over 200 boats again this year and a large spectator crowd.â€
Patrick added the tournament wasnâ€™t a â€œrun of the millâ€ fishing tournament.
The event is held annually on Lake Norman and is run for the benefit of The V Foundation for Cancer Research which is a charity Founded by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano.
Valvano was a legendary basketball coach and ESPN commentator.
Volunteers from Balls Creek Bassmasters and their families run the event.
The pre weigh-in activities will start at noon at Queenâ€™s Landing on N.C. 150 in Mooresville.
The tournament, which is becoming known as the â€œCasting Out Cancerâ€ event, will feature fun and activities for the entire family.
There will be a Casting Kids qualifying tournament starting at 1 p.m. and running until weigh-in is completed.
Youngsters 7 – 14 will compete by age group for a chance to advance to State and National tournaments where more than $25,000 in scholarships are awarded. That event is sponsored by the Bass Anglers Sportsmanâ€™s Society.
Some fan friendly features include all children in attendance at the weigh-in will be given a complimentary gift. There will be trucks and boats on display as well as seating for spectators to relax and watch the weigh-in.
Boy and Girl Scouts will be on hand to assist with the live release of all fish caught. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Checkers Restaurant with all net proceeds being donated to The V Foundation.
Since the tournamentâ€™s inception in 1986, more than $623,000 has been raised to fight cancer. The 2006 event netted over $34,000 to fight the dreaded disease.
Boats will launch in flights starting at 7 a.m. at Queens Landing. Weigh-in will start at 2 p.m.
Entry fees are $140 per team (includes big fish pot) with a guaranteed total payout of $13,000. First place will be awarded $3,200.
In addition, the top teams in the following categories will receive a cash prize of $500 each: Husband/Wife, Adult/Child and Senior Citizen (55 years and over).
Anglers may register at Queenâ€™s Landing from 3 – 7 p.n. on the Friday before the tournament or on tournament morning starting at 5.
For sponsorship, registration questions, and/or any other tournament information, contact Bob Patrick at (828) 459-1119. Entry forms may also be found at local tackle dealers.
by Jon Mayhew