Kelly Bostian: Rising Stars fishing tournament gives kids chance to win big
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2012
8/26/12 at 5:27 AM
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THE NINTENDO dropped from 9-year-old Barry Woodling's attention and, faster than Super Mario hops over a rolling barrel, the youngster launched himself to his grandfather's side at the bow of his bass boat.
Grandpa Ricky Woodling handed off a bent fishing pole and instructed the boy on the finer points of battling bass as eyes widened on grandfather and grandson both. A full grin enhanced Ricky's white handlebar mustache, and 5-year-old grandson Rex Woodling joined in as cheerleader as his grandfather scrambled to grab the fishing net, saying, "Oh, ho! It's a good'n. It's a good'n!"
The Woodlings' successful fight with the 4 1/4-pound largemouth as the sun rose to burn fog off the surface of Fort Gibson Lake at sunrise last Sunday was just one example of a memory-making moment at the Lake Country Anglers Rising Stars Youth Classic bass tournament.
With competitors ages 3 to 16, the tournament incorporates aspects of serious competition with a lot of opportunities for kids just to be kids.
"We had 48 kids here today and we got to put a smile on their faces," said tournament organizer Dwight Tannehill. "We also realized we've got more work to do, to get more kids out here in the future and to have more prizes in the future."
The Classic marked the last of five Rising Stars tournaments this season. It is one of three Lake Country Anglers tournament trails offered by Tannehill and his wife, Dawn, with chief sponsors Royal Purple and Gibson Bait & Tackle of Locust Grove. The main adult trail is called the LCA, and they also sponsor an LCA Couples series.
"What we make on the other trails goes into this," Dwight said of the youth tournament. "I want these kids to go home with four times what they put into it."
For a $25 entry fee, they do well with a packet full of baits handed out for each tournament and prizes at the end of each tournament that include more baits, rod-and-reel packages and toys.
The prize table at the Classic was packed with trophies and a second table was loaded with toys, a Wii game station, bicycles, a flat-screen TV and rods and reels. Behind the table was the big prize for Rising Stars Angler of the Year, a $10,000 BassCat boat package with trailer, 25-horsepower Mercury motor, fish finder and trolling motor. "And it's a prize that goes to the kid, not to the parent," Tannehill said.
Two brothers were in hot contention for Angler of the Year, Eli Brumnett, 14, and his brother Tate, 12, who dominated the five youth tournaments this season. Tate brought in four fish for a 10-pound bag Sunday and edged out his brother by just over a pound to win the boat.
"We already decided, whoever won it, it was going to belong to the both of them," said their father, Brett. The Brumnett boys live near the lake and are serious about fishing.
A couple years back, time stretched thin by all the different sports activities, the family decided the boys should narrow their list to two. "They play football and they wrestle," said their mother Monica Brumnett. "In the summer they gave up baseball. They're fishing instead and it's been great."
At the weigh-in they got a call from a close family friend, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tommy Biffle.
While the Brumnett boys are on their way to becoming serious competition at local tournaments and jackpots in years to come, others at the tournament got equal attention no matter how small their catch.
The aptly named Fisher Davis, 3, quickly set the record straight when asked about her day's catch.
"Did you catch a little fish?" she was asked.
"No." she said. "I caught a big fish!"
At the weigh-in her cowboy boots churned gravel and grass as she marched across the landscape at Paradise Cove to pull a 1-pounder from the live well in her dad's bass boat. "I hold the rod for her and she reels it up," said Tony Davis. "We lost a bigger one this morning doing that, but that's the way it goes."
She wore a white T-shirt with a big orange-ribbon emblem on the back and the words "Team Kole" for her brother, Kole, 7. "We started this last year with Kole, but he wasn't up to it this year so she's standing in for her brother," Tony Davis said. He was happy to report that Kole's leukemia is in remission and he's been doing much better.
Tournament organizers made sure Kole had a prize in his hands before he left the tournament Sunday as well. "No kid goes home empty handed," Dwight Tannehill said. "We are blessed with so much, this is just our way of giving back."
Original Print Headline: Rising Stars of fishing
Lake Country Anglers Rising Stars Classic results
Angler of the Year: Tate Brumnett
1st: Adam and Tim Shuck, 12.79 lbs.
2nd: Caleb and Josh Gibson, 12.05 lbs.
3rd: Hunter and Herb Jones, 10.77 lbs.
Big Bass: Daniel and Rusty Anthamatten, 4.65 lbs.
Big Bubba: Jacob and Doug Scheihing, 5.79 lbs.
For information on Rising Stars, see tulsaworld.com/lcarisingstars
Ricky Woodling nets a 4 1/2-pound bass for his grandson Barry, 9, at Fort Gibson Lake during the Rising Stars Classic bass tournament last Sunday. KELLY BOSTIAN/Tulsa World