The 7th annual Marines Helping Marines bass tournament was held May 16, 2015 fom Anchor Marina on the Upper Chesapeake Bay. This event was sponsored by Cecil County (MD) Tourism, Susquehanna Fishing Tackle, Nauti Goose Restaurant, Trucking for Troops, Dewalt Tools, and Turfmasters.
46 teams were launched and in the water by 6:00AM ready for blast off. Included in this field were 21 wounded war veterans who were able to escape their hospitals or care facilities for a weekend and spend a little time in Cecil County, Maryland,…home of the best bass fishing anywhere!
After these war heroes were checked into their rooms they were treated to an evening at Hollywood Casino in Perryville, MD. It’s quite an emotional scene as the progression of these men who gave us our freedom erupts into applause and a standing ovation as the casino guests realize just who these important men are.
However, the business at hand began early on Saturday as tournament organizers and their staff were setting up tents and preparing for the event as early as 1:00AM. The veterans were paired with their boater captains along with the other teams who entered the tournament and the tournament began at 6:ooAM.
Each team was allowed to carry 5 bass back to the scales that must each measure a minimum of 15″. Special awards were up for grabs amongst the wounded soldiers for the smallest legal bass and also the heaviest bass.
The first flight was due back at 1PM with the second flight scheduled for a 1:15PM weigh-in. A large crowd of assembled spectators were on hand for the weigh-in ceremonies at the Nauti Goose Restaurant at the water’s edge.
The children’s fishing tournament was due to be over by this time but it went into a sudden death fish-off in the girls division.
With the weigh-in under way it appeared that the fish were biting on the Upper Chesapeake Bay today. After the last team crossed the weigh-in podium the scales were officially closed and the results were calculated.
Finishing in 13th place were Bart Brimall and Ben Martin with 12.77 pounds. They received a $300 gift certificate from Brite Boats. Ron Lutz and Justin Harant were the 12th place team with 12.89 pounds and received a new Optima Marine Battery.
An Optima Marine Battery was also presented to the 11th place team, Dave Anderson and Mike Piccolo for their catch that weighed 13.59 pounds. Greg DiPalma and Mike Sentore landed in 10th place with 13.72 and won a $300 gift certificate from Gator Guard.
Zachariah Dunham and James McMullen not only finished in 9th place but also had the 3rd heaviest bass of the tournament earning them a total of $310 in prize money. *th place finishers Tucker Senft and Matt Tarr captured the second largest bass of the tournament and pocketed a total of $505!
Scott Johnston and Bob Odum wound up in 7th place with 14.36 and were awarded $500 in cash. $600 went to Dave Petrisco an Curtis Daily fir 6th place. They weighed in 5 bass for 15.53 pounds.
Rob Tipton and Troy Walton’s 5 bass totaled 15.97 earning them 5th place and $700 in cash. Just ahead of them were Keith Cowan and Nate Cowan, the last boat out today. They had 16.12 pounds to finish 4th and win $800.
Mike Kaminkas and Ted Lempke laid 16.39 pounds of bass on the scale…good enough for 3rd place and $900. Finishing in 2nd place today were Tony Osborne and Jason Hash with a whopping 18.74 pounds. They were handed $1100 in cold, hard cash.
Congratulations to our Champions who bested the field by over 4 pounds today. Dave Wilder and Coastal Carolina College angler Johnny Duarte produced a giant limit of bass that weighed 22.83 pounds, more than enough for the victory. They received $2400 in prize money.
Wining the hotly contested “Smallest Bass by a Wounded Marine” contest was Mike Crowell who was partnered with Steve Bowman. That bas weighed 1.57 pounds.
Several wounded Marines received cash awards for their largest bass including the following:
1-Matt Tarr…5.63 lbs
2-Charles Auge…5.03 lbs
3-Jason hash…4.49 lbs
4-Ben Martin…4.28 lbs
5-Curtis Daily…4.01 lbs
6-Michael Kelsey…3.95 lbs
7-David Noblit…3.93 lbs.
Other awards were presented to several wounded marines in attendance.
Let us remember that due to the efforts and sacrifices of our these and all of our wounded heroes we all enjoy the freedom that we have. Over the years many have remarked that they wish they weren’t at the Marines Helping Marines tournaments because they would still be serving and protecting overseas with their brothers.
Let’s remember them daily and not just when the tournament is in town.