Stillwater News Press

July 4, 2013

Family Fishing Tournament sees plenty of big catches

By Andrew Glover
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Having success fishing can be as easy as just knowing the waters. On the Fourth of July’s 16th Annual Family Fishing Tournament at Boomer Lake that concept worked for Tony Halford, his brother-in-law Joshua Cox and father-in-law Rodger Cox.

“They were where they were supposed to be,” Halford said. “I’ve fished here in the past and you can pattern them. Pattern is usually the way I catch them.”

The trio caught 15 pounds and 11 ounces of black bass to win the boating division of the tournament. Halford said the event was a great way to spend time with his in-laws.

“(Josh) is going to the Air Force, so this was the last one he will fish in, for a while,” Halford said.

As far as the bait to lure fish in was concerned, it was nothing fancy, Halford said.

“I went to Wal-Mart this morning to get the sinkers,” Halford said. “I used tongue sinkers and baby brush hog.”

The team of Rodney Wilson, Craig Dyck and Beth Dyck finished second with just over 10 pounds of mixed fish. Wilson had the biggest fish of the day with a 4.6-pound black bass.

In third place was the team of Eddie and Heather Fisher and Jeff and Tyler Cates with 2.12 pounds of black bass.

In the non-boating division, the team of Evan Cartabiano, Trevor Starks and Kris Stahr came out on top with more than eight pounds of channel catfish. Cartabiano said his team used a blitzkrieg strategy — making sure they covered every inch of water.

“We always kept lines in the water, constantly,” Cartabiano said. “All of us fish two lines.”

Stahr said the team used a lot of different baits.

“Most of our fish were on worms,” Stahr said. “We used some dull bait too.”

Cartabiano competed last year with his wife but she couldn’t make it. That didn’t stop him from having fun with his new crew.

“This is my second tournament,” Cartabiano said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s nice to do it with friends.”

The team of John, Nathan and Riley Smith finished second with 7.7 pounds and the team of Hom Acharva, Durga KC, Bikash Shakya and Girija Regmi finished third.

Despite the Fourth being near the end of the week, 43 teams participated. Tournament Director Brad Eads, who is also the city’s parks operations manager said the turnout was pretty consistent with previous years.

“With (the Fourth) being on Thursday, people may take a long extended weekend, so we may lose people,” Eads said. “If it’s on a Tuesday or Wednesday and people stay in town are numbers will be inflated. We’ll get over the 50 mark.... When we started 17 years ago, we had 15 teams and its just grown.”

Prizes with various amounts of fishing gear were given to the top placers. Hayley Sweeden won the youth biggest fish with a 2.13 pound channel catfish. Sam Crawford was a close second with a 2.07 channel catfish.