Records Fall at 12th Annual Westlake Lake Bass Fishing Tournament by Bud Fish, Fishing Committee Chairman
The record turnout of 30 fishermen was only the beginning of what was to be a day of new benchmarks on May 16th as a hot bite kept everyone jumping throughout the morning. A total of 113 largemouth bass were caught, measured and released, unharmed, to fight another day. This compares to only 67 fish caught in the tournament last year. Henry Press and son, Morgan, started things off with a record string of five fish measuring a total of 96.5 inches which captured the 1st place Team Division trophy. Quint Kuhl beat Dreu Donen by only a quarter inch to take 3rd place in the Master’s Division. Nick Nikchevich, one of the best young fishermen on the lake, took 2nd place trophy. Jeff Armstrong smashed the five fish string record, measuring 105.25 inches to earn the Grand Champion title. Another record fell as Dwayne Leser caught the largest bass in the history of the tournament that was 23 inches long. Dwayne caught the lunker while sitting in his boat at the start dock with a dead battery.
Westlake Lake is known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the state and adheres to a strict artificial bait only policy with barbless hooks to protect the fish. All fish caught must be returned quickly to the lake. All proceeds from the tournament fishermen’s entry fees go to the annual Kids’ Day at the Docks event coming up on August 15th. This is fun day fishing for boys and girls at the boat ramp area. The event is free but all kids must register at the WLMA office by August 10th. Loaner tackle is available and patient volunteers are always welcome.