Some of you already know that Wild Lifer Ralph Barton made an exception to his “no tournaments” rule and entered the Optimist Tournament over the weekend. He finished second in the striper category with this dandy, which tipped the scales at 17.58 pounds.
When I saw Ralph at the awards he said he had been catching some nice stripers while plugging after dark. “I was going to be fishing anyway so I figured I would go ahead and enter.”
The fatty (below) caught by Ralph’s girlfriend, Jan Wilson, didn’t meet the 37-inch tourney minimum, but sure was a nice fish, too!
My column in today’s Roanoke Times noted a few of the changes going on with the tourney, including the folks from the Challenger Little League Baseball group getting involved.
Sid Witt and the others at CLLB are interested in moving this event forward. They’ve already made some improvements to the event, which hasn’t changed a whole lot in its execution and production since its early days starting 45 years ago.
Some of you may have seen a comment below from reader/angler Chris Meyers regarding a desire to see published results that go deeper than the top four award-winners. The way results are currently tracked on paper, it would be pretty time-consuming to get those results together for publication. If tournament organizers can move to an electronic results system, like those used in most large fishing tournaments and derbies (and running races, etc.) these days, that would make publicizing the results much easier. In fact, it could relieve tournament organizers of work because anglers could track the leader board electronically rather than having to call for updates.
Along those same lines, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tournament Web site? Or at least a Facebook page? That could also help keep anglers posted during the event, and also help get word out about the event.
Do you all have other suggestions about how that tournament could be improved?