So how did this year look? Officially there were 124 registered participants, representing seven states! Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and of course Maryland were all represented. The campground was taken over for the weekend by the attendees of the Jamboree, and again there was a strong local presence of area anglers.
The 2013 event was supported by 36 sponsors who donated a wide array of gear and services - everything from lures to rigs and dry storage to fishing rods! Captains bags were available for every participant, stuffed with all kinds of swag and information, topped off with an event shirt with artwork designed and provided by Maria Kourkoutas. Dupont Kalrez again picked up the tab for dinner. Mr. Bob Little provided his services by cooking the pig and roast beef to perfection for all. Salads and desserts were provided by Lisa of Your Personal Chef Catering of Rising Sun, MD; the BBQ Pig was butchered and provided by Galvinell Meat Co. of Conowingo, MD; and the rolls were baked fresh and sliced by the Havre de Grace Weis Market. All provided the food at cost to help us raise as much as possible for Heroes on the Water.
The Rangers at Susquehanna State Park Campground welcomed everyone again this year and were more than helpful with any needs we had. A bonus was provided this year by Ranger Holt, who filled us in on some local hotspots that were producing. I was assured on Sunday as the last of us were pulling out that the staff was looking forward to our return again next year!
So, how was the fishing?
Three of the four calcuttas paid out this year! The conditions were tough to say the least. Friday had a pretty good amount of wind and chop. In spite of that, there were a couple decent stripers reported.
Friday night’s captains meeting was preceded by folks checking in. Captain’s bags and t-shirts were doled out, and there was an opportunity to pick up some HOW swag. The ground rules were laid out, calcuttas were collected, and a toast was made. The mood was quite jovial, in spite of the weather conditions, which only went south overnight.
By morning the rain had eased, and the plastic navy departed the campground to give it a go and try and collect the calcutta money. The winds were an issue all day, continually building and making things quite choppy. Some fish were landed, photographed, and released to fight another day. Everyone who had fish was able to make it back to the picnic area in time to make the weigh in. Here are the results:
Striped bass Calcutta
First place and $240 went to Nathan Oakes with 25 3/4".
Second place and a selection of lures went to Micheal Brupbacher with23".
Third place and a selection of lures went to Ryan Hill with 20".
Largemouth bass / smallmouth bass
First place and $155 went to Kodi Bowers with 16 1/2".
Second place and a selection of lures went to Frank Healy with 14".
(Sorry, Frank -the picture didn't come out!)
Third Place and a selection of lures went to Robby Griffith.
First place and $150 went to Jimmy McDermott with 25".
Second place and a lure selection went to Wayne Aubertin with 23".
Third place and a selection of lures went to Matt Keeler with 15".
Something really special about the calcuttas today - three of our Heroes placed in them!
Congratulations to Nathan Oakes, Kodi Bowers, and Matt Keeler, and thank you for your service defending our freedom!
Lefty Kreh TFO rod and hat
The Lefty Kreh autographed flyrod and hat was won by Dennis Reinknecht.
The big winner of the day - and I do mean BIG! Not only did he clean up on the raffles, and win the Striped Bass Calcutta - as if that wasn't enough - he took home the Hobie “Outback”!
Congratulations to Nathan Oakes!
A very special “Thank you” to all of our sponsors! Without their support this event wouldn't happen!
To the SKFKF Organizing Committee, I could not have done it without you!
And to all who attended, thank you for your support! Without you coming out to these events, we'd never be able to get our Heroes on the Water!
See you next year!