Anglers from eight states and Canada completed their 24 hour fishing mission on September 10 & 11 in the Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon presented by BoatUS Angler. In addition to raising awareness for the problems facing our waters and raising money to help solve those problems through angler education, teams were competing for prizes. "Team Longboat" including Aaron Scott, of Arkansas; Brian Wise and Kyle Kosovich of Missouri; were the fundraising leaders, raising $1253. They won a "trip of a lifetime" expenses-paid trip to Spring Bay Resort on Lake Vermillion, Minnesota courtesy of BoatUS Angler.
The team who had the greatest success fishing was "Team KayakJak" including Marty, Christian and CJ Hughes of Nebraska. They fished Rock Creek Lake in Southwest Nebraska, and achieved a score of 19,799 points with about 200 fish caught and released. Points are awarded using the Angling Masters International fish calculator. Their team won a "trip of a lifetime" expenses-paid trip with a PAA (Professional Anglers Association) Tour-Level Professional Angler courtesy of BoatUS Angler.
"CJ is still jumping up and down," said CJ's father, Marty Hughes. "He has spent the last couple hours since finding out that he won "organizing" his tackle. He said it might take him a year to get ready for the trip with the PAA Pro."
The prize for the greatest amount of trash cleaned up went to "Team Fish Feeders" including Ben Leal and Brandon Cook of Iowa. They organized a lake cleanup with Central Iowa Anglers during their 24 hours on the water. Their volunteer crew removed two truckloads of trash from Big Creek Lake. Their team won a custom built fishing rod from Dragon's Custom Rods.
The largest fish of the tournament was caught by Rob Greer of Nebraska on "Team NEFGA 2" who caught a 31.5" Channel Cat from Summit Lake in Nebraska. Greer won a catfish print by wildlife artist Curt Redden.
Other prizes including tackle from Dick's Sporting Goods and Berkley were awarded for largest fish by species, photos taken, and runners-up in fishing and fundraising.
"The 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon created a grassroots network of anglers from across North America talking about the issues facing their home waters," said Teeg Stouffer, Recycled Fish Executive Director. "Anglers, our partners, and hundreds of donors showed how important clean, healthy water is to all of us through this event."
Funds raised will be used to support angler education initiatives through Recycled Fish such as the Sportsman's Stewardship Pledge program, Recycled Fish "On Ice" Tour, SAFE Angling and Drop in the Bucket youth education initiative. Some funds are also targeted for tangible pollution reduction projects like line recycling bins in Nebraska.
For complete results, photos and stories from the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon anglers, please visit www.RecycledFish.org