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Our tournament the (Dick Hiley St Jude Bass Classic) is out of the area but I wanted to post what we are doing. The hope is our ideas may help charity tournaments in the Pensacola area.
THE TOURNAMENT: The St Jude Team Bass Cassic was started 18 years ago by KFAN sports radio station in Minneapolis. All of the money raised in the tournament goes to St Jude Childrens Reasearch Hospital, Memphis TN. The event has been hosted by three different cities but always on pool 4&5 of the Mississippi River. Dick Hiley was on of our committee members and fundraiser that died of cancer. His name was added to the event 11 years ago. Our club (the Zumbro River Bassmasters of Rochester MN) got involved in the event 16 years ago. Over time, we have accepted more responsibility to plan and run the tournament. The St Jude office in Minneapolis handles the banquet, advertising and registration.
In the beginning the fundraising was low key with a few teams bringing donations and guys contributing part of their winnings. Things really took off when one of the committee members came up with the idea of tying the teams starting position to their fundraising. Although there are 45 miles of river and backwaters to fish, there are honey holes and the odds of winning improve if your there first. Add in another layer of completion and guys took the fundraising to heart. The teams came up with their own schemes, but banquets, raffles and letter writing are the most common method. Some teams worked together to put on larger events.
We,ve always had a sponsor who helped with the prize money but recently he upped the anti with a bonus. If a team raised over $1500 the tournament winnings went up by 50%. The $5000 first place money went to $7500 to successful fundraisers. This year the 3rd place team won more money than 2nd place because of the bonus.
The 2016 Dick Hiley St. Jude Bass Classic was held on May 3&4 in Wabasha, MN on the Mississippi River. Sixty eight teams raised $341,483 with the top team raising $32,000. Thirteen teams raised over $10,000. To date, the event has raised over 3.2 million dollars. That sounds impressive but to put thing in prospective, it costs three million dollars a day to run
St Jude Hospital. To learn more about the mission, go to www. stjude.org. To see more about the tournament go to www. stjude.org/dick-hiley-bass-classic or www.classicbass.com
THE FISHING: The river and weather were perfect. The water level were two feet above summer pool. The water temps were in the low to mid 60’s. The water was clearer the usual with 2-4 ft visibility. The first wave of large and smallmouth move to the banks to spawn. The top three teams weighed all smallmouth, but the top single day weight was all largemouth. Fishing for bedding fish was the most reported technique. However, the largest smallmouth (5.82lbs) came from a pre spawn current break. I included the 1st page of the results. The weights and fundraising for the teams are for your viewing. I’de be happy to answer any of your questions. riverfan
 

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Squid technician
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Very cool event and pretty amazing numbers in fundraising. Wish we had more tourneys like that down here.
 
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