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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

OCARC holds another successful fishing tournament


Last updated 8/8/2023 at 11:32am

Alstin Bertrand hold the 28.76 pound catfish his dad Matt Bertrand caught to take first place in the Sarge's Catfish category during the OCARC Fishing Tournament

The weather was good and the wind picked up to make the temperatures feel a little cooler during the first Friday and Saturday in August. The result was another great OCARC fishing tournament in Orange.

OCARC Director John Thomas was thrilled with the 246 entrees in the 35th Annual OCARC Fishing Tournament and of those participants who weighed in a fish 73 of them were under the age of 16 years old. "The tournament had a great turn out. The weigh-in at the Riverside Pavilion was everything we thought it would be. We just want to thank all the people for supporting OCARC," Thomas expressed.

All the young anglers who were 16 and under that weighed in a fish were given a free new rod and reel provided by Gopher Industrial. There were a number of great door prizes raffled off including a 70-quart Igloo cooler.

David Jones with Gopher Industrial is a strong supporter of OCARC and its fishing tournament. "It is an interesting journey with me and Mr. Thomas. I don't know, it's probably been fifteen years that we've been doing this, and I saw what they did is a huge family oriented endeavor. It gets kids involved and it's for a great reason to get us involved too," Jones said.

The tournament awarded almost $4400 in cash prizes in twelve categories of fish. Nine of the categories awarded prizes to the top three catches and three had first place only prize money.

The big winner in the Dominion Bass category was Daniel Hulsey with a 4.26 pound bass that earned him $750 for first place. Cameron Duhon and Dane Courville took second and third place to earn $100 and $50 respectfully.

The "Stan Armstrong" Redfish category was won by Benny Coleman with his 8.15 pound catch which won him $750. Second and third place also awarded $100 and $50 to James Hare and Charlene Kershaw.

The Big Speck category awarded $750 to James Sparrow for his 3.77 pound catch. Rusty Frederick and Chad Daniel collected $100 and $50 for second and third place.

The Flounder category was very tight with only a quarter of a pound separating the top three Thomas Mayon, Madie Lea, and Johnny Dallas. Mayon grabbed the $750 first prize with his 2.31 pound flounder. Lea and Dallas won $100 and $50 for their second and third place catches.

The "Sarge's" Catfish category was won by Matt Bertrand with his 28.76 pound catfish that was almost as big as his son Alstin. Bertrand got $100 for first while Georgia Savage received $50 for second and Carley Williams won $25 for third place.

The White Perch were not plentiful and only one was weighed in. Theygan Brooks caught a .62 pound White Perch to win $100 for that category.

The Sunfish category was the tightest of the tournament with only three one-hundredths of a pound separating first from third place. Amanda Harvey won $100 with a catch of .48 pound with Laura Harvey getting $50 for a .47 pound Sunfish and Bentley Jackson taking home $25 for a .46 pound fish.

The Croaker category awarded $100 to Paige Powell who caught a .72 pound Croaker. Jaxon Galbreath got $50 for second place and Robert Gobert took third for $25.

The Black Drum category had some very good sized fish caught with John Wagner hooking the biggest at 14.40 pounds to reel in $100 for first place. Lynn Adam and Rickey Adam took second and third places.

First place in the "Janae Borel" Grinnel category was grabbed appropriately by Ann Borel with her 6.81 pound catch to earn $100. Alex Jackson earned $50 and Craig Stark won $25 for the fish they caught.

Matt Bertrand was a double winner on Saturday as he also caught the biggest "Don Hubbard" Mudcat weighing 1.08 pounds. His mudcat could probably have been used as bait to catch the almost 29-pound catfish he had to win that category too.

Matt Bertrand caught the biggest fish at the OCARC Fishing Tournament with this 28.76 pound catfish

Reagan Johnson was the winner of the $250 prize in the "Gopher" Appaloosa Red category. Johnson turned in an Appaloosa Red with 10 spots which was the most in this year's OCARC tournament.

Thomas added, "We've got a bunch of fishermen in Orange, Texas. In a hundred degree weather there were a lot of people that were here fishing who could have been sitting at home under the air conditioner today if it weren't for the tournament."


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