Photo from left to right:
Tappahannock Rotary Big Croaker Tournament check for first prize is presented by (from left to right) Carl Strock - Tappahannock Rotary President, Hong Nguyen, Ba’s son Khang Nguyen who won second prize in the youth division, Ba Nguyen (center), My Ho and Loc Truong of Springfield VA with his family and (right) Jim Wawner Tournament Weigh-Master. Not pictured Jay Brimmer, Tournament Chair.
Despite heavy rain forecasts and foul weather, 81 boats registered and competed in the Big Croaker Tournament on Saturday, May 19th, run out of Garrett’s Marina. Ba Nguyen in boat #4 from Springfield VA has won four times over the last few years, won first prize with a Croaker weighing 1.05 lbs, caught near the pylons using shrimp. Ba won first prize of $1,500 plus the early bird registration bonus of $500. Youth angler Khang Nguyen won second prize in the youth category for another $200.
John Wood in boat #65 from Spotsylvania VA won second prize of $1,000 with a Croaker weighing 0.85 lb. Marlin Stepler from St. Thomas PA, a regular participant in the tournament, on boat #2 won third prize $500 with a Croaker weighing 0.80 lb. Note third, fourth and fifth place croakers were all the same 0.80 lb weight and the tie ranking was determined by the earliest registration date. Joseph Hopkins in boat #18 from Walkerton VA on boat #18 won fourth prize of $250 with a Croaker weighing 0.80 lb and Doug Hudson on boat #78 won fifth prize of $150 with a Croaker weighing 0.80 lb.
In the Youth Division, Selak Kyle from Fannettsburg PA on boat #3 won first prize youth of $300 with a Croaker weighing 0.70 lb. Youth angler on Ba Nguyen’s boat #4, Khang Nguyen, won second prize in the youth category for $200 with a croaker weighing 0.65 lb. Chris Colley on boat #7 from Summerfield NC on boat #7 won third prize youth of $100 with a Croaker weighing 0.65 lb. Second and third place youth was a tie and ranking was determined by registration entry date. Tim Pack of Spotsylvania won the draw for a free tournament registration.
Eager anglers came from great distances for this tournament, some as far away as North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland, a dozen strong contingent from Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia, a dozen from the Richmond area, significant entries from the Charlottesville area and Tidewater area. At least two dozen boats were local entries from Essex and adjacent counties.
Tappahannock Rotary wishes to thank the sponsors of the tournament who contributed generously to make this annual event a success. Silver sponsors include Andrews and Andrews PLC, Bareford Buick GMC, Charles P Gilchrist III, OD, Inc., Dillard and Katona Law Offices, Essex Bank, Holiday Barn, NN Berger, Primal Urge Foods, Riverside Hospital, Sir Speedy Printing, SonaBank Tappahannock Chevrolet, Garrett’s Marina, and Roma Italiano Ristorante. Bronze sponsors include Essex Concrete, Lowery’s Seafood Restaurant, Martin Sale Furniture, Rappa Boat Services LLC, Rappahannock Times, Riverland Insurers, Southside Motel and Marina, Tappahannock Furniture Store and Virginia Shoe Clinic.
Rotarians who assisted with this project both in the planning and on the day of the event include Jay Brimmer – tournament chair, Jim Wawner – weigh master, Carl Strock – club president, prize awarder and cook, Bud Smith – sponsorships, Ron Geiger – registration and financial, Emerson Hughes, Fred Woodard, John Frazier, Reese Peck, David Broad, Mac Garrett, Bill Croxton, and Andrea Mitman.