The Leavenworth Bass Club recently wrapped up a very busy year in 2012.
Its 29 members spent many hours supporting three of the club’s purposes: To encourage youth participation in the sport of fishing; to support conservation of our lakes and rivers; and to improve members’ angler skills.
The club has a long history of conducting or supporting youth fishing events in an effort to introduce children to the sport of fishing.
The club conducted a Kid’s Casting Contest at Cabelas last February. Club members registered, coached and scored over 60 children ranging in ages from four to 15.
During the year, club members provided support to the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club’s spring and fall kids’ fishing derbies.
Each of these fishing events attracted over 140 children up to the age of 15. Children catching the most and biggest fish in various age groups received prizes.
The club was a sponsor to the Northwest Missouri State College Fishing Club, providing seminars and even fishing equipment to the college team in Maryville, Mo.
The club also supported three community service projects this year.
As it has for several years, the club supported the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun’s Special American’s Fishing Event. This event provided an opportunity for over 50 special needs children and adults from around the local area to enjoy a day of fishing.
This year club members decided to undertake a project that is totally unrelated to fishing, but an important community service project.
Club members collected 125 coats for the Coats for Kids program in December in conjunction with the radio station 980 KMBZ.
The club’s largest service project involved its support of the annual Fishing For Freedom tournament.
Club members started this event four years ago to say thank you to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and to other current and former service members.
Service members are paired with volunteer boat owners for a day of fishing. Food and lodging are free for participating service members. The tournament has grown from 35 participants in the first year to 125 this past October.
The club has assisted the Kansas Parks and Wildlife department for a number of years by placing brush piles in local lakes to provide fish habitat.
This year the club expanded its conservation efforts to include the collection and recycling of members’ used fishing line and lures. Then the lures are mailed to Whopper Baits in Meeker, Okla., to be melted, made into new lures and provided to youth bass fishing clubs at no cost.
Even with all these various activities, the club’s anglers found time to test and improve their fishing skills. The club conducted 15 separate tournaments during the 2012 season.
At the season’s end, the top five anglers for the season were Dennis Edwards, Bob Jorgensen, Bill Gevedon and Larry Stoafer, all of Leavenworth, and Ray Cates of Overland Park.
The club made a significant change in its affiliation this year. During the past few years, since the club has held its tournaments exclusively on Missouri lakes the membership decided to join the Missouri Bass (MOBASS) Federation.
The MOBASS Federation held its annual state tournament in October. Ten members of the Leavenworth Bass Club traveled to Table Rock Lake to compete.
The Leavenworth Team finished second at the tournament. Three club members qualified for the Missouri state team and will fish in the Central Regional Tournament on June 3-7 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas.
The qualifying members are Randy Kenton and Dennis Edwards of Leavenworth, and Sam Morton of Easton.
Dan Senterfitt is the conservation chairman for the Leavenworth Bass Club.