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Bass tourney reels them in
Annual fundraiser benefits Hightower Baptist Food Bank
Am Protein Tourney 4 es
Phil Sanders bags a fish during weigh-in for the American Proteins bass tournament Saturday afternoon. Ninety-eight boats competed. - photo by Emily Saunders
At a glance

American Proteins bass tournament top five catches:

• Nick Larson and Shawn Smith — 22.32 pounds
• Tommy Chumley and Curtis Roper — 18.87 pounds
• Karl Pimgry and Rob Rice — 18.07 pounds
• Jim Trotter and Phil Satterfield — 17.69 pounds (also “big fish” winners with a 6.76-pound fish)
• Mickey Bruce and Tyler Jones — 17.33 pounds
Participation may have been down slightly, but organizers deemed Saturday’s American Proteins bass tournament a success.

“We did pretty good. We had 98 boats,” said organizer Natalie Gunter. “That was down a little. Maybe it was the economy and the way things are going. We also heard there were about six other [fishing tournaments] on Lake Lanier that day.”

Last year, the annual event drew 123 boats and raised more than $24,000 for the March of Dimes.

While Gunter said the total had not been finalized as of Monday, the event did raise “a little more than $20,000” for the Hightower Baptist Food Bank.

The organization is supported by nearly 60 area churches and distributes more than $7,000 worth of food a month to families in northeast Georgia.

Tournament leaders decided to shift causes this year due to the economy.

“With the need, the economy and how things are going, we thought we’d do something local and help out the county,” said Gunter before the event.

A portion of the funds raised came from sales of hamburgers, hot dogs, sodas and raffle tickets to fishermen and their families at weigh-in.

Raffle prizes included various rod and reel combinations, gift certificates, jackets, tool and tackle boxes.

Gunter said raffle ticket sales netted more than $4,000 and food sales garnered nearly $500.

All in all, Gunter said the 13th event was a success.

“Things were good,” she said. “We had a real good crowd.”