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Fishing tournament benefits food bank
Sign-ups under way for April 16 event
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Forsyth County News

At a glance
American Proteins bass tournament benefitting Hightower Baptist Food Bank will begin with registration at 5 a.m. April 16 and the boat launch at safe light, about 6:30 a.m. Entry fee is $140 per boat. For more information or to register, contact Natalie Gunter at (770) 887-6148.

Organizers of an annual fishing fundraiser hope the weather improves over the next couple weeks.

Natalie Gunter, an employee of American Proteins, said the company's bass fishing tournament will begin at safe light, or about 6:30 a.m., on April 16 from Little Hall Park. Registration will begin at 5 a.m.

"We hope the weather will be pretty. Hopefully, it'll warm up before then," Gunter said.

For the second year in a row, the fundraiser will benefit the Hightower Baptist Food Bank.

Supported by more than 60 northeast Georgia churches, the bank distributes more than $7,000 worth of food to families in need each month.

Gunter said about 22 fishermen have signed up for the event so far.

"Usually by the week of, we have at least 40 or 50," Gunter said. "And on the day of, we usually double that."

She said the past three or four years, the event has drawn more than 100 boats.

Entry fee is $140, regardless of whether fishermen pre-register.

A number of prizes will be awarded, including a "big fish" award to whoever reels in the largest catch. That prize will be $500.

In addition, she said, cash prizes will go to the top 10 boats bringing in the heaviest overall catches. Those prizes range from $100 to $2,000.

After weigh-in about 3:30 p.m., fishermen's families can also join in the fun with concessions and several raffle giveaways.

Tickets are $1 each. Hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be sold, with all sales also going to the food bank.

"We've got rod and reels, tackle boxes, lots of gift cards -- we've got all kinds of gift cards," Gunter said of the raffle prizes.

"We're still getting stuff in every day, so we'll have a lot more by the 16th."

Gunter said last year's event raised nearly $22,000, and leaders hope for at least that much this year.