Cubbage fishing tournament draws a record 46 boats
The 14th Annual Verne D. Cubbage Memorial Fishing Tournament was held March 27 at Pontiac Cove Marina. A record 46 boats entered the tournament, which took off at 7 a.m. and began weighing in at 3:30 p.m.
The top five places received cash prizes. First place went to Michael Welch and Albert Scott, both of Theodosia. They had a total weight of 26.0 pounds and took home a $1,500 cash prize. They also won first in the Big Bass category with a 6.0-pound bass and were awarded $460.
Second place went to Cody Huff and Dakota Pierce, both of Ava. They weighed in a total weight of 21.8 pounds and won a $900 cash prize. Third place went to Tommy Skinner of Protem and Mike Cox of Theodosia. They weighed in 20.4 pounds and won a $700 cash prize. Fourth place went to Brandon Williams of Cape Girardeau and Brad Welsh of Festus, who brought in a total weight of 19.2 pounds. They won a $400 cash prize. Fifth place went to Jake Christeson of Theodosia and Robert Hathcock of Thornfield. They had a total weight of 18.0 pounds and won $180.
Each year, tournament directors encourage participants to bring young anglers as their partners. All youth participants age 16 and younger were recognized for fishing the tournament. Evan Fleetwood, 14, of Ava, won the Big Bass Youth Division prize with a 3.2-pound bass. He won a $25 gift card and a new rod and reel.
Ten other young anglers entered the tournament and were awarded $20 each for participating. After the weigh-in was over, Cody Huff signed caps, posed for pictures and talked fishing with the kids. Huff is a BASS College National Champion, BASS Classic Bracket Champion and two-time FLW Toyota Series Champion. This year he is competing as a professional fisherman in the Major League Fishing Circuit with Bass Pro Shops as his title sponsor. This is the second time a “pro” has fished the Cubbage tournament. In 2010, Roland Martin, professional sport fisherman, entered the tournament with partner Ronnie Curry of Ava.
The tournament is named for the late Verne Cubbage, who died in 2006. Cubbage moved to the Bull Shoals Lake area with his wife, Verla, in 1973. They owned and operated a fishing resort for 14 years, promoting Bull Shoals Lake and the Ozarks. After selling the resort, Cubbage operated a printing and promotion business serving the Bull Shoals, Norfork, Table Rock and Taneycomo lake areas.
Two of Cubbage’s favorite pastimes were fishing and driving a school bus for the Gainesville School District, transporting students to special events, competitions and conferences. In his memory, the Cubbage family donates a portion of the tournament proceeds each year to the Gainesville FBLA and FFA organizations. This year, they are pleased to be able to donate $1,000 to each club.
Plans are already underway for next year’s tournament; the date has not been set, but it will be held in spring 2022. Tournament directors would like to continue to grow the tournament--both in participation and sponsorships. Anyone who would like to get involved should contact Jabet Wade at Pontiac Cove Marina at 679-3676.