Forty-six boats roared out of the Golconda Marina on the Ohio River Saturday morning, June 4, to compete in the annual Rodney J. Brenner Memorial Buddy Bass Tournament sponsored by the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation. The 88 anglers headed for their favorite fishing holes in hopes of catching enough large-mouth bass to win the event’s $2,318 first place prize money.
At the end of the day, 12 fishermen from southern Illinois received over $6,000 in total prize money. Steve Sanders and Greg Gorden, both of Vienna, weighed in 17.67 pounds of fish to capture the top prize. The team of Tom Taylor of Golconda and Jess Taylor of Brookport took second place with their 16.14 pound catch. They took home $1,288 for their efforts.
With 14.0 pounds of fish, Jody Betz from Stonefort and BJ Betz from Marion earned third place honors and $773 in prize money. Elizabethtown’s Jeff Fulkerson and Justin Conkle finished in fourth place with 13.99 pounds of bass, garnering them $515 in winnings. Finally, fifth place prize money of $258 went to the team of Carl Pickering of Harrisburg and Tom Oxford of Elizabethtown for their 13.61 pound catch.
In the Big Bass competition, Sanders and Gorden won first place and a $552 check for landing a 5.17 pound fish. Second place and $276 went to Golconda’s Roy Arnold and Tim Threlkeld with a bass weighing in at 4.79 pounds, while the team of Tom and Jess Taylor caught a 4.33 pound bass to claim third place and a check for $92.
Major sponsors of this year’s tournament were All In One Real Estate Company (Elite Sponsor); Taylor Eye Care (Master Sponsor); Chris Haas (Master Sponsor); Cherry Street Printing & Awards (Angler Sponsor); Morello’s Restaurant & Catering (Angler Sponsor); Williams & Associates Insurance; (Angler Sponsor); and Banterra Bank (Angler Sponsor) Other sponsors included Oasis on the Ohio Golconda Marina, Golconda Lockmaster Homes, Dunn’s Sporting Goods, Sweetwater Saloon, Timberline Fisheries and Live Pet Food, the Pope County Chamber of Commerce and the Herald-Enterprise.
The SIC Brenner Memorial Bass Tournament was established by the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation in remembrance of Mr. Rodney J. Brenner to raise funds for scholarships for incoming SIC students from the college district. Brenner was a charter member of the Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees and was very instrumental in pursuing Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) funding for the development of the Golconda Marina.
First place winners of the 2016 Rodney J. Brenner Memorial Bass Tournament are (l-r) Steve Sanders and Greg Gorden of Vienna. Sanders and Gorden won the team competition and a check for $2,318 by catching five fish totaling 17.67 pounds. The duo also won the Big Bass competition by landing a 5.17 pound large-mouth, garnering them an additional $552.