History-making catch at Mark’s Outdoors tourney

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he just might get some money out of it.

Mark’s Outdoor Sports held its 21st annual fishing tournament on May 23 at Logan Martin Lake, where almost 1,000 participants vied for monetary prizes and victory titles.

Father-daughter team Brian and Anna Grace Horton netted $25,000 and made Mark’s tournament history this year after catching a 7.00-pound fish.

Because of a special insurance policy, any fish weighing exactly 7 pounds qualifies for the $25,000 prize. The Horton duo’s catch not only marked a first for the decades-old tournament, but also won them the “big fish” prize and an extra $500.

Bo Hunter and Brandee Johnson won the open tournament with a 20.38-pound haul. They, along with all participants placing in the top 10, won $1,000.

Each boat out of the nearly 500 in competition was given bass fingerlings to release into the lake upon reaching its fishing location.

Blake Harlow, tournament director, said this action helps replenish fish populations across the lake, rather than in one specific zone.

“It just gives the fish a better chance to live and grow,” Harlow said.

Replenishing the lake may come in handy in the future, as Harlow hopes the event will remain at Logan Martin Lake and the Coosa River for years to come.

“As long as Pell City wants us there, we’re going to be there,” Harlow said. “The facilities, the attractions and the amenities make life a lot easier.”

Harlow went on to say that the event, despite falling on Memorial Day weekend, exceeded his expectations.

If this year’s record-breaking tournament is any indication, then the contest may continue exceeding expectations for years to come.

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