After a long day of fishing, Tom Haynes’ last cast before the deadline turned out to be the winning one.
Teammate George Toalson watched as Haynes reeled in a 5-pound bass that would put them over the top and win the 20th annual Billy Parker Lucky 13 Fishing tournament Saturday.
Fort Gibson Lake and Taylor’s Ferry North were buzzing with activity as 168 teams of two swarmed the water.
Haynes, who lives on Grand Lake, and Toalson of Claremore caught three fish for a 14.54 pound total. No other team exceeded 14 pounds.
The winning team pocketed $4,000 for finishing first and $2,400 more off the side money portion of the total purse.
“We used a Biffle Bug on an attached head all day,” said Toalson of the winning lure. “We lost a 5-pounder earlier in the day and the last one made up for it.”
The team of John Thomas and Bret Brumnett finished second and also had the tournament’s big bass of 6.61 pounds. Thomas and Brumnett shared $3,500.
Sheldon Collins fished by himself and finished with three fish at 13.0 pounds. Collins took home $1,800.
“This was a huge turnout,” said Kristen Mallett, who is Executive Director of the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce. “You guys have really helped us out this year.”
The chamber handed out a lot of other prizes just for those who attended.
The chamber had to cancel its annual Summerfest due to concerns over COVID-19. So, this event will help make up for that loss in revenue.
Twenty-four places got a tournament check plus three others won two of the random $500 checks and the one random $1,000 check just for entering.
“I don’t ever remember the Lucky 13 having this many boats,” said announcer Joe Davis of Angler Nation.
There were teams from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico in the event as well as from Oklahoma.
Radio personality Billy Parker gave the tournament its name and has attended 18 of the 20 events. He did not attend the 2020 tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Lucky 13 saw 326 fish caught and 324 were later released. The total fish weight came to 928.85 pounds. The average weight of the fish was 2.85 pounds.