For what to many seems like an eternity, we have gone another year without finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, a heartless disease that for many means a shortened lifespan. This year, however, was not in vain. Thanks to the thousands upon thousands of people who actively work day in and day out studying, testing, and treating in hopes to find the elusive cure. As with many things medically related we see glimmers of hope, years of delays and trials, and a cure that seems almost within reach. Despite this, the dedication of those supporting the effort never wavers. The question of why that is can be very easily answered; it’s a passion to ensure the nearly 30,000 loved ones living with Cystic Fibrosis aren’t taken from us and are free to enjoy an abundant life. One of those very loved ones is Asher Farmer, a spry soon to be 4 year old. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, he is the catalyst that has sparked Asher’s Army, the non-profit dedicated to funding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis and sole beneficiary of the annual Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis Benefit Tournament.
Also in its fourth year, the Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis Team Tournament was held this year on Lake St. John near Ferriday, LA, and launched out of beautiful Spokane Landing. The venue, an excellent spot to enjoy all that Lake St. John has to offer, served as an ideal spot to host the event. With a near perfect weather day, the fishing this year was no disappointment. And even if it was a disappointment for some of the teams, their chances of leaving happy were a solid 100%. Whether it was knowing their efforts raised an annual tournament high of the $5,525 donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or walking away with one of the seemingly endless number of door prizes, the day was a pleasure for all.
2021 Kickin' Bass for Cystic Fibrosis
June 2021, Volume 126
Continue Reading Below.
Continue Reading Below.
The morning kicked off around 4:30 with a line of boats to launch. After three years of continued growth, this years tourney saw more teams pre-registered than fished last year. With a new high 66 teams fishing the competition was sure to be fierce. With just over half of the teams weighing fish, it was evident the bite was an on and off affair. In speaking with numerous teams at the weigh in the pattern was a mixed bag to say the least. From cranks, to plastics, jigs to spinnerbaits, and nearly everything in between, it seems they were either biting everything or nothing. Despite the scattered pattern there were about 20 fish weighed over four pounds with at least one breaking the five pound mark.
The top ten included father son team Carl and Garret Whittington weighing in a 14.42# bag, Randall Bordelon and Connor Dawson with a 14.97# sack, David Cooper and David Smith topping the 15# mark with 15.12#, Mark Lively and Travis Ashley bringing in a well full at 15.24# with a 4.12# kicker, and locals Kyle Ensminger and Seth Swilley with 15.76# and a 4.38# big fish. In fifth place was former tournament winners Ken Mahoney and Robbie Buckles with 15.87#’s and a 3.52# big bass. Fourth place finishers were Ronnie Gillespie and Bobby Eubanks tipping the 16# mark at 16.10 pounds. Taking the low spot on the winner’s podium with a third place finish was Rusty Russel and Calvin Davis with the tournament’s big fish of 5.08# filling to bag of 16.41 pounds. One of the fiercest local teams, father and son duo Robby Roberts and Patrick Hall nabbed second place tipping the 17 pound mark at 17.35#’s and a 4.71 pound kicker.
The 2021 Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis Champion Team, with an impressive 18.04 pound bag, anchored by a 4.72 pound big fish was Steve and Matt Doyle. While they may have been the tournament winners, they were certainly not the only winners on the day. After weights were determined and the winners announced, the near endless wave of door prizes began. From what we saw in giveaways, the door prizes easily surpassed $10,000 in value and were plentiful thanks to the many great sponsors of this event. Even those like us who “never win anything” couldn’t avoid the door prizes being hurled out. But without a doubt, the biggest prize of the day was seeing the growing success this event has in making a difference in the race to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, and its impact in the name of Asher’s Army.
Please join us next year for the 5th Annual Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis Team Tournament for what will undoubtedly be a top summer fishing event in our great state. Check out the Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis Facebook Group linked below to stay informed about next years event.
For more information about Asher’s Army and young Asher’s journey fighting Cystic Fibrosis please check out their Facebook group linked below and consider giving to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in their name. Every small contribution makes a huge difference for the thousands of families and their loved ones dealing with Cystic Fibrosis.
Thank you again to all the sponsors, organizers, promoters, attendees, and the anglers that made their weekend Bassin’ In The Boot an impactful and successful event for this great cause.
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A large portion of the 66 teams idling out waiting for safe light and blastoff; many teams still putting boats in right up to blast off.
Left: Shongaloo Outdoors and Bassin' In The Boot Team Member Cody Jones awaits blast off.
Right: Shongaloo Outdoors Team Member "BFE Fishing" Wyatt Ensminger enjoying a day on the water with father Tom during the Kickin' Bass for Cystic Fibrosis tournament.