The first thing that comes to mind about this event was the weather. It would be fair to say we had great weather, but very unlike what I was expecting. I arrived at the lake on Friday before the tournament, as several of us like to go camp/fish for a few days when at Apache, there is absolutely nothing better than a Midweek fish camp. The weather experts were predicting chance of rain on Saturday, then clearing and warmer thereafter. Well they were wrong. We got rain on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Sometimes the rain was light, sometimes at night. Sometimes the rain was a gentle pitter-patter; a few times it was a torrential spatter. Though it did not rain all the time, the threat of rain was ever present all the time, we even had hail on Tuesday night at 9PM. We had several of our group who bunked in either tents or in the bed of their truck, and all managed to stay dry.
As you would likely expect in any good fish camp, there was lots of good food, plenty of beer and spirits, lots of colorful stories and teasing, and two nights of high stakes, low investment poker. Unfortunately I lost two decks of cards on the final night when the hailstorm blew sideways into our primitive poker parlor and soaked everything. Greg Prather filled in for Gary Asmus and cooked 40 each brats and burgers for over 40 hungry anglers at our Monday night barbeque. Thanks to the Murdocks, Prathers, and Martlages for providing some great eats.
As for fishing highlights: Hobby Nelson blew his lower unit (under warranty) and yet still managed to fish. George Cobasky snapped his trolling motor shaft, and yet still caught fish. The wind was so strong on Tuesday afternoon that the Burnt Corral boat dock was blown off it’s mooring and listed onto the boat ramp. No major angler injuries to report, though I saw a bunch of guys popping ibuprofen on Wednesday morning because of too much fun the night before. Spencer Hand, Bill Blakeman, and Gene Turner all caught their personal best bass. Bryan Steele and Hal Hensey kicked butt, bringing in a two day total of 29.51 lbs, with Jeff Mason and Mark Durben right behind them with 28.56 lbs.
Finally, there are so many individuals who helped make the event a success: Jack Hughes coordinated a great tournament; Gary Martlage, Nick Wampach, Tom Savage, John Milkint did an outstanding job at the weigh-in; all of the guys who helped with cleanup after the barbeque (Greg Prather, Richie Rojas, Neal Burns, Ernie Arvizu, Tom Savage, Tony Medina, Gene Turner, Lou Hirlemann, and anybody else who helped). Speaking of helping, there are also the countless acts of assistance that the guys of Midweek provide one another while at camp, whether someone needs a little gas, needs a tow, forgot their power cord or generator, sharing of fishing advice, or just a warm cup of coffee in the morning. You won’t find a better bunch of guys anywhere.