[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Conway fisherman’s 6.98 pound catch at Pendleton this weekend won him a $50,000 cash prize at the Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza fishing tournament, the largest amateur bass tournament on the Arkansas River.

Big Bass Bonanza 2014

Steve Scherrey’s 6.98-pound winning catch at the 8 a.m. Saturday weigh-in at the Dumas pool lifted him over one-day leader William Fitzgerald’s 6.87 pound fish in the Dardanelle pool.

Scherrey beat out 2,277 other anglers to win the grand prize. This is his second time to take home the overall prize. Fourteen years ago, Scherrey won the tournament with a 6.76 ponder.

Scherrey, who was fishing with Jim Langley of Conway, caught the winning bass while fishing with a Buzz bait. He said he will split the money with his fishing partner and use his winnings for a family vacation with his kids and grandkids, pay bills, and work on his boat.

“The Big Bass Bonanza is absolutely the best tournament for the average fisherman,” Scherrey said. “It is very well run. I am a big proponent of the tournament. It pulls people in from outside the state.”

First-place winners in each of the other pools winning $10,000 each were:

• William Fitzgerald, Greenbrier (6.87) – Dardanelle pool
• David May, Little Rock (6.85) – North Little Rock pool
• Karry Dedmon, Huntington (5.69) – Fort Smith pool
• Jason Hamilton, Star City (5.63) – Pine Bluff pool

Roger Key and his son, Zane Moore, both from Van Buren, took home $1,000 cash and the Willow Leaf Award, which goes to the parent/child or grandparent/grandchild pair weighing the biggest fish. Their bass tipped the scales at 5.78 pounds.

Guaranteed place money for each of the five pools is $900 to 2nd place, $700 to 3rd place and $400 to 4th place to the winners in each of the five pools.

The winners of those are:
Dardanelle pool
2nd David Buck, Ozark 5.55
3rd Bill Raggio, Charleston 5.20
4th Charles Dickerson, Ozark 5.10

North Little Rock pool
2nd Randy Osborn, Russellville 6.67
3rd Gary Ledford, Clarksville 6.44
4th David Summers, Mt. Ida 6.43

Fort Smith pool
2nd Jimmy Terry, Little Rock 6.02
3rd Mitchell Hope, Little Rock 5.59
4th James Dial, Bryant 5.35

Pine Bluff pool
2nd Terry Stewart, Greenbrier 5.13
3rd Brian Pennington, White Hall 4.89
4th Ronnie Hackney, Star City 4.71

Dumas/Pendleton pool 5
2nd John “Steve” Burton, Monticello 6.65
3rd Johnny Walker, Lake Village 6.64
4th Jacky Brown, Marion 6.12

A total of $234,200 in prize money was awarded, and the hourly payouts were $650 for first place, $400 for second place and $300 for third place.

Major sponsors of the tournament were Academy Sports and Outdoors, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and Hardees. Other sponsors were Heart of Arkansas, North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, Pine Bluff Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Russellville Advertising & Promotions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]