This weekend marks the fourth annual Keith Combs Sam Rayburn Slam Open Bass Tournament benefitting Warrior’s Weekend Texas, and if you’re anywhere nearby I hope you’ll join me. We’ll be accepting entries into the tournament up through Saturday morning, and even if you don’t intend to fish we’ll also be having a steak dinner and live auction on Friday night. In fact, even if you’re nowhere near East Texas, you can join in the festivities remotely – you can buy raffle tickets on the Warriors Weekend website or bid on auction items on my social media channels.
I’m proud that this tournament has evolved from a true grassroots, small-scale event into a rapidly-growing juggernaut. My sponsor BLV was the impetus behind it all – they wanted to do something for the military, so they set up a bass and crappie tournament on another lake. It went over well, and they’ve continued that tradition to this day. At the same time, it demonstrated the appetite for this type of event, so I added my name and sweat equity to a second tournament, and it has grown every year since then.
For example, the first year we had 10 or 12 auction items, and this year we have 35, including a trip to Alaska, fishing and hunting trips, knives, guns and all sorts of artwork.
The word has really started to get out around the country, too. This is a strong fishing community, and a very patriotic community as well. But last year we had anglers show up from four or five different states. There were even some competitors from as far away as Ohio. They were all able to get behind a good cause, and it doesn’t hurt that our payout is way over 100 percent. Top prize is a Ranger RT198P with a Yamaha 150SHO valued at $35,000.
It also helps that Rayburn is consistently one of the best lakes in the country. You can catch fish from one end to the other, deep and shallow, just about any way you want to catch them. It’s hard to say what it’ll take to win – it could be anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds – but it usually settles in right around 30. That’s stout anywhere. It’s going to be a fishy day.
I’ve put a lot of effort into this tournament, but I can’t forget to thank not only the event’s sponsors, but also the dozens of volunteers who will make it run smoothly. It’s just one weekend a year, but they give up their valuable time to ensure that nothing goes wrong. It’s a small price to pay to benefit the combat-wounded veterans, without whom none of us would be able to go fishing at all.
Remember, there are all sorts of different ways to participate. If you can’t be there to fish or attend the dinner, please consider bidding on an auction item or buying a raffle ticket. The raffle prizes are pretty incredible: First is an Igloo Cooler filled with $2,500 worth of tackle. Second is a Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor. Third is a GoPro. One hundred percent will go to Warrior’s Weekend.
Visit my website for more information, or to register for the tournament.