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It’s about time to break out the rod, reel and Dodge Charger and head to Pat Mayse Lake for the 25th annual Uncle Jesse’s Big Mouth Big Bass Classic.
The annual event is set for May 5. Registration takes place the day before at Lamar County Chamber of Commerce on the square and Brannan’s Bass Shop, located on US 271 North in Powderly.
On May 5, fishing starts at 6 a.m. with weigh-in from noon to 3 p.m.
“We’ll be up at about 4:30, 5 in the morning accepting entries at the lake,” said Rick McDougal, chair of Denver Pyle’s Children’s Charities. “Once the tournament itself gets started, there’s not really anything for the people on the shore to do but wait for the weigh-in.”
There will be a band on the shore to provide entertainment.
Contestants must have a valid Texas Fishing License. Any participants 16 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or adult with written permission
Sonic provides the $5,000 for first prize. Brannan’s Bass Shop and other businesses help with the rest.
“We’ll have in excess of $20,000 in fishing tackle we’ll give away, which is pretty good for a fishing tournament,” McDougal said. “We pay pretty deep into our group, which you don’t see a lot.”
The annual event started in 1988 and has been a spring staple for Lamar County ever since. The tournament is held at Pat Mayse Lake with the assistance and cooperation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Many area businesses and volunteers help make this a fun day for the hundreds of anglers, fans and spectators who attend.
“After 25 years, it’s become a little family of fishermen that gather up to fish for that weekend,” McDougal said. “We’ll average about 350 people a year.”
Until his death in 1998, Denver Pyle — known best for his role as “Uncle Jesse” in “The Dukes of Hazzard” — attended the event every year. His wife, Tippi, continues to attend. Pyle asked that
all net proceeds from the tournament go directly to benefit children of the county with special needs.
Tournament proceeds are handled through Denver Pyle’s Children’s Charities, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Funding has gone to a variety of organizations and causes, including: