Non-boater brings home the big fish award

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The newest member of Socorro Bass Club, Richard Vigil, reaped the reward of first place in the club championship tournament last Sunday at Elephant Butte, despite unfavorable conditions at the lake. Vigil, a “non-boater,” won the tournament with the most overall weight, beating out the second-place Walter Robinson, who brought home the big fish award with a 5.42 pound Bass. Third place went to Rocky Bradly, who guided Vigil into first.

Walter Robinson takes the prize for biggest fish during the Socorro Bass Club’s final tournament of the season last Saturday at Elephant Butte.

The championship tournament had the biggest turnout of the season, with eight boats and four non-boaters. The total payout for the day was $460 in prizes, with Vigil taking both non-boater award and the championship. Fishing was tough, still, all but one angler caught fish.

“It was a great morning — overcast — and the white bass were biting all morning,” Ron Gilworth, tournament coordinator for the club, said. “The tournament fish were just few and far between.”

The water has come up 2 to 4 feet (since the dam was closed in early July) a great deal more rain is needed to keep it up and raise it further.

“It was super,” said Gilworth. “A non-boater won the tourney and we should always remember it is fair play to fish the club. The (Socorro Bass) Club and all clubs really are the beginning of all anglers, regardless where they end up; the Club was the learning experience that started most anglers.”

Anglers celebrated after the tournament with green chili burgers at the Elephant Butte Inn after the tournament. The club discussed a fall Fruit Jar Tournament and a follow-up celebration.