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Satilla Riverkeeper fishing tournament to be held on May 4

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Satilla Riverkeeper fishing tournament to be held on May 4

Satilla Riverkeeper is pleased to announce the 2019 Annual A.J. Strickland “King of the River” Satilla River Fishing Tournament, to be held on May 4, 2019 with weigh-in hosted in Blackshear.

“We are excited to bring this tournament back again this year,” said Laura Early, Satilla Riverkeeper. “This tournament is in its fifth year, and we are looking forward to celebrating the Satilla River, her bounty, and unique beauty again with the community.”

With the river in the flood plains for such an extended period this year, as the river level starts to come down, the fishing should be great this spring, said Early.

Registration information is available at www.satillariverkeeper.org/tournament.html. Adult registration is $25 and youth under 16 years old accompanied by a register adult fish for free. Online registration deadline in Friday, May 3rd at 5pm.

This year’s collectible tournament t-shirt is available now, ahead of the tournament, through local tackle shops.

All fish caught by fishing pole the day of the tournament from anywhere on the Satilla River or any of its tributaries can be entered in the tournament. Participants can fish from boats, kayaks, canoes, or from the bank but must be registered as a team with at least two members.

More than $1,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top catch by weight in each of five categories: $125 for the largest redbreast sunfish and $100 will be awarded to the angler team with the largest native catfish, the largest panfish other than a redbreast, the largest largemouth bass and the largest mudfish.

Additionally, a grand slam prize of $300 will be paid to the team with the largest (total weight) aggregate total for any three of the five categories. Another $300 will be paid to the team with a stringer of the largest total weight for any three redbreast sunfish. All participants will receive a 1-year membership to Satilla Riverkeeper.

Fish caught by youth can be entered into any of the cash prize categories. In addition, all youth participants will receive a special prize, and be entered into a raffle drawing.

The Department of Natural Resources personnel and a tournament team will assist throughout the day. The public is invited to join in the festivities at the weigh-in to see the fish, the tournament winners, and take part in educational activities, vendors, and food trucks at the Blackshear City Park.

Satilla Riverkeeper and Earth Inspired Kids are encouraging anglers to remove trash from the river while they fish on Saturday. “Grab a bag or bucket and help keep the Satilla River clean during tournament day,” said Hannah Bonvechio, founder of Earth Inspired Kids. The rules are simple: Take a picture with your river trash, then post it to the Tournament Facebook event page, or email it to trash4turtles.com, or drop by the Earth Inspired Kids booth at weigh-in to show off the trash you removed from the river. Entries received by 4pm on Saturday, May 4th, will be included in a raffle drawing for a short-sleeve t-shirt, a stainless steel straw set, and a Pura Vida bracelet.

This tournament will serve as fundraiser for the Satilla Riverkeeper non-profit organization, whose mission is to protect, restore and educate about the Satilla River. The event also serves to celebrate the Satilla River Water Trail, a ‘hiking with a paddle’ project embraced by many communities along the river.

Last year’s tournament, attracted nearly 100 participants, including local youth, who fished the Satilla River waters and its tributaries. Several anglers brought in panfish near the 1 lb mark, with the largest panfish weighing in at 1.03 lbs, and the largest Redbreast Stringer weighing in at 1.82 lbs.

The tournament is named after the late and beloved Satilla Riverkeeper board member, Satilla River enthusiast, and Pierce County native, A.J. Strickland. ‘Junior Strickland’ taught countless local children how to fish and respect the Satilla River waters. “‘Junior Strickland’ was a river hero, and a community hero, and we hope to continue to honor and celebrate his legacy through this tournament for years to come,” said Laura Early.

This tournament is made possible by local sponsors and partners including: the AJ Strickland Family, Brantley Telephone Company, Capt. Bert’s Quality Lures, Douglas Rotary Club, Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, PrimeSouth Bank, Tindall Enterprises, Wildlife Resources Division of Georgia DNR, Winges Bait and Tackle.

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