Anglers Win Big at the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament
More than 1,000 anglers on 539 boats took to the waters in Palatka in May to compete in the 33rd Annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Fishing Tournament, widely recognized as one of the largest bass fishing tournaments in Florida.
The three-day event featured different competitions each day, culminating with the main tournament on May 21. Bunnell’s Wyatt Kinney and East Palatka’s Austin Black took first place overall with a five-fish total weight of 29.89 pounds. Second place went to Brett Bollinger and Justin Atkinson, both of Green Cove Springs, with a total weight of 24.57 pounds. Yulee’s Michael Hall and Lake City’s Tracey Duckett took third place overall with a five-fish weight of 23.62 pounds.
The winners of Thursday’s Lads and Lasses tournament were Steve and Kirsten Bishop of DeLand, with a five-fish total weight of 24.84 pounds; followed by Wyatt Kinney and Alyssa Gross of Bunnell in second place; and Palatka’s Jason and Jasmin Phiel in third.
In the VIP & Friends tournament on May 20, Robin Shiver and Syler Prince of Palatka won first place with a total weight of 19.15 pounds. DeLeon’s Danny Inabnett and Randy Sievert came in second; and Edwin Smith and Jace Stokes of Glen St. Mary came third.
The winners took home over $48,000 in cash prizes.
This year’s bass tournament raised more than $435,000 in donations, bringing the total donated to Wolfson Children’s Hospital over the event’s 33-year history to more than $6 million. All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Wolfson Children’s C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Heart Institute, helping to fund vital cardiology and heart surgery equipment and cutting-edge technology.
“We look forward to this event every year as it draws anglers from across the Southeast as well as local spectators, all to raise money for children fighting for their health,” said Sam Dean, Tournament Co-Chair and Baptist. Director of Plant Facilities Health System. “Everyone in Northeast Florida knows someone who received care at Wolfson Children’s, and it’s an honor to be able to help make a difference in the lives of these children and families.”
The Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament began in 1989, when the plant facilities department manager at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, along with several others, wanted to raise money for technological advancements at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
Today, it is one of the largest tournaments in the state to raise funds for children. Wolfson Children’s Hospital, provides comprehensive medical and surgical care to sick and injured children in North Florida, South Georgia and beyond.
The 34th Annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament is scheduled to take place May 18-20, 2023. Early bird registration is now open online.