Bass fishing for Dimes this Saturday

Published 10:39 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

Suffolk Parks and Recreation is inviting anglers young and old to compete this weekend and raise money for healthy babies.

The annual March of Dimes Bass Fishing Tournament will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at Lone Star Lakes Park, 401 Kings Highway. Participants will meet at 6:15 a.m. at the Butler Tract boat ramp. All lakes with boat ramp access at the park will be fair game for the tournament.

Each boat will be allowed to have at most two people. Children ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and a fishing license is required for participants ages 16 and older.

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Competitors will present their five biggest largemouth bass at 2 p.m., which will then be released back in the water. Each fish must be at least 12 inches in length. There will be an award for the five fish with the heaviest cumulative weight and another for the single largest fish.

People can register in advance or on tournament day for $30 per boat, and $10 from each entry will be donated the March of Dimes, an organization determined to reduce premature births, infant mortality and birth defects.

“It’s another event to promote the fishing out here, and it supports a great cause,” Park Superintendent J.R. Ruggiero said in a phone interview.

Ruggiero first organized the annual tournament 13 years ago after March of Dimes provided counseling and support for his family. His daughter, Ava, was born prematurely at 2 pounds, 4 ounces.

Ava is now a healthy 13-year-old who loves to play sports, he said. Each year he shows his appreciation by hand delivering the fishing tournament proceeds to the organization.

“They tell me, ‘It doesn’t matter how much you give,’” he said. “’Anything helps a premature child.’”

Call 255-4032 for registration and other information.