Teddy Bogard and Kurt Copeland didn’t travel very far along the Arkansas River to find their winning catches.
“We’d run about 12 miles,” said Copeland, a Watson Chapel resident who once placed in a professional tournament at the same location.
On Saturday, Copeland and Rison’s Bogard were big winners, earning the $2,500 first-place check for winning the Bill Sanders-Bo Piper Memorial Tournament. The weigh-ins were held at Regional Park.
The duo caught 19.67 pounds in their second Sanders-Piper Tournament together. They were runners-up last year, and Bogard earned three more second-place finishes in the previous six years.
“It’s good,” Copeland said. “It’s what we’ve been shooting for. We came here and pre-fished two or three days in the afternoon.”
Don Jones and Brad Rice were second with 17.51 pounds. Rusty Linares and Patrick Chapman came in third with 16.54.
Copeland won in the same location where he earned fifth place in a Bassmaster Open tournament in 1996. He’s fished in every Sanders-Piper event since its 1998 inception.
He and Bogard pair said they stayed in the harbor all day, fished boathouses and threw red shad, worms and shaky heads.
The tournament, which benefited the Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, drew 95 entries of two-person boats. Russell Carothers caught the Big Bass, a 6.09-pound lunker, for a $500 prize and teamed with Chris Martin for fourth place with 15.55 pounds.
Right behind Carothers and Martin were Colton Reynolds and Adam Law, Arkansas-Monticello freshmen from White Hall who are members of their university’s bass club. They netted 15.30 pounds.
“We just came out and picked our spots,” Reynolds said.
Sixth- through 10th-place teams were: Kyle Browning and Steve Henderson, 14.01 pounds; Don Crowell and Richard Edwards, 12.40; Eddy Sanders and Andrew Sanders, 12.05; Larry Keen and Preston Keen, 11.98; and Ronnie Hackney and Glenn Patrick, 11.84.
The tournament is named after Sanders, who was instrumental in starting the tournament, and Piper, who was an event volunteer.