BRAIDWOOD – Exelon’s 15th annual Fishing for a Cure charity bass tournament was held May 7 on Braidwood Lake, raising $43,761 for Easter Seals Joliet Region.
Eighty two-person teams from around the Midwest competed in the tournament, sponsored annually by Exelon Generation’s Braidwood Generating Station. Mitch DeLand and Danny Marcolini of Plainfield captured first place and the $4,000 top prize with their three-fish total of 10.74 pounds.
Coming in second was the team of Chuck and Chris Lide of Braidwood, whose catch for the day totaled 9.94 pounds and netted the duo $2,500. Taking home the third-place trophy and $1,000 for a three-fish total of 9.36 pounds were Edward and Kristen Gad, also of Braidwood. Teams placing fourth though 10th split the remaining $2,500 in prize money.
Jim Horvath of Crete set a tournament record of 12.43 pounds for the largest catfish. The previous record of 7.84 pounds was set in 2014. The biggest bass, at 4.3 pounds, was reeled in by Edward Gad.
Forty young anglers from age 2 to 12 competed in their own fishing derby at the Godley Park District pond Saturday. Vinny Malinowski of Elwood took first place in the 5-years-old and under category, with Mason Gardner of Custer Park taking second.
Angelina Lopez of Plainfield took first place in the 6- to 8-year-old category with second place going to Sam Racutt of Joliet and third place going to Liberty Gardner of Custer Park.
Two 10-year-olds took the honors in the 9- to 12-year-old category. Myles Gardner of Custer Park took first place and Makenna Boyle of Morris took second.
Lopez also snared the biggest fish, while Liberty Gardner reeled in the tournament’s smallest fish.
More than 40 volunteers, including employees and family members from Braidwood Station and members of the Reed-Custer High School Casting Comets, staffed the event. Braidwood Station employees Brian Daniels, Steve Friddle and Mike Kap served as weigh-in officials. ESPN’s Chauncey Niziol served as the tournament host.
Several local businesses helped sponsor the event. They included Allegra Coal City Printing, Berkot’s Super Foods, D Construction and Monical’s Pizza.