JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The second-largest bass tournament in the nation kicked off Thursday, raising money for lifesaving medical equipment and technology for the care of critically ill children.
The Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament has raised more than $4 million over the last 28 years.
The tournament endowment provides for the educational needs of patients and staff and supports equipment purchases for the hospital.
Last year, enough money was raised for Wolfson to purchase a pediatric heart and lung bypass machine, which enables them to care for many more children. A total of 688 registered boats, 1376 fishermen and hundreds of volunteers and supporters participated.
The Annual Lads and Lasses Bass Tournament was held on Thursday, with the Annual VIP and Friends Bass Tournament was on Friday and the main event was Saturday.
Registration was at the boat launch at the City Docks Boat Ramp. The weigh-in and awards are at the other end of the riverside park, closer to the bridge (U.S. 17).
On Thursday, about 100 to 120 boats with female and male anglers started going in the water about 5 a.m. and launched at 6 a.m. for the Lads and Lasses Tournament.
On Friday, about 100 boats went into the water about 5 a.m. and launched at about 6 a.m. for the VIP and Friends Tournament.
On Saturday, about 500 boats launched in staggered flights for the Big Money Tournament.
Door prize drawings were held just before awards are given on Saturday. A drawing for the winner of the boat prize -- $56,000 retail value – was held at the end of the awards. Click here to learn more.