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Bass and Blue Tournament Raises $30k for Plymouth 400

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The State boat ramp was the center of the action on July 14 and 15, as the Plymouth 400 Committee hosted the second annual Bass and Blue tournament. This year’s edition brought over a dozen sponsors and nearly 125 anglers to the weigh station behind East Bay Grille and the waters of Massachusetts. The effort raised almost $30,000 for the non-profit organization.
Despite the close finishes in some categories, the overall biggest catch had no competition. Matthew Stafford boated a 30.2 pound striper on Saturday and never had any challenger. Though the leader-board changed multiple times on Sunday, Stafford’s 30 pound monster kept him atop the standings. Eben Howland’s 20.3 pound second place fish held at second throughout the second day and Paul Bastoni’s 19.2 pound entry didn’t come close to his winner from last year which topped 30 pounds.
Bluefish categories were much closer as Needham’s Scott Belval brought in an 11.7 pound bluefish with about two hours to spare on the 5:00pm Sunday weigh-in deadline and narrowly replaced Richard Duddy, a winner in last year’s inaugural event who had sat atop the standings since early Saturday.  Duddy’s fish was 11.6 pounds.
“We had a great second year event,” said Sue Wentworth a member of the Plymouth 400 Inc Board of Directors who manned the leaderboard computer all weekend. “The tournament grew by about 50 percent this year – particularly in the youth categories – and that has been our focus all along; to create a family friendly event here in Plymouth”.
The family aspect was in evidence all over the place at the Sunday prize ceremony. Parents and grandparents had been fishing all weekend with the younger generations. No where was it more evident than in the Bluefish category. Adult Offshore Bluefish winner Scott Belval had been fishing with his teenaged son, Ryan, on the family boat. Belval beat out Duddy by a tenth of a pound. Ryan was not so lucky. His entry lost by two tenths of a pound to Ryan Smith, of Plymouth. Smith’s Saturday catch weighed in at 8.9 pounds while the younger Belval’s fish pushed the scale to 8.7 pounds.
“It was a great year for families”, said Peter Balboni, Chairman of the Tournament Committee, “I actually had a parent call to tell me that, though they hadn’t gotten a fish worthy of the leader-board, he had spent the entire day on the water with his son… and that was irreplaceable.  We can’t thank all the sponsors, volunteers and participants enough.  It wouldn’t be possible without them. My own children Max & Isabella spent one day fishing with their grandfather and the other helping me at the weigh-in. They had such a great time like so many others and, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about”, Balboni said.
Other winners included Scarlett O’Farrell in the Youth Striper division, Tom Williams in the Adult Onshore Striper division and Hunter Bowes in the Children’s Striper division. Bluefish winners included Tim Abrams in the Onshore category and Sidney Cavacco in the Children’s Bluefish division. A list of all placefinishers can be found at
Posted by Casey Meserve 

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