Every year the United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association holds an annual charity fishing tournament to raise money for the firefighters with cancer. Gary Pykare lost his life to cancer and because of his strong influence and his passion for fishing, the event is named in his honor. As you might expect, every competitive firefighter in Arizona wants to contribute to the charity in hopes of bringing home the 4-foot trophy to display proudly at their firehouse. Every year the tournament averages around 100 teams and raises about $35,000 for the charity. As the two time, reigning champions, Austin Scott and I were pretty content with going into this event and just having fun. There was a shad spawn going on and most of the largemouth had already done their business and were out chasing shad. Austin and I started day one running some water with a chatter bait and a crankbait and scraped out a small limit. We spent the rest of the day pre-fishing for day 2 looking for a big late spawning bass. Matt Shura and partner Mike Rudolph lead after day 1 with 14 lbs and we were sitting 6 lbs behind.
Day 2 sparked something in us that we needed and we were reminded of the adrenaline rush we had when we landed a 9lber on day 2 for the win in 2015. We made the decision that as soon as we had a limit we would spend the rest of the day looking for the kicker we needed to catch up. We quickly caught a limit on reaction baits and by 10 am we made to move. We ran over to an area of the lake that typically holds some late spawning fish. We found a pair that we were looking for and as soon as we boated the 3 lb male, we knew that the female could give us hope. After about an hour of coaxing, we finally found the right bait and we landed her weighing in at 7.80 lbs. We continued the day looking for other upgrades and ended up culling 2 more times. We ended day 2 with a 17.70 lb bag and a 2-day total weight of 25.10 lbs. Austin Scott and I edged out Matt and Mike by 8 hundredths of a pound to take home the win for the third year in a row.