ICE-OUT ON ANOTHER PERCH ASSAULT SERIES – This weekend capped the 2008 Perch Assault series, with a tight race for the championship decided by literally one fish. Coming into the last event, Don Schaeffer and John Carpenter trailed the series leaders by 195 points or 1.95 pounds total weight. In the end, it was the first tournament that decided the championship.
At the Lower Stillwater event, Schaeffer and Carpenter lost a fish from their bucket during the long, bumpy ride back to the weigh in area. They only weighed in nine fish that day, and determined that their best fish, a male that pushed the one pound mark, had gone missing. At the time, it was something to kid them about, but it ended up costing them the title.
Trent Mendenhall and his stepson, 15 year old Kevin Loughery, led the field coming into the final event, and had a strong showing, taking second place for the day. Schaeffer and Carpenter were the first team to weigh in, and they smoked the field, winning the event with 7.37 pounds of perch (tying Mendenhall and Loughery’s Middle Thompson Lake event’s winning weight).
Tension was high for the rest of the weigh in, as anything over 5.42 pounds would guarantee the father and son the championship. There were several other teams with a slim chance to slip into the lead, but all eyes were on the series leaders. One of the last teams to weigh, they won the title by just over a half a pound, weighing in 5.94 pounds of fish. Schaeffer and Carpenter won the battle, (winning $900 for first and $728 for the biggest fish), but lost the war.
Trent and Kevin’s take for the day was $585 for second and $312 for the second biggest fish. Missoula’s Mark Sommer and Amanda Bielby, fishing in their first Perch Assault event, took third place on the day with 5.84 pounds, earning them $410.
The top three teams in the championship fight earned their places by strong showings in every event. For their efforts, Mendenhall and Loughery earned an extra $525 bonus, custom plaques, Champions T-Shirts and additional prizes for also being the top team in the youth division. Schaeffer and Carpenter chose a matched pair of HT fishing shelters for their second place finish. Third place overall went to the father and son team of Mike and Thane Melton who chose an Aqua-Vu Scout XL camera for their prize.
An average of 54 teams fished in the three Perch Assault events of 2008, vying for over $12,000 in posted payouts and big fish pots and $5000 in prizes, many of which were awarded by random drawing. 2009 promises to be even bigger and better as we continue to prove that the Perch Assault is…
“Montana’s hottest tournament on ICE”!