The 2013 Junior Collis Memorial Bass Classic presented by the Baldwin Backlashers on Lake Sinclair was a monumental success for both the anglers and Georgia Cancer Support. In a month when many outdoorsmen prefer to be in the woods chasing whitetail, 87 boats and more than 170 anglers flocked to Little River Park to show their support for a legendary Georgia angler.
Despite the tough November fishing conditions, participating anglers brought an impressive 636 pounds of bass to the scales. This tournament, however, had a different feeling than most. Competition was prevalent, but the vast majority of anglers seemed more focused on the cause behind it.
“I had an outstanding time fishing this tournament with my dad,” B.A.S.S. Opens angler and second-place finisher Matt Henry said. “But this event wasn’t about the fishing to us. It was about honoring the life and legacy of a true legend that paved the way for us.”
Local angler and deer-hunting guru Brad Stalnaker didn’t let his poor practice day affect his decision to fish the tournament.
“I only caught one fish the Friday before the tournament,” Brad said. “But I didn’t care. I was going to show up and fish because I loved Junior. It’s an honor to attend this event, so I never got too caught up in winning it. Just being here was enough for me.”
With the entire Collis family in attendance donned in bright-yellow shirts memorializing their beloved Junior, crowds filled the Little River parking lot to pay their respects.
“We are so blessed with all the support of the sponsors and this great community,” Founder and CEO of Georgia Cancer Support and stage-four colon cancer survivor Robbie White said. “The fishermen were awesome and donated graciously, giving more than $1,000 to the raffle the day of the tournament. In all, we were able to raise $9,000 from this event to help cancer patients statewide.”
Alta Collis, Junior’s widow and the brains behind the tournament, could be seen riding shotgun in a pontoon boat duly named “Junior Collis,” waving to the anglers and thanking them as they arrived for the afternoon weigh-in.
“Junior just loved fishing so much,” Mrs. Alta said. “He wanted to help everyone catch more fish, so this event just made sense. I’m thrilled by the turnout and support, but I’m even happier that we were all able to help Georgia Cancer Support in the process. It means so much to our family.”