Thank you for participating in the FishTalk September Cover Contest presented by Fish and Hunt Maryland. Our congratulations go out to cover contest winners Lisa Van Dyke and family, who handily earned their place on the front of FishTalk with their “Nothing better in life than family and fishing” photograph. With rousing support they tallied an eye-popping 7039 votes to put these deserving (and adorable!) kids on the cover. We also want to congratulate the other contestants who sent in a selection of awesome pics, with second place coming very close to 2000 votes and five more entrants breaking 100 votes.
Voting was exceptionally high in the contest and there was some speculation on social media that something untoward was going on, exacerbated by the fact that one contestant actually received a solicitation from a third party to purchase votes. We’ve reported that solicitation to Facebook, and to put any doubts to rest, we want to let everyone know that we run the contest through a service (called NeverBounce) which includes fraud prevention and allows us to check the emails used to vote — and filter out any bad ones that may have cropped up — as well as using "captcha" to require people to manually input the votes. In any contest you may have emails that are mis-typed, purposefully entered incorrectly, and/or used to try to tip the scales, so we take these measures to ensure that the final vote count is valid. And at 10:38 last night we received the results: in this case the variation in votes was perfectly normal, and it was enthusiastic support from a large network of family and friends that lands these kids on the cover. Great job, folks!
We love the selection of fishing photos entered and the spirit of competition they engendered, and other top vote-getters will be seen on the inside pages of FishTalk. We hope these final results put any controversy to rest and let us all refocus our attention where it belongs — on the cheerily casting, joyfully jigging, triumphantly trolling fishing pics that FishTalk readers love to take. So let’s all put our hands together to clap and cheer for Liam, Landon, and Olivia (plus three anonymous but very chunky white perch), FishTalk Magazine’s newest cover models!