It’s rare that you can get a dozen-plus people to agree on something, and it’s virtually impossible to get tens of thousands to agree on anything. But I’ll bet my bottom dollar that each and every FishTalk reader passing their eyes across these pages right now will agree on one thing: 2020 has been one of the weirdest, craziest, most unpredictable years of our lifetimes. That goes for being out on the water, too. On top of all the pandemic-induced disruptions, the Bay and ocean were jam-packified, often with large numbers of new-to-fishing folks who decided — rightfully so — that buying a new boat and going fishing was their best chance to have safe but fun recreation.
Bizarre as 2020 has been, there’s been one casualty of Covid-19 that was rather unexpected: the loss of fishing tournament shore parties. Yes, I know, this is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. But unfortunately, it’s put a damper on the tournament scene altogether. Biggies like the White Marlin Open and the Huk Big Fish Classic still went off, thanks to the draw of their massive purses. But many of the tournaments held for fun, conservation, or for charity events have had a harder time of it or were cancelled altogether. And to our local fishing communities, these far more intimate tournaments are a lot more important than the big-money contests that many locals can’t afford to compete in.
This, people, brings me to the one tournament I reliably fish in year after year: Fish For a Cure. Team FishTalk/PropTalk always has a boat in the running, FishTalk and PropTalk both are tournament sponsors, and there’s no event we’re prouder to participate in. The money that gets raised by this event goes directly to Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, where it helps support those who find themselves in need of treatment. A part of the tournament called the Captain’s Challenge was responsible for raising over $615,000 for the Cancer Survivorship Program last year, and it works like this: every boat’s captain and crew takes on the responsibility to fundraise on their own, and boats are ultimately ranked by just how much of an impact they can have on the bottom line.
In 2019 team FishTalk/PropTalk set a goal to break the 10K mark, and by the time the fishing came to a close, had raised $10,425. We want to make 2020 even better, but here’s yet another way in which Covid-19 is messing with us. In 2019 fully one third of the cash we raised for charity came from our Beers ‘N Bucktails event. And this year, for all the obvious reasons we can’t cram a crowd of people into a venue, hold a silent auction, do bucket raffles and door prizes, and serve hors d’oeuvres. What we can do, however, is hold an online silent auction of sorts — and we have some very nifty goodies and fishing gear to bid on, headlined by our own FishTalk Contributor Eric Packard’s very cool fish-oriented artwork.
To check out the silent auction, simply visit FishTalk’s Facebook page. We’ll be promoting the items you can bid on there, until 5 p.m. TONIGHT, Tuesday November 3. And after that, remember that any donation you make to Fish For a Cure prior to November 6 in the name of Team FishTalk/PropTalk is tax deductible. If you’re not necessarily interested in art or prizes but your heart is in the right place and you want to help Team FishTalk/PropTalk raise money to kick cancer’s butt, click right here and make whatever donation feels right to you.
Come November 7, we’ll be fishing in the Fish For a Cure like always. And although we will miss seeing everyone at the Beers ‘N Bucktails Bash that wasn’t, we’ll be back again in 2021. Because of there’s any one fishing tournament that can and will persist right through this Covid craziness, it’s Fish For a Cure.