As winter approaches many outdoorsmen and women eagerly anticipate the next Fishing for a Cure Trout and Bass Tournament. Doug Carlson, a pancreatic cancer survivor for over 3 ½ years, hosted the first Fishing for a Cure event last year. Doug, a licensed fishing guide and angler, decided to organize a new unique event to raise awareness. Doug took Lake Casitas by storm with his signature “Fishing for a Cure” boat while participants at varying skill levels came out to support the cause while trying to catch the largest bass or trout.
Ready to compete in the Trout Derby, several families brought their children and boats out to support the fundraiser and enjoy a little friendly competition. “Bass appeared to be on the chew, as they were the predominant species brought to the scales throughout the event,” said Doug. The gazebo at Lake Casitas Recreation Area was filled with goodie bags for participants, scales to weigh the fish, awards for the winners, and folks who came out to show support. The assortment of bags contained t-shirts, a variety of fishing gear, and raffle prizes ranging from gift certificates to iRods to professional guided fishing trips.
By the end of the afternoon 35 anglers in three age divisions competed for the coveted “Cup” and first place divisional plaques. Ryan Caulfield of Ventura was the last angler to make his way to the stage. Weighmaster Paul Baradat called out “5.24 pounds” and the enthusiastic crowd that had assembled cheered the eventual Cup winner. Mrs. Barbara Meister was on hand to present Caulfield with the “Cup” named after her late husband, Larry Meister, a local outdoorsman who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer almost seven years ago. Barbara, son Michael, daughter-in-law Faryl, and daughter Sherry were all in attendance to support Doug and honor the memory of their loved one.
The Carlson family remains dedicated to the fight against pancreatic cancer. This event, however, was a personal endeavor by Doug. He’s now raising awareness while sharing something he enjoys. “The common theme this year was having fun, and, of course, fishing for a cure! The event was a resounding success… plans are already in the works for the second annual Larry Meister Memorial Cup” Doug said proudly. We look forward to it!