Chris Tetrault |  October 8, 2022 | No Comments

Eight Annual Ridgway Smallmouth Bass Classic

Colorado’s Hometown Hero Outdoors Field Staff Chris Cady had an opportunity to participate in the Eighth Annual Ridgway Smallmouth Bass Classic fishing tournament at Ridgway State Park again this year, held from July 13 through September 3. Ridgeway State Park puts on this tournament to reduce the Smallmouth Bass (SMB) population by 70%, negatively impacting the native fish downstream in the Uncompahgre River. SMB were illegally introduced to the reservoir more than a decade ago. Size and possession limits were suspended, and 25 tagged fish worth various amounts of cash were planted to encourage fishermen.

Cady participated in the tournament in the last three years and placed 3rd each year. This year Cady went all out, with the hopes of wrestling away first place from the title holder Chase Nicholson and had his work cut out for himself as Nicholson lives and works at Ridgeway. Cady and Nicholson were among 58 anglers, who all combined caught 5,569 SMB, with 4,541 SMB under six inches caught this year, a new record for this tournament.
2022 results of the tournament from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife press release are as follows:
“Chase Nicholson of Ridgway has been crowned the champion for a fourth consecutive year, as he caught 3,036 smallmouth bass to win $3,000. He also turned in seven tagged fish worth an additional $1,600. Second place went to Delta's Chris Cady, who caught 1,005 fish. Three of those were tagged, giving him a grand total of $2,700. Weldon Flowers, who caught 643 fish and one tagged fish, took third place and earned a total of $600. Youth fisherman Tobias Vigil turned in one of the most valuable tagged fish to earn $500.”
Chris Cady provided HHO member Joshua Vigil, along with Josh’s son, an opportunity to fish with him and learn the ins and outs of the tournament. Josh’s son was the youth mentioned above as catching a $ 500-tagged fish. Next year, Cady plans to get more HHO members to participate in the tournament to help CPW manage the SMB population.


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