Fishing for Friends Benefitting The Male Breast Cancer Coalition
Written by Matt Harrup
It was a Saturday evening in late Sept 2016, Frank Dalton and his fishing partner Jeff Rowland were at the hotel winding down after day one of a two-day tournament when Frank’s arm brushed his chest and something wasn’t feeling right. Frank immediately palpated the area in question and found a lump that was very sore and the size of a dime. By the next day, the lump had grown tremendously in size. As soon as he could he found himself at the doctor’s office being diagnosed with the most aggressive form of cancer that men could get. After countless hours, days and months Frank had underwent a mastectomy of the right breast, chemo and all of the medicine that goes along with it. He would go on to be a survivor and now a big voice for male breast cancer.
Back in July as we were preparing for the Fishing for Friends event I reached out to Frank asking if he knew of anyone that may be in need of some financial help after having an illness, loss of a significant other, or just having bad luck. He responded, “no not right off but could you do it for a charity that I support?” I responded with we could look into it it’s definitely a possibility what did you have in mind. And that’s when the idea of having Fishing for Friends Benefitting The Male Breast Cancer Coalition was born. I was super stoked to do this as Frank’s story was very touching to me. I had not paid any attention to the possibility that men could get breast cancer because all we ever hear about is women getting it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to take anything away from women but seriously I never knew any male to ever have it. I’m sure we all know someone who has had cancer that has many forms and can relate to how devastating it is to find out they or someone they know has it. I personally lost my stepmom Kathy Harrup to breast cancer. My stepmom had found a lump her self went to the doctor to get their opinion and was told then it wasn’t breast cancer not to worry. Months later we found out they were wrong and she indeed had breast cancer. But it was too late, my stepmom passed away in April 2007 with me dad by her side helping her be as comfortable as possible. If it would have been caught when she first noticed the lump then she still would be here today to tell her story just like Frank. So please be sure to go to the doctor as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary, we men are stubborn to go seek help but this is serious business and we shouldn’t be stubborn at all in this situation.
Saturday, September 28th, 2019 thebasscast.com team pulled up at the boat ramp of Parkway Marina ready to get these boats in the water. It was still dark at 5:30 am and very humid and warm. The forecast was to be around 90 degrees with storms rolling through the area around 1 or 2 pm. We were joined by Frank shortly after opening registration and started getting teams signed up. Frank had a hand out with some talking points to pass out as he joked and laughed with everyone. In our fishing community just about everyone knows Frank and his story. Within an hour and a half, 19 boats were in the water and waiting for their boat number to be called. One by one each boat came by the launch point for a quick live well check and sent off.
Around 2 pm thebasscast.com team arrived back at Parkway Marina to get set up and put the final touches on things before everyone showed up to weigh in. At about a quarter to three boats were coming in with the first two going on the trailer saying they had nothing to weigh. It was clear very quickly that it was a tough day. Frank, Bryan, and Rick all showed up saying they had a few fish to show off. With that the weigh-in started along with all of the stories that go along with fishing. Most described the day being a good one with the sun coming out late, the wind picking up by nine am and an ugly looking storm that popped up there at the end made some come in early. It was not long before we saw a good bag of fish with a giant smallmouth. Several more big bags came across the scales and several four-pound Bass being weighed in hopes of being the big fish. We had 12 teams turn in fish and seven boats not weighing in. A total of 57 Bass were turned in weighing a little over 165 pounds. The average fish weighed 2.9 pounds with the average bag being 8.7 pounds. Ryan and Wayne Mace came out on top with 18.63 pounds and they also had the big bass that tipped the scales at 5.63 pounds. Bryan Humphreys and Jay Keyton had 18.40 pounds, and third place went to Chad green and Johnny Martin with 16.54. After weigh-in, Frank talked to those anglers that remained and shared his story. We were able to raise $645 at the tournament and $110 in donations before the tournament. Checks were passed out and thebasscast.com crew packed up and headed home.
I would like to take this time to thank each and every person that shared our flyers, shared our posts, told friends, donated before the tournament, helped at registration and weigh-in, and most importantly the ones who made this event a successful tournament…..THE ANGLERS!!!! Also a special thank you to Parkway Marina for allowing us to use their Marina to host this event again. If you head to the lake stop by Parkway Marina and launch your boat. Be sure to stop in the store and get your supplies before you head out. Next year we will be at it again giving back to the community. If you know someone or would like us to raise money for a charity please contact us at thebasscast.com, our Facebook page or email me Matt Harrup at email@example.com.