The fourth annual “Paying It Forward Fishing With Kids” Bass Tournament will be held June 15 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cassels-Boykin Park on Lake Sam Rayburn. Registration is open until June 13. The entry form, which includes the rules and requirements, is available on The Examiner’s website. The entry form and fee of $60 (cash only) should be mailed to Bobby Tanton, 9248 Williamson Road, Silsbee, TX 77656. The entry fee can also be paid at the boat ramp from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. June 15.
According to the rules of the tournament, each team should consist of one adult and one child (16 and under) or two kids. If you do not have a child to fish with, you may fish by yourself as a team, but cannot fish with another adult as a team.
“Part of the money ($20) goes to the proceeds of ‘Paying It Forward Christmas For Kids,’” said Bobby Tanton, the founder and organizer of the event. “We try to raise a little money for kids that don’t have a whole lot during Christmas. I don’t take a penny out of it because it all goes back to them.”
Tanton said that his family has donated money raised during past fishing tournaments to children — from Silsbee, Buna and Evadale — who might not otherwise have any presents during the Christmas holiday.
There are prizes for the winners of the tournament as well.
“I have a big trophy for a big bass, and I have plaques for stringers and big perch — first, second and third place,” Tanton said. “Also we pay back $40 of each entry fee for first, second and third place.”
There will also be free food and door prizes, according to Tanton.
“I cook for everybody,” he said. “We have a lot of good door prizes that are donated by the vendors. Most of the time the parents leave with a lot more door prizes than what the entry fees are. For the last three years, everybody has left with some kind of door prize.”
Tanton, a mechanical planner for Triple “S” Industrial Corp. in Lumberton, said that his family privately produces the event.
“I wanted to spread the word that there is something more out there than drugs and alcohol,” he said. “There is something more to get involved with besides drugs and gangs.”
Tanton said the tournament wouldn’t be possible without donations from Triple “S” and other vendors including Leak Sealers Inc., FLW Outdoors, Academy Outdoors, Lamons, Burrus White Cap Construction, Drago Supply/Motion, Epsco, Filter Resources, North Shore Supply, McJunkin/Redman, Rawson, Triangle Metals, Furmanite, Car-Ber Testing Service, Triangle Waste, NES, Carter Chambers, Sunbelt
Supply, Southwest Stainless, R.S.C., Gullco Rental and Rhymes Industrial Filtration. Tanton is accepting new vendor donations, as well. All prizes donated will be tagged with the donating company’s name and the company will be acknowledged the day of the tournament, he said.
Tanton said he was inspired to create “Fishing With Kids” and “Christmas For Kids” after watching the film “Pay It Forward” (2000) staring Kevin Spacey.
“On the movie, (Trevor McKinney) would help two or three people. The two or three people would help two or three (other) people each and it just kind of spreads out worldwide,” Tanton said. “It’s like a chain reaction. When you pay it forward, you’re asking the people you’re helping to pay it forward as well.”
The concept of paying it forward is asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The idea dates back to the ancient Greek play “Dyskolos,” in which a man from a wealthy family wishes to marry a pauper girl and is ridiculed by his father. The son tells his father “make rich as many people as you can by your own efforts. For this act never dies.”
For more information about the tournament, call (409) 782-9269 or (409) 985-0412. For directions to Cassels-Boykin Park, call (936) 634-6644 or visit casselsboykinpark.com.