Receiving awards at the Hell s Gate Bass Club awards banquet are, left to right, Barry Smith, Big Bass of the Year; Bud Boenisch, Rookie of the Year; and
Receiving awards at the Hell s Gate Bass Club awards banquet are, left to right, Barry Smith, Big Bass of the Year; Bud Boenisch, Rookie of the Year; and Don Welch, with multiple awards. (Courtesy)
Hells Gate Bass Club awards were announced at the banquet at the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Friday. The converted Angler of the Year was, for the fourth year in a row, won by Don Welch of Mineral wells. Welch also won the Champions of Champions Tournament in May and was the Top 10 Tournament winner. Not to be outdone, Sherlyn Welch, Don's wife, won Lady Angler of the year. She commented that she would have to clear more space on the mantle to make room for all the hardware. Big Bass of the Year went to Barry Smith for his 9.17-pound catch. Rookie of the Year honors went to Bud Boenisch; Youth Angler of the Year was netted by Travis Wilson; Child Angler of the Year was shared by Chelsie Baldwin, Hollie Baldwin, Preston Baldwin, Kaleb Baldwin, Bowen Boenisch and Toby Boenisch.
Child Angler of the Year awards at the Hell s Gate Bass Club awards banquet are shared by, left to right, Preston Baldwin; Hollie Baldwin; Steve McCain,
Child Angler of the Year awards at the Hell s Gate Bass Club awards banquet are shared by, left to right, Preston Baldwin; Hollie Baldwin; Steve McCain, club vice president; Bowen Boenisch; and Chelsie Baldwin. Not pictured are Toby Boenisch and Kaleb Baldwin. (Courtesy)
Top 6 Award Winners were Welch, Bobby Koncak, Smith, Boenisch, Mike Hallford and Eddie McCracken. All were presented club jackets and will represent the club in the Bass Clubs of Texas Top 6 Tournament in September. The remainder of the top 10 were Steve McCain, Tony Wallace, John McCracken and Robert Baldwin. The Top 10 places fish their own tournament in May to determine the top three places. Anglers eligible to fish in the Tournament of Champions in May for winning a monthly tournament are Welch and Boenisch, three apiece; Koncak and Smith, two each; Eddie McCracken, McCain and Baldwin.

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