Last week at DeSoto Club the Hot Springs Village Anglers’ Club presented awards to those who finished in the top three in the categories of Angler-of-the-Year and Co-Angler-of-the-Year. A Fisherman-of-the-Year award was also presented.
Fisherman-of-the-Year is determined by total weight caught during the 16 tournament events in 2017. Angler and Co-Angler awards go to those with the top point totals, which are based on where the person finished in each tournament (ex. 25 points for first place, 24 points for second, 23 for third, etc.).
Outgoing club president Kurtis Sutley presided over the gathering, saying he has been in several different bass clubs, “but I’ve never been in one that was this easy to work with. You’re about having a good time and helping each other.”
After mentioning club board members and directors, the group enjoyed a meal, followed by award presentations by Mike Crews and Craig Schilling.
In the co-angler division Bob Brannan took first place, followed by John Matherne in second and Jim Gardner in third place. Gardner was also the most improved co-angler in 2017. Matherne garnered the highest point total among new competitors in this division.
In the angler division, Bruce Zorn took the top spot, with Kirk Bixler taking home a second place plaque and Dave Keith finishing in third place.
Zorn also won the Fisherman-of-the-Year title by landing 138.1 pounds of bass. In this category, Bixler caught 133.8 pounds and Keith’s catch totaled 89.3 pounds.
Zorn made it a clean sweep with also winning the angler division’s big bass award with a 5.8 pounder. For the co-anglers, Bob Traugott won big bass with a 4.8 pounder.
As the night concluded, Sutley mentioned two other awards. Keith won for being the boater whose co-angler caught the most fish and a special award went to a very deserving and highly respected club member.
Sutley presented the Pete Hinson Sportsman Award, an award that is not given annually, but only when a club president sees fit to do so. This year’s award went to Don Langston.
Sutley accurately noted the club could not function without Langston’s many contributions and support.  A humble Langston received the award without comment, just a smile and nod of thanks to everyone in the room.
The 2018 club officers are Ernie Infusino – president; Keith – vice president; Brannan – secretary and Darrell Graham returns as treasurer.
The club meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Coronado Center.