Ray catches biggest bream in fishing tourney

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DELAWARE—Cameron Ray learned everything about fishing from his older brother.

On Saturday, Cameron would’ve made that brother, the late Christopher Ray, proud.

Cameron Ray and his partner, Blake Drewry, caught the biggest bream during the first Christopher Ray Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament, which netted more than $3,500. The 1-pound, 12-ounce sunfish is big enough to earn a citation for its size from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

“It was a good catch,” said Cameron Ray, who was using a cork and cricket for bait.

The 18-year-old credited Saturday’s success on the Nottoway River to his 22-year-old brother, a Southampton County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in an August car accident while responding to a call.

“He taught me just about everything I know,” Cameron Ray said. “He would always catch more fish than me and bigger fish, and then he usually threw me in the water.”

Tournament organizer John Barksdale called the tournament “spectacular.”

“We had a huge turnout,” said Barksdale, who grew up fishing with Christopher Ray. “We were hoping for 10 to 15 boats and had 20 or 21. We had a tremendous number of people at the weigh-in and first thing in the morning. We had a cookout at my house after and we had about 100 people there.”

Receiving trophies were:

■ Andrew Darden and Ben Lane for largest bass, 2 pounds, 9.1 ounces

■ Matt Nixon and Chris Barham for largest gar, 3 pounds, 7.9 ounces

■ Jason Francis and Pughs Drake for largest blackfish, 6 pounds.

The Christopher Ray Memorial Scholarship will go to students pursuing a career in public safety. Donations toward the scholarship can still be made. Checks should be written to Fraternal Order of Police No. 56 and mailed to Esther Francis at P.O. Box 444, Courtland, Va., 23837.

Organizers plan to host a second annual tournament over Father’s Day Weekend 2011.

For information, call 653-9367.