Fishing tournament to benefit beloved lakeside restaurant

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

As with many businesses, Big Jim’s sustained major damage from Hurricane Michael and is still working to get back on their feet after the storm. Luckily, the restaurant doesn’t have to conquer it alone, as loyal customers have figured out a way to give back.

Mike Webster with the Bainbridge Bass Club and West Side Bait and Tackle are sponsoring a Big Jim’s Benefit Tournament, where 30 percent of every entry will go towards Big Jim’s for storm recovery and rebuild.

“Steve (the owner) will do anything for anybody,” Webster said. “He is a super good guy and never asks for help, but we feel like it’s time for us to give back now.”

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Webster said Big Jim’s got pretty trashed during the storm. It lost part of the roof, and some of the cabins were completely flipped over.

While the restaurant has returned to normal operations, there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We are nowhere near finished with our repairs,” Reed Rognstad of Spring Creek Park Resort said. “But, we believe that we will be back in shape soon- maybe even better than that before, but certainly with a greater love and respect for our “family of friends.”

That is why they are hoping this tournament raises as much as possible, for a man who deserves it.

The tournament will be hosted on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The team entry fee is $100 and teams can put an optional $10 in the Big Fish Pot. Webster realizes this tournament is on the same weekend as the media bass tournament, and the organizers have worked it out so competitors can compete in both and weigh in once at the finish.

For those who are not interested in fishing, but still want to donate and help the restaurant get back on its feet, they can make a check out to Big Jim’s or to the Bainbridge Bass Club and earmark it Big Jim’s.

Teams can sign up until the day of, where they will fish from safe daylight until 3 p.m. Webster, along with West Side Bait and Tackle are hoping everyone comes out to support this relief benefit.

“We truly appreciate all the support and encouragement we have gotten from sportsmen (customers) across a 3-state area,” Rognstad finished.