Twelve lucky winners walked away with at least $1,000 for catching a tagged fish on Lake Martin in the Crank for Bank tournament sponsored by OGS Tournaments.
Owners Vivian and Mike Autry wanted to launch a competition that was open to anyone with no entry fee.
There were technically 14 fish caught but Hunter Billingsley snagged the first one and was fortunate enough to catch a second fish in late June. One person did not end up qualifying.
“Hunter Billingsley must be the luckiest person on Earth,” Vivian Autry said in a Facebook Live video. “He caught two fish: one the first week of April and back in June he caught another. Both were in two different areas of the lake. One was at Manoy Creek and one was at Kowaliga Bay.”
More than 20 fish were actually caught either by boat, a dock or fishing pier but participants had to be registered for $50 to be eligible to win.
“Quite frankly, that’s still way more than we thought could possibly be,” Autry said. “We’re excited about that and so happy so many people could win.”
On April 1, the more than 100 tagged fish were released in 10 different locations around the lake and anyone who caught one had the opportunity to win $1,000, along with being entered in a drawing to win a new bass boat or a new truck.
After the winners were announced July 4, a drawing was held to pull four names for the chance to win the truck or boat. Unfortunately none of the tags that were pulled were grand-prize winners. However, they all did receive checks and most registered for the $15 bonus decal, which earns them an additional $500 for a winning bass.
Crank for Bank opened 8 a.m. April 1 to 8 p.m. July 4 and the Autrys hope to host Crank for Bank again next year.