Spring means a lot of things to folks in our area. Spring means warmer, longer days. Flowers and trees are starting to bud out. The water in the lakes and rivers will start to warm up. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. We all know what that means; yes the fish will be biting. I can’t think of a better way to spend time fishing than to enter the Second Annual Randy Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund Open Buddy Bass Tournament. This tournament is in recognition of one of the greatest public servants this county has ever known, Randy Luke Davis.

Randy was a paramedic for Sebastian County for over 30 years. He retired in late 2010 with the paramedics and soon went to work as a business field auditor for the Sebastian County Assessor’s Office. In 2012 he had a major stroke that took his life. He was 53 at the time. Randy was also a Reserve Deputy and served as one of the first medics for the SWAT team at the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office. He graduated from the FBI Basic Swat School and was a member of the Masonic Lodge #131 F&AM. He served as EMS Supervisor during the Katrina Relief Effort for which he was Congressional recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was honored as the "Paramedic of the Year" in 2007. He was recognized last year by the Arkansas State House of Representatives through a proclamation in his name.

His friends, family and co-workers got together to determine a way they could honor Randy and decided to start the Randy Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund, thus the Buddy Bass fishing tournament was born. So far the fund has collected over $4,000 to go towards a partial and two full-ride (tuition, equipment, clothing, testing, fees) EMT scholarships at UAFS for students desiring to pursue a career as an emergency medical technician. The recipients of the scholarships will be announced sometime this summer.

This year’s tournament will be held Saturday, April 19, 2014 on Lake Dardanelle. Take off time will be at 6am at Shoal Bay Park, with weigh-in time being 2:30pm – sharp! Entry Fees will be $75 (cash only) per boat, with all entry fees being paid up by 5:45am the morning of the tournament. Biggest Bass will pay $5. The pay-back will be 60/40. All proceeds will go to the Randy Davis EMS Memorial Scholarship Fund. Additional Donations will be accepted. All future proceeds will go to Arkansas Tech-Ozark for scholarships for paramedic training.

All participants of the tournament must have valid fishing licenses on them at all times. Tournament fishing will only take place on Lake Dardanelle. The minimum length of any bass brought to the weigh-in must not be less than 14 inches. Any contestant bringing a bass into the weigh-in that is less than 14 inches will automatically be disqualified. There is a 5 fish limit per boat, (largemouth, spotted, smallmouth). Life jackets and kill switches must be used when boats are on plane. No dead fish will be allowed at the weigh-in. You will be disqualified if you are not in by weigh-in time, so don’t be late for the weigh-in. The order of registration will determine the take-off times. All live fish will be returned to the water. Absolutely no alcohol or drugs will be allowed in the tournament. If you have any further questions or details, please contact Jamie Sharum at 479-459-4745 or jsharum@cox.net.

There are a lot of nice prizes that will be given out during the prize raffles. There were 30 boats in the tournament last year. The organizers are expecting quite a few more this year.