Big Fish Invitational aims to catch a cure for diabetes
Lake Minnewaska’s fish-friendly waters will soon play a role in the battle against diabetes. On May 16, 2015, anglers from across the state will gather for the Big Fish Invitational (BFI) walleye tournament—a tradition now in its 26th year.
BFI honors Jeff Fuhrmann, who loved fishing, friends and competition. Jeff was lost to a fight with diabetes. Now, Jeff’s friends carry on the BFI tradition each year, asking anglers to come out for some fishing and good-natured competition while supporting JDRF—a research foundation dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Reeling in hope
BFI teams pay a modest $35 entry fee, and can include up to three anglers per boat. Teams are also asked to make a free-will donation to JDRF as part of tournament participation.
“What really matters and has always been the most important part of all of this is the people—the friends, the family, the time we share,” said BFI organizer Judd Fuhrmann. “This thing is far greater than a fishing tournament. It’s an event. It’s a really good event, and we want to share it for the good of all involved.”
Judd said the BFI walleye tournament fundraiser was created to help anyone who may be in a position of need, like Jeff, and to foster a better understanding of what diabetes is.
The tournament kicks off at 6 a.m. on May 16 with greetings and a boat check at the landing near Hunt’s Resort. All registrants should be checked in by 6:50 a.m. for ease-off at 7 a.m.
Weigh-in will also be at Hunt’s Resort at 4:30 p.m.
A team may be up to three anglers per boat. Walleye are eligible to be weighed, with a six-fish limit per team.
There will be a 13-inch minimum length per fish, and only two fish may exceed a 20-inch minimum length. Any short fish weighed in will be deducted a penalty of 1 pound from the remaining catch. All measured fish will be closed-mouth and fanned-tailed for measuring. Any team bringing more than the tournament limit of six fish to the scales will be disqualified.
Trophies will be awarded, and payout is based on the number of participants. A Biggest Walleye pot opportunity, available at ease-off, will be a separate prize. Participants also have a shot at a special sheephead prize for biggest fish.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. . Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.
Type 1 diabetes strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. As many as 3 million Americans are currently affected by T1D.