Flood concerns divert Fishing for Freedom event

Threats of rising water and major flooding will move a popular Veterans' event this weekend.

Organizers are pulling the 3rd annual Fishing for Freedom event off the Mississippi River and plan to move it to Tri-State area lakes within 60 miles of Quincy.

Weigh-in activities have also been moved from the Quincy Riverfront to the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center's south parking lot at 3rd & Jersey.

Right now more than 140 veterans from across the country are expected to participate in the fishing event.

Tournament Director, Bob Havermale said in a press release, â??We are strongly encouraging all volunteer boaters at this time to fish the areaâ??s tri-state lakes, as more rain is predicted making the river in an unpredictable and unsafe state. We want to ensure the safety for each boater and warrior.â??

According to a press release, the Illinois Patriot Guard Fallen Heroes traveling memorial wall will be on display during the tournament now at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center. Other special events include, professional angler Clay Dyer who will be speaking Saturday evening at the banquet. Clay was born without legs, no left arm and only a part of a right arm. He has overcome this and became a top FLW Fisherman.

Fishing for Freedom is modeled from similar events that are occurring across the nation. It is a no entry fee bass and catfish tournament that pairs professional anglers, avid tournament fishermen, and fishing guides with our returning heroes in a buddy bass tournament format on a local fishery. The purpose of the event is to let these American Heroes know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice and assist in their continued rehabilitation and well being.

The weekend kicks off with a trap shoot and fish fry for the warriors and boaters Friday night at the Northside Boat Club. Pre-tournament registration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center. Participants will check in at this time, be paired with their partners. Rounding out the day is guest speaker and comedian Longhorn who will entertain during the meal that is open to the public with advance tickets to be available for $10.00 at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center.

On Sunday, the 2nd at 4:30 a.m. breakfast will be served to the Veterans and the volunteer boaters by both Hy-Vee Stores in Quincy. The boats will launch beginning at 6 a.m. A prayer and the national anthem will open the tournament prior to blast off. Boaters and warriors will return at 12:00 Noon for the weigh-in. We would encourage the public to be on hand at this time to show their support of our warriors.

For more information, to be a volunteer boater or room sponsor, please contact Bob Havermale at 217-242-5579 or go to the Fishing for Freedom Quincy website at


Find the event on Facebook at Fishing for Freedom Quincy, IL.