Scorecard Snapshot – A New York Tragedy

The 1986 Bassmaster New York Invitational was held on New York’s Hudson River. It wasn’t the first time the tournament circuit visited the historic river – they’d been there as recently as 1984 – and they’ve returned there multiple times since.

David Fenton averaged over 16 pounds a day to win there in ’86, his lone B.A.S.S. victory in 89 tries. Much of the field struggled, though. It took just over 10 pounds a day to make the top 20, not even 8 pounds a day to make the top 50 and right at 6 pounds a day to finish better than 100th.

While some anglers may have left Catskill, NY grousing about their bad fortune during the tournament, three of the 12 anglers who zeroed had a real tragedy befall them.

Do you remember what happened?


The answer and winner will be posted Thursday morning.

  • Tragic boating accident, B.A.S.S.’ first fatalities involving Jimmy Atkinson, 37, (TX), Danial Barragan (NY) and Leslie Foster , 65, that occurred on the first day of the event as Foster was leaving the weigh-in area and Atkinson and partner were returning.

    Lorena angler Atkinson dies in boat wreck
    From staff and wire reports

    Professional bass fisherman Jimmy Atkinson of Lorena and his fishing partner were killed and another man seriously injured Wednesday when their boats collided on the Hudson River on the first day of the BASSmaster New York Invitational.

    Sgt. Walter Jimmy Atkinson Schelling of the state police at CatskilL N.Y., said Atkinson, 38, and Daniel Barragan, 36, of Little Falls, N.Y., were in a fiberglass fishing boat coming around a bend in the river at high speed when they collided with a boat piloted by Leslie Foster, 65, of Fulton, NY. Foster was listed in stable condition with a hip fracture at Catskill Memorial Hospital Wednesday night.

    The incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m.
    The men were among 290 anglers participating in the $137,000 BASSmaster event, which is part of a series of events for professional anglers.

    Joy Chambers, a spokeswoman for BASSmasters, based in Montgomery. Ala., said Atkinson and Barragan, whom he had drawn as his partner for the day, were returning to weigh in their catch. Foster apparently had just put his partner ashore to bring their trailer to the boat ramp after they had finished weighing in. He was returning to his dock when the accident occurred.

    “They surprised each other coming around the bend. They tried to avoid a collision but
    veered right into each other,” Schelling said.

    Schelling said Foster’s boat went over the top of the other craft and crushed the two men underneath. Both were killed instantly, according to the coroner’s report.
    The fatalities are the first in the history of the BASSmasters tournaments, which began in 1967, Chambers said.

    Atkinson was starting his third year as a professional after he and his wife Jan had established numerous records competing in Central Texas club tournaments. In his first full year on the BASSmaster tour, he qualified for the prestigious year-end BASSmaster Classic and finished in the Top 10.

    “When I started into this, I thought in terms of staying with it til I’m 40,” Atkinson had said recently. “Right now, I’d say I’ll stay as long as I continue to improve.
    “This is the year I want to win,” he said. “I want to qualify for the Classic again. I want to be in the Top 10 at the end of all the qualifying tournaments. And I want to win the Classic.”

    Atkinson’s friends were shocked and saddened by news of his death.

    “People thought we were brothers, and I felt like we were.” said Lorena’s Tom Flanary, one of many area anglers schooled in the sport by Atkinson. “We feel so for Jan and the family, and this is devastating to all of us who knew him and liked him and admired him so. He was our friend, and somebody we looked up to. He was the standard for bass fishermen who knew him.”

    “We’re all in shock,” said Bob Davis, a friend who had fished with Atkinson many times. “It’s going to be this way for a long time.”

  • Chad Keogh

    We all love full-throttle races back to weigh-in, but this is a reminder to drive to the conditions and situation. If you are entering a blind corner, slow down since you have no idea who or what is coming the other way.