The second annual Fishing with Dayne Sturm Memorial Tournament and Fish Fry took place Saturday, Aug. 12, at Hamburg Landing on the Missouri River.
Dayne Sturm of Hamburg died last year at age 21 as the result of an automobile accident. Knowing Dayne’s passion for fishing, his siblings Dustin and Hettie came up with the idea for the tournament shortly after Dayne’s death at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha on Jan. 18, 2016.
Dayne’s parents, Marc and Debbie Sturm, set up two scholarship funds in his name at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), where Dayne earned an AAS in Residential Construction in 2015.
The tournament day began with 19 boats setting out from the Hamburg landing onto a mist-shrouded Missouri River, with three or four people in each boat. At last year's tournament there were 11 boats. While contestants fished, Marc Sturm, his brother Dan Sturm, and Brian Moran were minding tournament headquarters at the landing.
Moran was jack-of-all-trades Saturday—he weighed the fish as they came out of the boats and cooked them up at the fish fry later that day, where he also was auctioneer.
Under the warm morning sun, conversation touched on various subjects: what kinds of fish would be caught. The power of the river's currents. A boat, not part of the tournament,  that had headed downriver to erect a deer stand. And a nearby cove full of Asian carp, which leap out of the water—often into the boat—when rankled by an outboard motor. (Unfortunately, they're not  good eating.)
First and second prizes were awarded in three categories: Biggest Catfish, Biggest Non-Catfish, and Most Catfish by weight. Prizes included a new fishing rod and reel, a patio lounge chair, hand scales, and a patio cooler.
First prize for biggest catfish went to Ransom Lair of Watson for an 11.2 pound flathead, and second prize to Scott Carns of Farragut for an 8.3 pounder.
First in non-game fish was Greg Bennett of Hamburg, with a 14.2 pound carp. Second place went to Ron Robinson of Hamburg, for a 12.3 pound carp.
Scott Carnes also took first prize for most pounds of catfish, 18.9, and Jason Hyde of Hamburg was second with 16.3 pounds.
The tournament raised $490 toward the funding of the IWCC scholarships.
Marc and Debbie Sturm reported that the evening’s fish fry and silent auction at the Blue Moon restaurant in Hamburg was busy, with about 160 people attending. The auction raised enough to continue funding the scholarships and expenses for two more years.
The fish served were all caught locally, with Dayne's friends having donated much of whatever they hooked over the past few months. The tournament Saturday didn't add many fish to the meal, because “the fishing wasn't all that great,” Marc Sturm said. “But it was a beautiful day, beautiful weather, and everybody had fun.”
Marc Sturm said the family felt overwhelmed with gratitude by the friendship shown by participants in making the day a success.