September 24, 2010 – A late take-off this morning due to weather and safety issues sent some out with a rocky start. Others were consistent with their five bass sacks and prevailed. 14 anglers advance today to the 2011 Federation National Championship to compete for their share of nearly a quarter of a million in cash and prizes. The national champion will earn the chance to “Live the Dream” fishing on the FLW Pro circuit for a year all entry fees paid with use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck. Today, nearly $19,000 was awarded to the state teams in prize money, trophies and Ranger Cup, Lowrance and big bass bonuses.
Edward Loughran from Mechanicsville, V.A., commanded the lead early in the weigh-in and sat in the hot seat waiting for the rest of the field’s results. Loughran went untouched to win with a five bass limit that weighed 10lb 8ounces making his three day total 37lb 11ounces. Loughran is representing the District of Columbia and he’ll be making back to back trips to the national event with his win today. “My partners were terrific,” Loughran said. “Actually, my first non-boater was leading after day one and he clued me in by how he was beating me.” Loughran fished close to the ramp throwing Craig Powers, CP1 & CP2 Crankbaits. “I culled fish catching 9-12 keepers each day fishing underwater cover like rocks and logs.” Loughran thought he was going to need about 12lbs a day to win, but thinks the salt water intrusion may have the bite off. “Nearly 50 percent of the field fished the same area so it’s heavily pressured. I just fished behind people all week in very subtle spots no one else found.” This will be Loughran’s second time to advance. “I made it to nationals last year and advanced from there to the BFL All-American; I’m excited to go back and see if I can do it again.”
In a tie for third, yesterday, Greg Alexander from Hebron, Maryland, slid up to the second place spot today in the overall standings. Alexander will be representing Delaware State Team at nationals as their angler for being the top angler in his state. He caught a limit weighing 10lb 2ounces making his tournament total 32lb 13ounces. In third overall and the top angler for the State of Pennsylvania, is Rich Nicodemus from Martinsburg, Penn. Nicodemus will advance to nationals representing his state. He caught a limit weighing 9lb 11ounces making his total 31lb 8ounces. “The way fishing was today it reminded me of my home lake,” Nicodemus said. “I’ve been junk fishing all week just throwing everything at them and hoping for the best.” Nicodemus thanked his partner, Randy Morris from Ravenswood, W.V., who helped put him on fish today. “This morning all my spots were used up. With two hours to go Randy put me on a little culvert with trees and a steady current; they were there.”
It was a fight for the loot and the top spot plus a year’s worth of bragging rights in the state team standings. Delaware State team trailed the first day and made a 25lb leap the second to put them in contention. Today, they won the jewelry and all the glory inching over their competition by one pound. They caught 99 fish this week for a total of 216lb 12ounces. “It’s our third time in five years,” Delaware State President, Ralph Newberry said. “I just want to congratulate all the guys; it was an all around team effort.” Delaware State team had a lot of last minute changes but through it all still came out on top. “We consider the Upper Chesapeake Bay to be local water, so it’s a nice win.” Their win came down to a single pound. When asked what was going through all their minds about the one that did it for them, Newberry responded, “We were all just talking about that! We had two guys who caught fish with only five minutes to go.” One angler caught two keepers and the other just stepped outside the wake and caught one. That’s what they call last minute ounces. “It’s what made all the difference.”
Yesterday’s leader, Jay Clingenpeel from Bridgeport, W.V., had a tough day on the water and came up a hair short with one fish weighing 2lb making his tournament total 29lb 4ounces. Clingenpeel came in fourth overall and was number one in the state of West Virginia; he will also represent his state at nationals. In addition, he is the top angler of the tournament who owns a Ranger Boat and is Ranger Cup qualified. For less than $20 a year anglers who own a Ranger Boat can sign up to be in contention for Ranger Cup bonuses. Clingenpeel was awarded $425 in Ranger Cup monies. Also, an additional $425 was awarded to the winning state team to split between all their Ranger Cup qualified contenders. Tournament big bass went to, Scott Panas, who caught a 5lb 14ounce lunker on day two. Panas was awarded $355 for his beauty.
The top 14 contenders who advance are as follows(angler, co-angler): District of Columbia; Edward Loughran, Peter O’Donnell; Delaware; Greg Alexander, Jim Short; Maryland; John Uhler, Richard Martin Jr.; New Jersey; Mike Keller, Nick Angiulo; Pennsylvania; Rich Nicodemus, George D. Woomer; Virginia; Kenny Beale Jr., Bobby Crisman; West Virginia; Jay Clingenpeel, Robert Harkness.
Full results can be found at www.bassfederation.com/results.php