Florida and Georgia Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Georgia Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 1 event November 4-5 from Lakepoint State Park on Lake Eufaula. Anglers were met with picture perfect weather during practice, water temperatures in the low to mid 70’s and a lake 2-3 feet below full pool. Weather kept calm and clear through the event with a slightly foggy morning on day two. Forty-one boats launched on Lake Eufaula water to fish for state bragging rights, deeper payouts, trophies, Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingencies plus coveted spots in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
A total of $14,920 with 121% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top eight boaters and co-anglers in the 41 boat field divvied up $9,225 in total cash payback, not including the $500 Ranger Cup award and the $1,000 Evinrude E-tec award for the winning boater (if he/she runs a 2012 or newer Etec Evinrude).
The new format pays back 100% of the entry fees, 75% to the top 20% of the field, 10% to the state federations and 15% to the TBF Federation National Championship.
After two days of competition, Georgia boater, Brent Tullis, bested the boater field to be named the 2017 National Semi-Final Champion boater. Tullis had five fish limits both days for 10.28 pounds and 18.50 pounds to make his tournament total 28.78 pounds. Tullis received a $2,310 payday for his win and he’ll represent Georgia at the national event. He also earned the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler.
The National Semi-Final Champion co-angler was, Edward Fry, from Florida who caught five fish on day one and three on day two for 19.01 total pounds. Fry earned $1,155 for his win and will advance to nationals representing the state of Florida.
Other NSF anglers advancing to the 2018 Federation National Championship are top Florida boater, A.J. Willequer, who had 18.06 pounds and top Georgia co-angler, Ray Edelen, who had 17.09 pounds.
The Georgia Bass Federation made the final sweep with the District 1 State Pride Award with 90.57 pounds. The award is determined by adding the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers from each state selected prior to the event.
The National Semi-Finals format rolled out last year replacing the divisional events and state team line-ups. TBF anglers can now advance to a close-to-home NSF event in one of two ways. Active state clubs can advance their top two anglers, in addition, the top 10% of state event participation or a minimum of 12 anglers per state qualify, whichever is greater. The new format has been highly successful with state participation and membership up across the nation.
The event went well thanks to the Georgia Bass Federation that ran the event and all the support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.