The Ohio Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 11 event September 9-10 out of Elizabeth Park Marina on the Lower Detroit River in Trenton, Mich. Anglers covered a large area of Michigan waters during the two day event, fishing Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie. In District 11, boats launched from Elizabeth Park Marina to battle it out for state bragging rights, deeper payouts, trophies, Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingencies plus coveted spots in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
The National Semi-Final 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.
A total of $17,800 with 118.5% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top 10 boaters and coanglers in the 50 boat field divvied up a whopping $11,250 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, Pat Upthagrove from Michigan bested the boater field with a two day total of 42.99 pounds. Upthagrove was crowned District 11’s NSF Champion boater and received a $2,500 paycheck.
The NSF co-angler champion was Josh Kolodzaike also from Michigan. Kolodzaike had a tournament total of 30.56 pounds for a total cash payout of $1,250. Both Michigan anglers will advance to the 2018 Federation National Championship.
Curtis Dowell was the top Ohio boater and finished fourth overall with 36.53 pounds; he will advance to the national championship representing his state. Ohio’s James Kain finished right behind Kolodzaike on the coangler side with 29.04 pounds. Kain will also represent Ohio at the national championship event.
Third place finishing boater, Randy Ramsey, took home the $500 Ranger Cup award being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler. Big bass honors went to Ross Parsons who caught a healthy 6.48 pound Lake St. Clair smallmouth; Parson’s personal best.
The Michigan Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the District 11 State Pride Award with 249.1 total pounds. The award is determined by adding the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers selected prior to the event from each state.
The event went well thanks to the Ohio 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.