The West Virginia Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 12 event September 23-24 on Summersville Lake in Summersville, W.V. Although anglers were met with warm temperatures and beautiful skies, the water temperatures in the upper 70’s and the lake entering its seasonal drawdown made for a tough bite. Top anglers managed to secure their respective berths in the 2018 Federation National Championship, not to mention, state bragging rights, deeper payouts, trophies and Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingencies.
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 $16,840 with 120% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top 9 boaters and co-anglers in the 47 boat field divvied up a whopping $10,575 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, Chris Lewis from Virginia bested the boater field with limits across the board and a two day total of 16.61 pounds. Lewis was crowned District 12’s NSF Champion boater and received a $2,440 paycheck.
Cody Huddleston also managed five fish limits both days to finish in second overall with 14.43 pounds. Huddleston was the top finishing angler from West Virginia and will advance to nationals representing his state.
The NSF co-angler champion was Rick Hamer from West Virginia. He was awarded a $1,220 paycheck for his win. Hamer found limits both days for a tournament total of 12.68 pounds, narrowly edging out Virginia’s Jason Clark who weighed 8 of 10 bass for 11.60 pounds. Clark took home second overall and also “Big Bass” honors with a 2.68 pound smallmouth from day one. Both anglers will advance to nationals in the co-angler division representing their states.
The West Virginia Bass Federation made the final sweep defending their home waters to win the District 12 State Pride Award with 64.07 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. Last year, Virginia came out on top so District 12 sits 1 and 1 for state bragging rights and the title.
The event went well thanks to the West Virginia 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.