New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania Advance Anglers to National Event
The 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 14 event rolled out on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario October 7-8. The host town of Cape Vincent was a gracious host as anglers arrived setting their sights on the monster smallmouth that inhabit the area. Unfortunately, Big ‘O bared her teeth and rough waters would ultimately lead tournament officials to cancel day two. Those that braved the waters on day one were rewarded with bags over 24 pounds while several others had to cut the day short. Sixty-two boats sought the champion titles and coveted spots in the 2018 Federation National Championship plus bragging rights, deeper payouts, trophies and Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingencies.
A total of $21,640 with 116% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top two boaters and co-anglers in the 62 boat field divvied up $13,950 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.
Two Ontario anglers, Andrew Shufelt and Charles Simm, would end up taking first and second on the boater’s side with a mere 0.34 separating them. Shufelt had a limit of bass weighing 24.56 pounds to be named 2017 National Semi-Final Champion boater. He received a whopping $3,100 for his win & will advance to the national event.
Simm had a limit of bass weighing 24.22 pounds. He earned a $1,840 paycheck plus the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler.
Other NSF boaters advancing to the 2018 Federation National Championship were top Pennsylvania angler, John Schoener, who finished third overall with 23.25 pounds. Schoener was just a few pounds shy of the top spot and he will advance to the national event representing his state.
There was plenty of drama on the New York qualifying side, as well. Chris Gore and Brian Sanson would end up only .77 pounds apart. But, Gore’s limit of bass weighing 18.24 pounds would land him in fourth place overall and get him a ticket to nationals.
The co-angler race was just as tight. Pennsylvania anglers, Colton Sowers and Brett Dalrymple, finished in first and second with 19.41 and 18.66 pounds. Sowers received a $1,550 paycheck for his win and will advance to the national contest representing his state.
Top Ontario and New York co-anglers were Will McFarlane and David Dumas. McFarlane finished in fourth overall with 15.88 pounds and Dumas finished in a close fifth with 13.89 pounds. Both anglers grabbed the co-angler nod to the national championship.
The Ontario Bass Federation ran away with the District 14 State Pride Award with 109.77 total 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 hosting state of Pennsylvania, as well as, TBF’s Sponsors: FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, MinnKota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.