The Vermont Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 16 event September 9-10 in South Hero, Vermont. Friday night anglers were welcomed with dinner and a meeting at Anchorage Cottages. Saturday kicked off with temperatures in the low fifties, scattered showers and a steady northwest wind. In District 16, 25 boats launched on Lake Champlain’s waters to battle it out for state bragging rights, deeper payouts, Ranger qualifying jerseys and trophies 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 $9,800 with 128% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top five boaters and co-anglers in the 25 boat field divvied up $5,625 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, Ed Gauthier from Massachusetts bested the boater field with 32.92 pounds. Gauthier received a $1,700 paycheck and a slot in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
The winning co-angler was EJ Nocon also from Massachusetts. Nocon had a two day total of 29.67 pounds for a total cash payout of $850.
Scott Green was the top Vermont angler with 30.96 pounds; he will advance to the national championship representing his state. Scott McKay will advance on the co-angler side representing Vermont with a two day total of 24.93 pounds.
The Vermont Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 16 State Pride Award with 189.07 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.
In the end, 50 anglers brought in 413 bass weighing in at a whopping 1009.41 pounds. The event went well thanks to the Vermont 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.