Maine and New Hampshire Advance Anglers to Nationals
The New Hampshire Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 17 event September 23-24 on Lake Winniepesaukee in Gilford, N.H. Anglers saw ideal weather for the end of September with bluebird skies and temperatures pushing 90 degrees. A lot of fish were moving shallow, but several big fish still held deep patterns. Twenty-six boats launched from Silver Sands Marina to seek them out and claim 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.
In District 17, a total of $10,120 with 130% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top five boaters and co-anglers in the 26 boat field divvied up $5,850 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, Sean Graves from New Hampshire bested the boater field with a two day total of 26.13 pounds to be crowned District 17’s NSF Champion boater. Graves received a $1,700 paycheck and a spot in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
Nick Deering was the top Maine boater with a third place finish overall and 23.95 total pounds. He also won the $500 Ranger Cup award being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler. Deering will advance to the national championship representing his state.
The NSF co-angler champion was Myles Tripp from New Hampshire. Tripp had a tournament total of 21.68 pounds for a total cash payout of $850. He will also advance to the national championship representing New Hampshire.
Maine’s Lewis Mendall finished right behind Tripp on the co-angler side with 20.73 pounds. Mendall will also represent Maine at the national championship event.
Big bass honors in the largemouth category went to Bayard Lohmiller with a 4.09 pounder on day one and Rick Landry with a 6.69 pound lunker on day two. In the smallmouth category, John Digennaro had a 4.04 pounder on day one and Dave Pfeiffer found a 3.84 pounder on day two.
The Maine Bass Federation made the final sweep to take home bragging rights and the District 17 State Pride Award with 153.08 pounds narrowly edging out the host state of New Hampshire with 135.32 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 New Hampshire Bass Federation that ran the event and their sponsor partners at the Belknap County Sportsman Club, Silver Sands Resort, The Rod Glove, Dude Products, Beast Coast Tungsten and Tackle, Eagle Claw – Trokar, Samatis Baits Company and PLine. Also, the National Semi events would not be possible without all the support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.