Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming compete on Navajo Lake
The New Mexico Bass Federation played host to the 2017 TBF National Semifinal contest for District 21, July 15-16 on Navajo Lake in Navajo Dam, NM. TBF rolled out the New National Semi-Finals program last year with overwhelming success. The program pits top grassroots anglers from each state in a “close to home” weekend event with neighboring states for significant cash prizes and advancements.
A total of $8,520 with 136% payback in cash and prizes, National Semi-Final qualifying jerseys, trophies, champion titles and slots in the 2018 Federation National Championship were awarded in the boater and co-angler divisions. The top four boaters and co-anglers in the 21 boat field divvied up $6,300 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).
Several anglers struggled to find limits, while others struggled to find any of size on Navajo Lake. The lake is typically tough in the summer, but other contributing factors could have been the rain that rolled in Friday and Saturday afternoon and local weekend fishing pressure.
After two days of competition Robert Peixotto from New Mexico bested the boater field with 19.74 pounds. Peixotto received a $1,500 paycheck and a slot in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
The winning co-angler was Gregg Price also from New Mexico. Price had limits both days for a two day total of 18.38 pounds.
David Withee was the top Colorado angler and he will advance to the national championship representing his state. Withee also earned the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler. Jason Gasper will also advance on the co-angler side representing Colorado.
Wyoming’s Tim Roberts and Camrone Marbles will advance to nationals as the highest finishing boater and co-angler to represent their state. Roberts weighed in 16.43 pounds and Marbles brought in 15.63 pounds.
The New Mexico Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 21 State Pride Award with 120.05 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 District 21, top TBF anglers competed for the chance to advance to the 2018 Federation National Championship and to win enough cash to travel to the spring event. Anglers qualify for the semi-finals in one of two ways. Active state clubs in good standing can send their top two anglers directly to the semi-final event, in addition, the top 10% of state event participation or a minimum of 12 anglers per state qualify, whichever is greater.
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. In the new NSF rules, a co-angler can also move up as a boater if his/her weight totals more than the state boater’s weight.
The event went well thanks to the New Mexico Bass Federation who ran the event and all their support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.