Arizona and California Send Anglers to National Event
The Arizona Bass Federation hosted the 2017 TBF National Semifinal District 23 event November 11-12 on Lake Havasu in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The boats launched from Windsor Park ramp to fish for state bragging rights, deeper payouts, trophies, Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingencies plus coveted spots in the 2018 Federation National Championship.
A total of $7,880 with 138% payback was awarded in cash and prizes. The top three boaters and coanglers in the 19 boat field divvied up $4,275 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.
Some anglers struggled to find fish measuring up to the 13 inch minimum but overall the anglers caught a healthy amount of fish. A few found some hefty bags to solidify their spots at nationals and nice prize checks. Austin Wilson from California brought in 17.39 pounds to cement his victory with 25.53 total pounds. Wilson was named 2017 National Semi-Final Champion boater and will advance to the national event. He also earned a $1,420 prize check for his win.
The National Semi-Final Co-angler Champion was Aldo Acevedo who is also from California. Acevedo had a tournament total of 11.69 pounds for a total cash payout of $710. Acevedo will advance to the national contest in the co-angler division representing California.
Third place finishers both on the boater and co-angler sides also earned berth in the 2018 Federation National Championship being the highest finishing anglers representing their respective states. Arizona boater, Richard Vizcarra, caught 23.41 pounds to advance and Arizona co-angler, Jesse Parks, caught 9.50 pounds.
The highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler was California boater, Eddie Hinojosa. Hinojosa finished second overall with 24.14 pounds and will receive $500 Ranger Cup award plus an $850 paycheck.
The Arizona Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the District 23 State Pride Award with 83.92 total pounds to California’s 61.08 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-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.
The event also went well thanks to the Arizona 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.