The final day of the 2010 Federation National Championship, presented by the National Guard left Jay Keith, from Camden, S.C., the Champion boater and Matthew Hartman, from Fredricksburg, Pa., the Champion co-angler. The first two days of competition were held on Watts Bar Lake, in Kingston, Tenn. Today’s final weigh-in was held in conjunction with the final day of the FLW tour event at the Knoxville Convention Center, in Knoxville, Tenn. The 14 TBF anglers fished hard and reigned successful thus far to get to the final contest, and like predicted the results came down to just ounces.
The crowd grew still awaiting the results, while the last two anglers left in contention stood side by side on stage to see the weight brought in by the final angler and yesterday’s tournament leader, Jason Knapp, from Uniontown, Pa. Tension mounted; then, excitement filled the air for Jay Keith as six ounces separated him and Knapp, and pronounced him the 2010 Federation National Champion. “I was nervous and trying to hide it; I thought Knapp had a good bag, I wasn’t sure, but I know he’s a great fishermen,” Keith said. He thought weather might have had a lot to do with the catches today. “I can’t catch them well when it’s cloudy; I caught my four fish by 9am and kept digging, but couldn’t get the fifth. I’m very surprised I won today without bringing in a limit of bass.”
Keith had a lot of people to thank, namely, TBF and FLW Outdoors, all the sponsors and his co-angler from South Carolina, Adam Williamson, who gave his support and great advice. More than anything Keith had his heart on his family. “All this is for my brother. We lost him in September and day one, Thursday, was his birthday, I did this for him; I won this for him.” Our hearts go out to him and his family this week.
His wife echoed his excitement and was possibly more nervous than him. “I’m just so proud of Jay. He’s worked so hard and wanted this for so long. The only thing that could make this better is if our son was here or could hear the news.” The Keith’s son is a soldier in the United States Marines defending our freedom in Afghanistan.
Keith brought in 4 fish weighing 12lb 13 ounces making his total tournament weight 46lb 11ounces. Our winner on the co-angler side also caught four bass weighing 10lb 2 ounces making his total 27lb 7ounces.
All 14 of these TBF anglers have earned the opportunity to fish in the BFL All-American and our top boater and co-angler will get the chance to fish in the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup. So, these 14 anglers have definitely made it in the money, and our TBF champion anglers will receive the opportunity to compete in the most prestigious bass fishing tournaments in the world, through TBF and our partners in FLW Outdoors.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots angling organization in America. TBF is owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year, and have provided the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years.
For more information about The Bass Federation, visit bassfederation.com, or call 580.765.9031.