2022 District 14 National Semi Finals Pennsylvania and New York

The 2022 D14 National Semi Final would see a flat lake on day 1; something rare on the Great Lakes and appreciated by the 44 boaters who got knocked around during 2 of the 3 practice days. At 6:45am most of the field took advantage of the flat water and headed out into Lake Erie looking for those 6 plus pound smallmouth but a few would remain in the bay for the mixed bite. Weigh in started at 2:45 with a lot of 1 and 2 fish bags along with the stories of 20, 30 even 40 fish being caught during the day but all under the 15in length limit. Only 4 limits on the angler side and 2 limits on the coangler side would be brought in. The first 4 fish limit would be brought in by PA State Champion Zack Borger but 4 largemouth weighing 8.95lbs was quickly erased by Brad Bodnicki (NY) who would be the 1st leader (angler) at 13.18 but that would not stand long when Steven Call would bring limit #3 to the scales at 16.45 anchored by a 5.17 smallie which would put him in 1st for big fish as well. Dave Wilt on the coangler side would be 1 of 2 coanglers to weigh in a limit and would end up in 1st with 4 greenies for 10.03. The coangler side would see 4 lead changes for big fish though starting at 4.01 but near the end of the day Jason Cavanaugh would bring 2 fish to the scales with one of them a 5.17 smallie sealing big fish for the day. A few moments later Steve would find out that his 16lb bag would not keep him in 1st when Bob Brody, last boat out, arrived with 4 fish weighing 18.20 and the days big fish of 5.56. With the field being flipped for day 2, the day 1 leader will be first boat out.

Day 2 would start out completely different. A sustained 10-15mph wind had started during the night and in the darkness you could hear the waves slapping the seawalls. Bob Brody would tell me where his keys were hidden and I knew he was going to take that ride again and go for broke. With only a 2lb lead and 1 boat short of being able to send 2 boats to the National Championship, 2nd place sits at home wondering what else could have been done. Bob made the long run but it was not to be with only 2 fish for 5.96. The door was now open for Steve Call but he would blank so it would turn out that 3rd place Brad Brodnicki (NY) who was 5lbs out would stick a 5 pounder and bring 2 others with it for a second solid day of 11.81lbs giving him the WIN by 0.83lbs over Brody. On the coangler side day one leader, by only ¾ of a pound, Dave Wilt would bring in only 2 for 4.11 only to watch Joe Pacholec Jr double his weight with 4 fish weighing 8.22lbs and taking the win by more than 3lbs; earning his second trip to the Nationals. Big fish for the day was angler Larry Foor 5.04 and coangler Roland Gittings at 5.72 which would be the biggest of the event.

In all, 550lbs of bass would cross the scale and a special note of thanks to all of the anglers who released 201 out of the 205 bass caught. Thank you.

Thank you to Harley Mills with helping out with the day 2 weigh in and Joe Pacholec Sr, Joe Pacholec Jr and Reuben Bartholomew who helped tear down.

2022 District 5 TBF National Semi-finals Texas and Louisiana

The 2022 D5 NSF was held on Lake of the Pines at Bullfrog Marina.  The field consisted of 23 boaters and co- anglers from the states of Texas and Louisiana.  The cooler weather had everyone fired up with anticipation of a big bag of bass at the pre-tournament meeting.

Day one was a beautiful clear morning with temps in the upper 40’s. The low air temperatures and mid 70-degree water temps spawned a thick layer of fog that led to an hour-long fog delay. Pines did not fail to produce some solid strings of fish.  Louisiana boater Ryan Latch sacked up a 5 fish limit good for 17.27 and Texas boater James Biggs came in with a 5 fish limit that weighed 14.35 lbs.  Texas co angler John Walker came in with 15.51lbs and a 5.77 lb big bass and Louisiana co angler Nick Teel Louisiana had 15.02 lbs. The co- anglers gave the boaters a run for their money on day one.

Day two started with bluebird skies and temps in the low 50’s.  This once again stirred up a thick layer of fog that led to an hour-long delay. The day one weights had everyone chomping at the bit to get started.  In the end, Texas boater James Biggs hustled up a 5 bass limit for 20.13 lbs and a 7.66 lb big bass for a two-day total of 34.48lbs.  Louisiana boater Ryan Latch was on Biggs’s heels with a 5 bass limit for 16.28 lbs and a 7.77 lb big bass for a two-day total of 33.55 lbs. Texas co angler John Walker would not be denied and brought in a 5 fish limit for 9.30lbs for a two-day total of 24.81lbs. Louisiana co angler Brentyn Wheat rounded up the day 2 big bag for the co-anglers with 10.76 lbs.  Louisiana co angler Nick Teel brought 1 fish for 1.69 lbs, which was enough to grab the lead for the co anglers.

Texas Boater James Biggs took first place with 34.48 and Louisiana boater Ryan Latch was second with 33.55.  Louisiana boater Ryan Kemp was third with 22.97 and Louisiana boater Eric Gilcrest was fourth with 22.43.

Texas co angler John Walker was first place with 24.81 and Louisiana co angler Nick Teel was second with 16.71.  Louisiana co angler Brentyn Wheat was third with 13.53 and Texas co angler Jason Geesey was forth with 12.06.

Elton Brock was the Ranger Cup Qualifier.


2022 District 12 TBF National Semi-finals Virginia and West Virginia

Day 1 of the District 12 National Semifinal saw 166 anglers blast off at safe light on the Chickahominy River in Williamsburg, Virginia on a day that proved to be tough for some anglers with only 59 anglers bringing in a five fish limit. As weigh-in came to a close Virginia’s Thomas Wooten was at the top of the leaderboard on the Boater side with 14.96lbs and a 5.20lb largemouth kicker. On the Co-angler side Virginia’s Michael Coleman came out on top with 11.14lbs.

Day 2 greeted the Anglers with fog and some cloud cover that improved the topwater bite for several anglers resulting in some bigger fish being added to their bags. In the end Virginia’s Thomas Wooten led from wire to wire bringing in another nice limit weighing 15.27 with a 5.81 kicker to bring his two-day total to 30.23lbs earning him a trip to the TBF National Championship. On the Co-angler side like Thomas Michael Coleman lead wire to wire bringing in 11.16lbs to advance to the Championship. Also joining Thomas and Michael at the Championship will be Virginia anglers Dave McLean and Jared Netto. Big fish of the tournament was caught on Day 2 by Tarance Fuller weighing in at 7.00lbs.

Alan White finished as the top West Virginia boater with 22.39lbs and Robby Fleshman was the top West Virginia Co-angler with 18.43lbs earning them both a spot in the National Championship.

TBF Championship Qualifiers

Alan White

Robby Fleshman

Dave McLean

Jared Netto

Thomas Wooten

Mike Coleman

Mitch Camden

2022 District 7 TBF National Semi-finals Missouri and Kansas

Anglers face Historically Low Water Levels for Event

Adjusting to new and changing conditions is often what separates the best anglers from the rest of the field and TBF District 7’s visit to Stockton Lake in the Ozark hills of Missouri was no exception.  A loaded field of 26 boaters and co-anglers had years of combined experience on this body of water, yet early fall water levels 7 feet below normal pool created an unfamiliar challenge for the anglers.  Participants that were used to running up one of the 3 river arms to find fresh fish were restrained by low water that made common summer runs extremely treacherous.  Compounding this challenge was the fact that warm fall temperatures had delayed the migration of shad to the backs of the creeks making the river bite unproductive. This concentrated the anglers to the main lake and limiting productive patterns available to the anglers. The remaining main lake bite was also abnormal with water levels making brush piles unproductive and putting other typical fall cover out of the water.

While the water conditions were a challenge the weather cooperated with consistent dry conditions and sunny skies for both practice and tournament days.  Highs for each day were in the low 80’s with morning lows around 50 degrees.  Winds were light and variable allowing water temps to cool off steadily from around 73 on the first day of practice to about 69 degrees on the final Sunday.  The lack of recent rain also provided good water clarity with 1–3-foot visibility around the lake.

The tournament started with Saturday’s low in the low 50’s and very light winds from the NNE.  A hazy sunrise caused by light fog greeted the boaters on their way to their first spot.  Day 1 boater results showed Brian Maloney of Missouri in first place with 5 fish for 14.04 pounds followed by Hunter Baird (Kansas) at 13.49 and Larry Stoafer (Kansas) with 11.25.  Attesting to the tough water conditions only 8 limits were weighed but Brian was able to land a 5.04-pound kicker to take home the big bass pot for the boaters.

Hunter Baird Boater Champion

Sunday dawned with light winds again that picked up only slightly throughout the day. Finishing out the 2-day event on top was Hunter Baird of Kansas with 10 fish for 24.77.  Hunter is one of our best young anglers and used a shad pattern to boat limits each day.  He followed the shad to the back of windy pockets hitting lots of spots each day with a combination of top water baits and plastic creature baits.  He would like to thank his sponsors Texoma Tackle, Whitetail Properties, Mesu Fishing and Jewel Baits.

Brian Maloney – 2nd place Boater

Finishing second overall and first in the Missouri division on the boater side was one of our most decorated anglers, Brian Maloney.  As a past champion of the BFL All-American and multiple TBF National Final qualifier it was inevitable that he would be a top contender in this event.  He boated multiple keepers each day and culled his sack up to a total of 23.03 pounds.  He used a combination of top water baits early to fill his limit then reverted to his trusty jig to add weight and cement his trip to the 2023 TBF National Championship. Robert Hime led the final day results with 13.02 but it was not enough to crack the top 5 even with his big bass of 4.33 pounds.

Rounding out the top boater finishers were Larry Stoafer (Kansas) 21.58, Craig Wolf (Kansas) 19.95 and Craig Torkleson (Kansas) 18.71 and Jeremey Montgomery (Kansas) 17.85.  Each angler used a combination of top water baits, jigs and soft plastics to boat their limits.  Other anglers having strong finishes were Robert Hime with a final day limit of 13.02, anchored by the big bass of 4.33 pounds.

Billy Ray, Co-angler Champion

Co-anglers face a difficult challenge in these events with varying patterns and a tough bite adding to the normal challenge. This year’s event also included a loaded field of strong anglers including several divisional and national qualifiers.  Day one co-anglers were led by John Kelley (Missouri) with 13.33 pounds, Don Glick (Kansas) at 7.96; Billy Ray (Missouri) with 6.03. John also landed the big bass on the co-angler side out of a brush pile that weighed 4.97.  While some angler’s bites faded, Billy Ray found a way to hold on with a strong day 2 ending with a total of 17.84.  Billy had an amazing year, winning both the Missouri TBF Co-Angler of the Year along with the state’s qualifying slot for the 2023 TBF National Semi-Final.  He would like to acknowledge the great boaters he had (Larry Stoafer and Hunter Baird) that put him in position to use both a top-water bait and shaky head to land his keepers.

Don Glick 2nd place co-angler

Finishing second overall and first in the Kansas division was Don Glick who boated 8 keepers for a total of 16.23. Finishing 3rd overall was one of Missouri’s newest anglers (High School Anglers) Brent Ryan with 13.36.  Rounding out the top 5 were John Kelley (Missouri) with 13.33 and Paul Huse (Missouri) with 9.21.  Each of these anglers showed amazing adaptability, fishing tough conditions behind some of the best anglers in the Ozark area.

The Missouri TBF would like to thank all the participants for their cooperation and support at this event.  We would also like to thank our event venue, Orleans Trail Resort, who provided a great meeting location and lodging but also a fantastic meal for the attendees on Friday night.  We also appreciate the support of our sponsors Ranger Boats, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Strike King, Lews and Wholesale Batteries.  Finally, we would like to thank the anglers and their families who support the Missouri TBF and the Kansas TBF.  We were specifically encouraged by the young anglers that attended this event along with the Missouri TBF Junior Anglers who held their fall event in conjunction with the TBF National Semi-Final. The sportsmanship shown by the participants set a great example for these new participants and goes a long way to helping both the Missouri and Kansas TBF continue to grow.

Hunter Baird Boater Champion

Brian Maloney – 2nd place Boater

Billy Ray, Co-angler Champion

Don Glick 2nd place co-angler

Larry Stoafer Boater 3rd place

Craig Wolfe Boater 4th place

Craig Torkleson Boater 5th place

Brent Ryan 3rd place co-angler

John Kelley Co-angler 4th place

Paul Huse Co-angler 5th place

Brian Maloney Boater Big Bass Day 1

John Kelley Co-angler big bass Day 1

Robert Hime Boater Big Bass Day 2

Kyle Klein Co-angler Big Bass Day 2