Indiana and Illinois Advance Anglers to Nationals

14853146_10154160162918925_1865129524277164890_oThe Indiana Bass Federation played host to the first TBF National Semi-Final contest for District 10, October 22-23 on the Ohio River in Tell City, Ind.  The new National Semi-Finals 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 NSF record of $29,320 with 114% payback in cash and prizes, National Semi-Final qualifying jerseys, trophies, champion titles and slots in the national championship were awarded in the boater and co-angler divisions.  The top 17 boaters and co-anglers in the 86 boat field divvied up a whopping $19,350 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 Evinrude).

Tough fishing conditions on the Ohio River made for light weights on both days.  The first big cold front moved in during practice, but it brought sunny skies.  Also, an hour and twenty-five minute fog delay on day one didn’t help either.    But, even though anglers struggled and only one limit was brought to the scales, there were some nice fish weighed in.

14615731_10154160163173925_4769507059701770486_oIn the end, local angler and 2011 TBF National Champion and “Living the Dream” angler, Allen Boyd, out fished the field to claim the champion title on the boater side.  Boyd received the richest NSF payout yet with his $4,440 paycheck, in addition to, the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler.  Boyd will also advance to nationals for another shot at the $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package.  His two day total was 9.15 pounds proving that when fishing’s tough across the board a winning pattern is still a winning pattern, and in Boyd’s case, one worth almost $5,000.

Based on Indiana’s numbers/participation in the event, they get to advance the top two boaters and co-anglers to nationals. In second place on the boater side was local angler, Dale Fess, with a total weight of 9.4 pounds.  A few years ago, Fess narrowly missed qualifying for nationals when he left his fish in the livewell; he thought he’d never get another opportunity after such a gut-wrenching mistake. But, he’ll get the opportunity this time, as well as, $2,220 cash prize for his second place finish.

Also advancing on the boater side, was the highest finishing Illinois angler, Tim Rider, with 4.13 pounds.  Rider came in 11th overall and received a $320 cash prize.

On the co-angler side, Derrick Pendleton from Indiana caught one fish each day for the win and a tournament total of 7.8 pounds.  On day two, he caught tournament big bass, which weighed 4.15 pounds.  Pendleton will advance to nationals and also received a $2,220 cash prize for his two days of work.

In second and also advancing to nationals, was Jeremy Antrup from Indiana with 6 pounds.  He received a $1,110 paycheck for his second place finish.

The highest finishing co-angler from Illinois was Sam Mackey with 3.14 pounds.  Mackey came in fifth overall and received $270 for his finish, in addition to, a slot at nationals.

The Indiana Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 10 State Pride Award with 22.5 total pounds.  The award is determined by adding the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers from each state, which are selected prior to the event.

In District 10, top TBF anglers competed for the chance to advance to the 2017 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 new event format went well thanks to the Indiana 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.  The Indiana and Illinois TBF anglers would also like to thank the Perry County Tourism board for the banquet dinner and use of the 4-H building to host the pre-tournament meeting.

Although the fishing was tough, the weather was great and good time was had by most.  Next year, District 10 will head to Illinois.  Illinois anglers are excited to host and are ready for some payback; both teams said they were excited about the 2017 contest.