Idaho and Montana Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Idaho TBF played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 19 on Dworshak Reservoir, in Ahshka, Idaho. The new TBF 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.
In District 19, top TBF anglers competed October 8-9 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.
A total of $9,160 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 four boaters and co-anglers in the 23 boat field divvied up $5,175 in total cash payback, not including the $500 Ranger Cup award and the $1,000 Evinrude E-tec award for the winning boater who runs a 2012 or newer Evinrude.
After two days of competition, the District 19 National Semi-Final Champion titles would go to the boater from Idaho, Curtis McCown, who received a $1,630 cash prize. The co-angler champion was Chris Felty also from Idaho who received $815 from his two days of work.
Montana’s Tim Johnston and Josh Stratton will also advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship being the highest boater and co-angler finishers to represent their state.
Tony Shuyler nabbed the $500 Ranger Cup Award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler along with $600 for his third place overall finish.
The Idaho Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 19 State Pride Award with 141.83 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.
The conditions varied with ran, sunshine and warm temperatures during practice and into day one. Montana boater, Tim Johnston, bought a 15.63 pound bag to the scales to lead the field and Idaho’s, Felty, found 16.06 pounds to lead it on the co-angler side.
A steady overnight rain made for wet conditions on day two but the anglers ran with it and successfully brought in heavier weights. Idaho’s, McCown, brought in a five fish limit weighing 18.24 pounds with a 6.54 pound kicker smallie to win the boater champion title and advance to the national event. McCowns total weight was 30.41 pounds, a little over five pounds ahead of second.
Felty’s huge bag on day one was enough to pair with 6.53 pounds to win on the co-angler side for a tournament total of 22.59 pounds.
Idaho boater from the Snake River Valley Bass Club, Bret Felter, weighed in a stunner, a 8.38 pound smallmouth for tournament big bass.
The new event format went well thanks to the Idaho TBF 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. Idaho TBF would also like to thank its sponsors at Canyon Marine, Dry Creek Outfitters, Deb Norton of the US Army Corp. of Engineers, Dobyns Rods and Idaho Fish & Game for assisting with fish release. Finally, thanks to Glo and Jay, managers at Clearwater Crossing RV Park and the city of Orofino, Idaho.