Maine and New Hampshire Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Maine Federation played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 17 on Great Pond Lake in Belgrade, Maine. 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 17, top TBF anglers competed October 1-2 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 $8,200 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 20 boat field divvied up $4,500 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 17 National Semi-Final Champion titles would go to the boater from New Hampshire, Dave Tsao, who received a $1,410 cash prize. The co-angler champion was Henry Bobadilla also from New Hampshire who received $700 from his two days of work.
Maine’s Herb Meyer and Lewis Mendall will also advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship being the highest boater and co-angler finishers to represent their state.
Meyer also nabbed the $500 Ranger Cup Award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler along with $320 for his fourth place overall purse.
The New Hampshire Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 17 State Pride Award with 103.65 total pounds. The award is determined by adding the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers from each state. The boaters are selected prior to the event.
Great Pond Lake rumored aggressive smallies in practice, but a small front entered the area bringing cloudy skies and flat, calm waters with next to no wind. The conditions challenged some anglers while others adjusted using techniques to land the smallie bite. Anglers caught fish from as shallow as a 2 feet to as deep as 60 feet of water.
The new event format went well thanks to the Maine Bass Federation and all the angler’s support.