Washington and Oregon Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Washington Bass Federation played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 18 on Banks Lake in Electric City, Wash. 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 18, top TBF anglers from Washington and Oregon 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 $8,840 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 22 boat field divvied up $4,950 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.
After two days of competition, the District 18 National Semi-Final Champion titles would go to the boater from Washington, Matt Krumdiak, who received a $1,550 cash prize. The co-angler champion was Kevin Higgins also from Washington who received $775 from his two days of work.
Wes Wezenberg of Washington nabbed the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest Ranger Cup qualified angler along with his $580 third place overall purse.
The Washington Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 18 State Pride Award with 123.56 total pounds. The award is determined by adding up the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers from each state, which are selected prior to the event.
The weather was stable and cooling leading into the official practice period. Anglers found smallmouth bass in typical late summer to early fall patterns and temperatures in the mid-sixties, which for Banks Lake meant fish were scattered, seemingly everywhere but not yet grouped and feeding strong.
Day one of competition 11 of 21 boaters brought in limits with Krumdiack of Washington setting the pace with a 17.01 pound bag and a 4.25 kicker. His limit put him nearly four pounds ahead of Gerald Dunn’s 13.48 pound bag.
Co-anglers weighed six limits on day one with Washington anglers Kevin Higgins and Luke Morgan leading the way with 9.49 pound and 9.28 pound bags, respectively.
As daylight faded on day one a cold front moved in dropping the temperatures ten degrees changing it up for Sunday’s final day of competition. Consequently, most anglers struggled as only three boaters brought in limits.
Krumdiak, would find a way to take the title with 12.72 pounds for a total of 29.73 pounds, securing a six pound margin over Dunn at 23.51 pounds.
Wezenberg found day two’s largest limit at 13.44 pounds to lift him to a two day total of 21.90 pounds to secure third place overall and earning him the $500 Ranger Cup prize money.
Josh Marthaller of Oregon finished fourth with 18.21 pounds and he’ll advance to the TBF National Championship as the boater representing Oregon.
Five co-anglers found limits on day two with Higgins and Morgan once again locked in a tight battle for the co-angler title. Higgin’s 18.46 pounds would seal the deal by only .57 over Morgan’s 17.89 pounds. Advancing on the co-angler side to represent Oregon will be Todd Woolard with a two day total of 12.97 pounds.
The event was sponsored by Coulee Playland Resort and the Banks Lake Golf Course. Thanks to their sponsorship, as well as, the anglers who helped the event run smoothly and be fun for all.