Virginia State team and Ronald “Jackie” Dye held the top spots all week and held strong to claim the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Division Champion titles today on Kerr Lake in South Hill, Va. This week’s contest will award more sponsor bonus money and prizes than ever before with bonus’s from Ranger Cup, Cabela’s Anglers cash, and Lowrance electronics. 14 TBF anglers also advance, the top two from each state, to the national contest to vie for over $200,000 in cash and prizes and the esteemed “Living the Dream” prize package to include, cash prize, fully paid entry fees into the 2012 FLW tour, travel funds and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck for the year. The 2012 Federation National Championship will see the top state finishers from each of the seven TBF divisions. From nationals, 14 TBF anglers will move on to the FLW Outdoor’s BFL All-American and the top two finishers will earn a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup all for no tournament entry fees. It was a big week for these elite and the hardware and coveted titles are just the beginning.
Dye started off strong with 13lbs 12ounces on day one. He coupled that with a solid 9lbs 6ounces day two to top it off with 10lbs 6ounces today making his tournament total 33lbs 8ounces for the win. “I had some fish located; there were a lot day one, some day two, but today they were gone,” Dye said. “I looked for fish all day. The fish I located were just gone and you know that’s just the way it goes; it took all day to get my limit.” This week Dye hit the low water levels on Kerr Lake, his preferred water level, with a Carolina Rig and a Shaky Head with a big zoom worm. Dye’s boater was Russ Cannici from Hewitt, N.J. “Russ was just a super partner; I enjoyed it a lot.” This will be Dye’s first trip to nationals and his second time on the state team. “I haven’t even had time to think about it; I’m still just enjoying this tournament. I’m so excited and I am really pleased and tickled to be where I am; it’s a once in a lifetime situation.”
In second overall, is Tom Haynes from Chesterfield, Va. also representing the Virginia State team. Haynes caught a limit of bass today weighing 16lbs 3ounces making his tournament total 30lbs 13ounces. Dye and Haynes put on a great show this week with three solid days of fishing to lead Virginia to victory. Virginia State team caught a total of 104 fish weighing 223lbs 3ounces. Almost 40lbs over the second place team of New Jersey. “Virginia team won as a team; everyone is real happy, real pleased. It’s just been a great tournament; everything has gone well,” Dye said. “We had a good group of guys, everybody’s really fun to be around and everybody really enjoyed the fishing. We had team meetings at night and everybody was real open about what they were catching them on. Everyone just stayed with their own strengths, fished their own strengths; it worked out real well.”
Virginia TBF President and team captain, Scott Stephenson, was also excited and proud today. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys; I really enjoyed it,” Stephenson said. “They really worked together as a team, and for a group of people kind of dispersed over the state; they stuck with it, stayed with it to the finish.”
The 14 TBF anglers advancing to nationals are as follows: (boater, non-boater) Virginia; Ronald “Jackie” Dye, Tom Haynes; New Jersey; Derick Olson, Darren Pincus; Pennsylvania; Steve Hughes, Brent McNeal; Delaware; Greg Alexander, Jim Short; Maryland; Daniel Gray, Dwayne Smith; West Virginia; Mick Goodwin, Tyler Webb; District of Columbia; Ed Loughran, Samuel Smith.