Conservation Directors Tour Lake Hamilton Hatchery

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission once again played host to the TBF State Conservation Directors who gathered in Hot Springs Arkansas as part of the TBF Junior World Championship and the FLW Cup.

The group left the Clarion Inn on the lake early on Friday morning and met AGFC Black Bass Biologist Colton Dennis and his staff at the Lake Hamilton Hatchery where they toured not only the hatchery grounds and facilities but also a new state of the art weigh-in facility that AGFC has recently just completed on the grounds.

The exciting thing about this new facility is that it was built through a terrific community effort by local anglers and end users who donated materials and labor to construct the facility with very little cost to AGFC.

Brett Hobbs and Brent Fendley led the facility tour which also included a video of the first 100 years of AGFC’s History.

The group then traveled to the AGFC genetics laboratory where Ms. Kelley Linningham explained the DNA sampling and testing process that is currently going on within AGFC.  She demonstrated how the DNA testing has evolved over the years and how the AGFC has tried to adapt to the changing times in an effort to head off virus’s that could hurt fish populations as well as the constant production of different strains of largemouth bass that will enhance the angling opportunities within the state.

Once again Mr. Dennis and his staff were well prepared and showed the group a great morning of educational history and new techniques being employed in Arkansas.

White Wins TBF Junior World Championship Hot Springs, Ark.—Aug. 22, 2015

White Wins TBF Junior World Championship
Hot Springs, Ark.—Aug. 22, 2015—West Virginia’s Tyler White hit the mother lode of schooling bass to win The Bass Federation’s 2015 Junior World Championship Aug. 21-22 on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton.
In doing so, he topped a hard-fishing field of 39 TBF junior state champions ranging in age from 11 to 15 years old, and claimed a $2,500 scholarship to the school of his choice—plus a $250 Cabela’s gift card for his efforts.
The jackpot didn’t come right out of the gate, however—or without a fight.
On day one of the two-day event, which was held in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, the young competitors squared off against anglers from their own TBF divisions for a coveted spot in the final round.
White topped the Mid-Atlantic Division with a five-bass limit weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces. He was second overall and one of just two anglers to break the 8-pound barrier.
Kentucky’s Hunter Young paced the pack with an 8-pound, 12-ounce limit. With a blossoming topwater program promising to bear even more fruit on day two, he was the angler to beat as the remaining six finalists left the dock in a drizzle after a weather-delayed start around 7 a.m.
White’s go-to morning spot both days was a small island a short cast from the Clarion Resort launch ramp. A long, tapering point sweetened the structural pot, drawing passing pods of bass working their way through the surrounding open water.
“I stopped right away on day one, threw a topwater up there and they smoked it,” he told celebrity emcee Hank Parker.
But such was definitely not the case on day two. “I hadn’t gotten a bite by 9:55,” he recalled.
After a fishless start and looming rain clouds threatening a washout, White, of Oak Hill, was beginning to worry when a cove full of schooling bass turned his day around.
“I got lucky,” he said. “We made a run and saw a bunch of schoolers in a cove. It was incredible, there were just schools of spots and largemouths.”
White still had his work cut out for him, however. Although he was wielding one of his confidence baits—a slim-bodied Lucky Craft Gunfish topwater—he couldn’t get the breaking fish to take the bait. “I’d throw at a school, but couldn’t get them to race up on it,” he said.
With “flock-shooting” drawing a blank, he decided to target individual fish. “When the next bass popped up I put the bait right on his nose—and he hammered it,” White grinned.
The tactic held water until the schoolies sounded. “When the fish dove they went deeper, into about 24 feet of water,” he said. “I found them on the graph and dropped a dropshot rig on them and I caught about a 3-pound spot.”
When the dust settled he had a decent limit, but hopes of upgrading his stringer faded as the day wore on. “I never got another fish after about 11:30,” he added.
With weights zeroed on Saturday, all six finalists were in the hunt. But Young’s day one success was still fresh in their minds, and each also knew that with a field that rich in talent, anything could happen.
The crowd roared when White’s basket tipped the scale at 11 pounds, 4 ounces, and he took the hot seat, anxiously hoping it was enough for a victory. Adding to the pressure, it was White’s third straight visit to the TBF Junior Championship.
As it turned out, the third time was the charm. Young sacked a solid second limit, but it settled the scale at 6 pounds, 5 ounces, good for second place, a $1,500 scholarship and $200 Cabela’s gift card.
“This is just amazing,” White said of the win. “I don’t know how many prayers I’ve said about it.”
Rest of the best
3. Max Dispoto, Watertown, Conn., 3 bass, 4-14, $750 scholarship plus $200 Cabela’s gift card
4. Colby Miller, Elmer, La., 4 bass, 4-05, $325 scholarship plus $100 Cabela’s gift card
5. Brayden Liebe, Kelso, Wash., 2 bass, 2-06, $250 scholarship plus $100 Cabela’s gift card
6. Maxwell Trotter, Decatur, Ill., 2 bass, 2-00, $200 scholarship plus $100 Cabela’s gift card
A total of 81 bass weighing 115 pounds, 13 ounces crossed the stage at the Clarion Resort during the event. Adding to the excitement, all Junior World Championship contestants participated in a champion’s presentation and parade on the FLW main stage prior to Saturday’s Forrest Wood Cup weigh-in.
“What a terrific event,” said TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert. “The kids were here fishing hard all week, and everyone enjoyed the hospitality and area attractions of Hot Springs.”
Gintert credited Visit Hot Springs and Clarion Inn on the Lake for helping the TBF contingent savor all the area has to offer. Special activities included an FLW Pizza Party and “Night at the Museum” at the Mid-America Science Museum.
The no-entry-fee TBF Junior World Championship is produced by a partnership between The Bass Federation and FLW Outdoors. Sponsors include Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Berkley, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Minn Kota and Humminbird.
For details, visit or call TBF National Headquarters at (580) 765-9031.

For final Day 2 Results CLICK HERE

For Day 1 Results CLICK HERE

Live Coverage – Junior World Championship

Weigh-in begins at 1:30 pm CDT.

Live streaming video by Ustream

Lake Hamilton Awaits Junior World Championship Contenders

TBF Junior Program State Champions and their families from 39 different states will be converging on Hot Springs Arkansas and Lake Hamilton on August 20th for an exciting weekend of fishing and fun.

TBF and FLW will welcome state champion anglers in the 11-15 year old age group to the Hot Springs Convention Center on Thursday August 20th for registration, a banquet and a chance to rub elbows with some of the greatest anglers in the world at the Day 1 FLW Cup weigh-in. “This event brings together the best of the best of the TBF Junior Angler program and gives them a great opportunity to interact with a lot of the FLW Pro’s and a host of great fishing related vendors at the Forrest Wood Cup Outdoor show” stated TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert. “In fact the TBF Junior World Championship is the only event in all of fishing that brings in the best young anglers from each state to a world championship event like the Forrest Wood Cup for some head to head completion, just like the pros! These young men and women are all State Champions and are accomplished anglers themselves so watching them in action on Lake Hamilton will be exciting” added Gintert.

Steve Arrison from the Visit Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Group also is impressed with the group converging on the Hot Springs area. “Hot Springs is extremely pleased to welcome back to our city the 2015 Bass Federation Junior World Championship to Lake Hamilton.

“ I can think of no greater event than this one, which gets young people started early in the sport of fishing and continues to foster the kids’ enthusiasm for the sport, which is one of the best ways I know to steer them toward productive lives, continued Arrison. While here, the national participants and their families will enjoy the excellent fishing that Lake Hamilton offers. And in their spare time they will be able to enjoy all the other attractions and activities in Hot Springs. In addition to our historic heritage as the prototype for the National Park System, Hot Springs offers great entertainment, including our Mountain Tower, Magic Springs Water and Theme Park, great dining and warm hospitality. We are eager to host these young champions and show them all Hot Springs has to offer”.

Anglers will all compete on Friday morning August 21 with the takeoff at 6:30am at the Clarion Inn ramp located at 4813 Central Avenue which is also serving as the host hotel for the group, weigh-ins will begin at 1:30pm at the same location as the anglers return of for the day with their catch. The top anglers from each of six TBF divisions will then compete on Saturday for the title of Junior World Champion and a $2500 scholarship prize to the school of their choice.
Friday night will find all the anglers and their families visiting the Mid-America Science Museum for the annual FLW Pizza Party and a fun filled night of interactive attractions at the newly remodeled facility.
Saturday afternoon, following the Championship weigh-in, all of the anglers will head to the Hot Springs Convention Center where they will parade across the stage to be recognized just before the Forrest Wood Cup Cup Day 3 weigh-in festivities.

Interested in watching the event from home? Log into where you can pick up the live streaming video coverage both Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at 1:30pm CDT. Be sure to check out the daily pictures on our facebook page at and “LIKE US” while you are there!

For a Schedule of Events CLICK HERE

Conservation News. New study says bed fishing does not cause population level declines in reproductive success


“These results suggest bed fishing may not cause population level declines in reproductive success or number of fall recruits.”


Assessing Population Level Impacts of Catch-and-Release Angling on Reproductive Success and Recruitment in Florida Bass Micropterus floridanus

John Hargrove , Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Nick Trippel , Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eustis, FL  Mike Allen , Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
James D. Austin , Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Assistant Professor – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Black basses (Micropterus spp.) are the most popular recreational freshwater sport fish in North America. Although the majority of captured bass are released alive, studies have identified negative consequences associated with catch-and-release angling.    In particular, fishing that targets bass as they defend their spawning nests (bed fishing) has been shown to negatively impact reproductive success as a result of brood loss due to nest predation. Our study evaluated the impacts of catch-and-release angling on fall recruitment and reproductive success in Florida bass (Micropterus floridanus). Eighteen replicate populations were established to mimic local Florida lakes, and in ten ponds nest guarding adult bass were targeted using conventional fishing tackle. Nine months after establishment, all ponds were drained, recruits were enumerated, and fin clips were collected for parentage analysis. Greater number of nests were detected in unfished ponds, however no significant differences were observed in the number of recruits across treatments. Reproductive success was similar in both fished and unfished populations with most fish contributing few offspring. Contributions were detected for both males and female fish angled from their nests. Combined these results suggest bed fishing may not cause population level declines in reproductive success or number of fall recruits.

TBF Anglers Win BFL All-American Richardson tops boaters, Burgess paces co-angler field

TBF Anglers Win BFL All-American
Richardson tops boaters, Burgess paces co-angler field

A pair of anglers representing The Bass Federation claimed top honors and $170,000 at the prestigious Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American over the weekend at Kentucky Lake.

TBF member Curtis Richardson, of Belleville, Ontario, won the boater division, while fellow Federation member Bob Burgess, of Charleston, West Virginia, topped the co-angler ranks. Held June 18-20 out of Paris Landing, the event pitted the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the 24-division BFL circuit.

Curtis Richardson pic

Photo courtesy of FLW

Richardson, 31, earned his trip to the BFL All-American through the 2015 TBF National Championship in April on Grand Lake Oklahoma, where he finished fifth overall and first among boaters in the Eastern Division.

“I’m absolutely speechless,” Richardson said after holding off hard-charging rivals Jeremy Lawyer and Billy Schroeder for the victory. “This win means a lot for my family and I, and my fishing career. I’m still trying to take it all in.”

Richardson weighed 15 bass for a 66-pound, 5-ounce total. He collected $120,000 in prize money for his efforts, plus the chance to fish for $500,000 as a pro in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in August.

Richardson relied heavily on magnum spoons, which he fished on bars, ledges and shell beds near New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and also threw a drop-shot rig on day three to fill out his limit.

Burgess, a TBF member since 1985, qualified through the 2015 TBF National Championship from the Mid-Atlantic Division.

Bob Burgess pic

Photo courtesy of FLW

“Put me around fish and I can catch them,” the 66-year-old, longtime tournament competitor quipped after the weigh-in. He was also quick to credit his partners for much of his success. “I was fortunate enough to get paired with three of the best fishermen in this thing, and that made the biggest difference for me,” he said. “They were all on good fish and finished second, third and fourth.”

Throughout the event he mainly fished a homemade bucktail jig in a stop-and-go fashion, though he did score a 4-pound bass on a 10-inch swimbait on day three. In all, he sacked 13 bass weighing a total of 52 pounds, 6 ounces, including a monstrous day-three limit that tipped the scale at 24 pounds—and earned $50,000 plus a co-angler berth in the Forrest Wood Cup.

Burgess also thanked TBF for giving him the chance to fish the BFL All-American. “It’s a great organization that gives grassroots anglers the opportunity to fish events they otherwise couldn’t,” he said.

For more information about state federation memberships and all TBF tournaments and programs, visit or call 580.765.9031.

About The Bass Federation
The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF) is the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization in North America. TBF is 100 percent member owned and a proud member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF affiliated federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events annually. Serving the fishing industry for more than 45 years, “TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing” and proud “Partners In Fishing” with FLW.

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