TBF anglers went out with a bang, stroking them on the Delta today, as the 2010 Southwest Division Championship wrapped up in Bethel Island, Calif., at Russo’s Marina. Two anglers from each state will move on, the first place finisher as the boater and second as the co-angler. 10 TBF anglers will advance to the 2011 Federation National Championship to vie for nearly a quarter of a million in cash and prizes. These anglers were all smiles today at becoming one step closer to “Living the Dream” and the opportunity to compete at the most prestigious tournaments available to anglers today. Now, they look to the future contest, hoping they will be the ones taking home the largest piece of the pie.
Ryan Voorhees, from Fresno, Calif., came from third to snatch the top spot from the one and two day leader, Phillip Garcia, from Yuba City, Calif. Voorhees brought in an impressive 19lb 2ounces sack making his tournament total 47lb 13ounces and earning him the 2010 TBF Southwest Division Champion’s title.
This is Voorhees’s fifth state team and his first time to qualify for the national contest. “The biggest thing for me was just to fish with my team. I really enjoy the camaraderie and the team part of it. Of course, it’s great to win,” Voorhees said. He nabbed his catch actually finesse fishing on the Delta; Texas rigging 1/16 ounce worms fishing through the weeds hunting for post-spawning fish. “I thought some might be guarding the fry, so I went in with a subtle presentation trying to imitate a blue gill weaving in and out. A lot of guys came out power fishing and the fish don’t want to cooperate with that on top of these unstable weather conditions.” Voorhees wanted to thank his family and friends traveling with him. “This just wouldn’t be possible without family; it wouldn’t be the same without them.”
From day one, Larry Hardy, from Tonto Basin, Ariz., kept a tight grip on second place. This didn’t changed today as his persistency landed him the second place finish and advancement into next years Federation National Championship representing the state of Arizona as the boater. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” Hardy said. This will be his first time to qualify for nationals in over 20 years of federation fishing. “I’ve been in second and third a lot, but now, I’m just really, really happy.” Hardy caught all his fish except one on drop shot using 6-8lb line. “When I first got to the Delta I told myself I’d never come back, but the more and more time I spend here the more I like it.” He wished to thank the TBF Staff. “They just know what they’re doing; these tournaments are run so well, so smooth, they’re just great people.”
In the state team battle, coming out on top as the 2010 Southwest Division Champions was the state t
eam from California.
California anglers did not exactly use their home lake knowledge early on, but proved sometimes when thngs are tough every little bit helps. Although they lead all three days, today they sealed the deal bringing in over 119lb today, making their catch 140 bass with a tournament total of 343lb 14ounces.
California team member, Steve Dollard, from Hughson, Calif., had nothing but great things to say about his California State team and everyone involved. “I just want to thank all the staff, volunteers and Russo’s Marina for making such a great event possible.” The California team didn’t stick with a specific strategy during the course of competition, rather adjusted for the changes in the weather. “We pointed each other to good spots and helped each other out avoiding not so good ones. We really worked well together this week, and we’re all glad to have won this as a team.”
The rest of the state standings are as follows: Arizona; 124 fish, 298lb 15ounces; – Utah 105 fish, 232lb 12ounces; -Colorado; 102 fish, 224lb 3ounes; Nevada; 74 fish, 137lb 11ounces
The top 10 anglers advancing are as follows: Ryan Voorhees, Fresno, Calif., boater, Phillip Garcia, Yuba City, Calif., co-angler; California; Larry Hardy, Tonto Basin, Ariz., boater, Bill Peterson, Scottsdale, Ariz., co-angler; Arizona; Mike Isbell, South Jordan, Utah, boater, John Hill, Grand Junction, Co., co-angler; Utah; Greg Gizzi, Widefield, Co., boater, Mike Hubbard, Dacono, Co., co-angler; Colorado; Joe Raftery, Las Vegas, Nev., boater, Mitch Geyer, Elko, Nev., co-angler; Nevada