Nevada and Utah Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Nevada Bass Federation played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 22 October 29-30 on Lake Mead in Henderson, Nevada. 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.
A total of $5,640 with 157% payback 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 two boaters and co-anglers in the 12 boat field divvied up $2,700 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 day one, brutal was the word being tossed around as only one limit was brought to the scales. Dave Hudson of Nevada led the boaters with that limit weighing 8.11 pounds. Ellison Hubbard, also from Nevada, led the co-anglers with two fish weighing 5.10 pounds. The remainder of the field struggled under very tough conditions.
Day two saw improved conditions but they wouldn’t last long as wind speeds climbed to over 30mph. The bite suffered again, and Justin Hicks of Utah brought in the only limit weighing 6.5 pounds for a tournament total of 9.89 pounds.
The race came down to ounces, as day one leader, Hudson, held off Hicks for the overall win on the boater’s side. He caught two fish for 2.71 pounds, but his solid lead on day one made his tournament total 10.82 pounds for the win.
Hudson received a $1,170 paycheck and will advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship. Hicks will also advance as the highest finishing boater to represent Utah and received $630 cash prize for his second overall finish.
On the co-angler side, Clif Gallagher, from Utah brought a pair of fish across the stage weighing 2.41 pounds for a total of 5.53 pounds. Gallagher would secure the win over day one leader, Hubbard, who had 5.10 total pounds. He received a $585 paycheck and will advance to nationals as the winning co-angler.
The Utah Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 22 State Pride Award with 21.05 total pounds. The award is determined by adding the weights of the top four boaters and co-anglers from each state, which are selected prior to the event.
In District 22, top TBF anglers competed 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.
The new event format went well thanks to the Nevada Bass Federation who ran the event and all their support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.