New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania Advance Anglers to Nationals
The first National TBF Semi-Final in District 14 was held October 15-16 on Lake Champlain out of the Ticonderoga boat ramp. The event was hosted by the New York Bass Federation (NYTBF) and started with the registration, meeting, and a banquet at the Best Western in Ticonderoga.
A total of $21,640 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.
District 14 held the largest and richest Semi-Final to date. The top 12 boaters and co-anglers in the 62 boat field divvyed up $13,950 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 official practice, the anglers from New York, Ontario, and Pennsylvania were greeted with low water and foggy conditions that delayed takeoff for an hour and a half. Even with the reduced fishing time, anglers were enthusiastic about catching lots of quality largemouth and smallmouth from the famous Lake Champlain fishery. There were many mixed bags of both species weighed in over the two days of the tournament.
In the end, Brad Brodnicki from New York bested the boater field with a combined weight of 28.90 pounds. Brodnicki received a $3,100 cash prize and he’ll advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship.
However, it was co-angler Carl Alexander from New York that had the largest total weight of the tournament at 30.20 pounds. Under the new national semi-final format, Alexander can now opt to fish as a boater at the national championship event. If he does, New York will move up the next two co-angler spots keeping the numbers even with two boaters and two co-anglers.
Also advancing to nationals as the highest finishing boaters in their states are Justin Fung representing Ontario (2nd boater overall) and Robert Joseph Davidson, Jr. representing Pennsylvania (3rd boater overall). Fung also received a $1,840 paycheck and Davidson received a $910 cash prize for his two days of work.
The co-anglers advancing to the national championship are Matthew Davis representing Pennsylvania (4th co-angler overall), and Jayson Saliba representing Ontario (5th co-angler overall).
The New York federation team also won the National Semi-Final “STATE PRIDE” award with 132.35 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.
The top New York boaters were Brad Brodnicki, Bobby Williams, Garry Woodruff, and Glenn Babineau, and the top co-anglers included Kevin Grist, David Dumas, Stuart Morse, and Luke Musto.
It was difficult to launch and retrieve the boats in the low water conditions especially in the early morning hours. The NYTBF was grateful the Pennsylvania TBF President, Chris Wilson, and Vice-President, Mike Saabi, for running the ramp and keeping boats moving in an organized manner. They also helped with the weigh-in along with team members from New York.
Anglers drove their vehicles and boats right up to the weigh-in stage held at the Bicentennial Park in historic Ticonderoga. The waterfall coming from Lake George into the LaChute River served as the backdrop making for a spectacular weigh-in site.
Special thanks to the Town of Ticonderoga and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) for sponsoring the event and allowing usage of the park. Without great sponsors, events like this with 120 plus anglers and their families would be difficult.
The new event format also went well thanks to the support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.