Alabama and Mississippi Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Alabama Bass Federation played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 4 on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden City, Ala. 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.
In District 4, top TBF anglers competed October 15-16 to advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship and to win enough cash to travel to the spring event.
After day one, Alex Alford of Alabama led the field with a limit weighing 13.08 pounds. Hunter Hayes, also from Alabama was just behind him with 12.15 pounds.
Hayes would close the gap on day two to claim the boater title with a tournament total of 24.21 pounds. He received a $2,300 cash prize and will advance to the 2017 Federation National Championship representing Alabama.
On the co-angler side, Nickolas Becktein from Mississippi led it after day one with 10.02 pounds. But, he had have trouble finding that limit on day two. He brought in a 5.07 pound bag making his tournament total 15.09 pounds and opened the door for John Perez from Alabama to squeeze in for the title. Becktein would still finish in second, snag a $600 paycheck and get a ticket to the national championship as the highest finishing co-angler representing Mississippi.
John Perez found a limit of bass weighing 10.11 pounds to make his tournament total 17.13 pounds. He received an $1,150 cash prize and will advance to the national championship as the co-angler champion representing Alabama.
Wayne Parrish is the fourth angler advancing to the national championship as the highest finishing boater from Mississippi. Parrish brought in a limit of bass weighing 23.04 pounds, just one ounce shy of Roy Galbraith’s limit from Alabama and a second place overall finish. The finish would affect his paycheck but not his advancement to the largest and richest championship in federation history.
Jackie Price from Alabama was the top finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler and he’ll be receiving $500 Ranger Cup bonus money from TBF’s sponsors at Ranger.
The Alabama Bass Federation made the final sweep taking home bragging rights and the first District 4 State Pride Award with 115.05 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. Alabama’s top anglers to facilitate in the win were Alex Alford, Jason Blackmon, Randal Blackmon, Rusty Burroughs, Todd Dalrymple, Tim Griffith, Wes Logan and Clayton Mosley.
A total of $15,560 and 121% packback 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 eight boaters and co-anglers in the 43 boat field divvied up $9,675 in total cash payback, not including the $500 Ranger Cup award and the $1,000 Evinrude E-tec award (awarded to the winner if he/she runs a 2012 or newer Evinrude).
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 Alabama Bass Federation that ran the event and all the support from TBF’s sponsors; FLW, Ranger, Cabela’s, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Evinrude, Berkley and Power Pole.