Consistency Pays – Eric Lippincott Wins Northwest Division, Headed to 2011 TBF National Championship

 June 4, 2010 – Yellowtail Reservoir, Montana – Eric Lippincott of Daniel, Wyoming is the overall 2010 Northwest Division Champion and is headed to the 2011 TBF National Championship next Spring – and so is his father. Gene Lippincott finished 2nd in Wyoming to also land a spot in the Federation Championship as a Co-Angler. Eric was consistent all 3 days, finishing with a 15 bass total weight of 28 lbs 12 oz. He had 9 lbs 10 oz Day 1, 9 lbs 11 oz Day 2 & 9 lbs 7 oz Day 3. If we gave tournament MVP, Eric would’ve won. Not only did he win the overall tournament, he also was first in his state, the Day 2 Leader & Tournament Big Bass Winner (2 lbs 11 oz). Eric is very excited at having another shot at the ‘Living the Dream’ Package. “It is literally a dream to have the opportunity to go back”, he said. Eric continued, “ I caught my fish, while fishing ultra slow, something I do not normally do but I figured it out in practice. The first wave of spawning smallmouth have already done their business and now a second and third wave is reusing the same beds. Catch one off a bed and soon another will take its place. So I just went around and around fishing the same stuff.”

Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk finished in 2nd place Overall, 1st in his state and was the highest Ranger Cup qualifier of the tournament. He wins half of the total Ranger Cup Bonus for being a Ranger Boat owner and registering it in the TBF Ranger Cup Bonus Program. The winning team of Idaho (which Palaniuk is also a member) gets the other half to divide among all Ranger Cup qualified Anglers on that state team.
Brandon was only down by 1 ½ pounds, behind Eric Lippincott. Brandon is on a hot streak and is “in the zone” this year and is doing very well for himself. He’s been spending a lot of time on the water lately. He fished the FLW Tour at Lake Norman as a Co-Angler. He won that event and the $20,000 top prize. He then fished the Federation National Championship in Tennessee and won the Northwest Division, which also qualified him to fish the BFL All-American in Hot Springs, AR. He did very well there just last week, finishing 5th Overall, bringing home $15,500! Brandon said he has only been home 6 days in the last 3 months and I believe he is ready to be home for awhile. His boss says he even still has a job to go back to. “My boss called me and told me not to come home – stay back east and keep fishing!”, Brandon said.
As for the State Standings, the Idaho Federation Squad got better every day and was victorious with a tournament total of 145 fish for 215 lbs 15 oz, Day 1 leaders from Washington fell to 2nd Place with 191 lbs 3 oz. Oregon, fishing with only a 10 man team (2 men down) finishes 3rd with 157 lbs 14 oz. Montana finished 4th and Wyoming finished 5th.
10 anglers qualified for the TBF National Championship today and will be fishing for their share of cash and prizes next Spring.
Brandon Palaniuk – Angler
Don Boeger – Co-Angler
Stan Fisher – Angler
JD Woods – Co-Angler
Jim Brinkerhoff – Angler
Nicholas Fitzsimmons – Co-Angler
Chris Ferry – Angler
Hernandez Ruffin – Co-Angler
Eric Lippincott – Angler
Gene Lippincott – Co-Angler
Full standings can be found on our Results page under the Tournaments link on



Big Sky Country Bite Tougher Today – Idaho Takes Commanding Lead


 June 3, 2010 – Yellowtail Reservoir, Montana – The limits caught today was considerably down from yesterday, 32 vs 21, but Idaho apparently has the puzzle figured out. The Idaho State Team brought their A-Game today, weighing in 74 lbs 11 oz, over 3 lbs more than yesterday, making their 2 day total 146 lbs 2 oz. Yesterday’s State Team Leader, Washington, had a tough day, only bringing in 45 lbs 3 oz maxing out their 2-day total at 123 lbs 13 oz. They are not out of it yet but they need a top performance tomorrow and a little help in the form of a stumble by Idaho. If Idaho catches them again tomorrow it is likely an all out race for second place. Oregon holds down the third spot with 105.13, they are fishing two men down with only 10 anglers in attendance from the Oregon squad. Could they have won this event if they had a full roster? We will never know but they do have a real shot at second place, if they catch them good again tomorrow and Washington has another tough day.

Leading the Idaho State Team is Josh Polfer, Melba, ID, who has been consistent over both days, has caught a limit both days, his total of 10 fish weigh 17 lbs 6 oz.  Just as the leader Elvaas did yesterday, Polfer also had his limit early this morning and used the rest of the day to prepare for tomorrow, so the morning bite seems to be key for the leaders. “It was a good day.” Polfer said. Josh has never qualified for the TBF National Championship and is doing everything he can to secure his spot in next spring’s event with one final day to go. The rest of the Idaho team will have something to say about that as well however, as the standings are very close. Polfer is leading his state, but only by 7 oz over a very successful 22-year-old Brandon Palaniuk. Brandon has had tremendous success in the last few months fishing the Federation National Championship, the BFL All-American and FLW Tour.  Tomorrow will tell the story.
Drop shot fishing off the cliffs seems to be a successful way to catch the smallmouth here on the Yellowtail Reservoir. This has been successful for the overall tournament leader, Eric Lippincott of Daniel, Wyoming. He has 2-day, 10-bass total of 19 lbs 5 oz. He’s also staying consistent, and should have a good chance at qualifying for the National Championship. His dad, Gene Lippincott is in 2nd place in the Wyoming state standings with 13 lbs 2 oz. Mike Bozner is not far behind him with 12 lbs 8 oz.
Today’s big bass contest is a tie between Montana’s Michael Sloan and Eric Lippincott. They both weighed in a smallmouth that weighed 2 lbs 11 oz, 1 oz more than yesterday’s big bass. Whoever has the tournament big bass will be awarded a cash prize.
Full tournament standings can be found on the TBF Website, on the Results page under the Tournaments link.
Tomorrow is the final day of the Northwest Divisional Tournament. There’s a lot on the line for 10 men. The top 2 anglers in each state will qualify for the 2011 TBF National Championship next spring, where they will fish for the ultimate goal of all TBF Anglers, the $100,000 TBF ‘Living the Dream’ package. The overall winner of the National Championship will be awarded a brand new wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat to use for a year, as they fish with expenses paid as a pro into the FLW Tour. They will make their pro debut in the richest bass tournament in the world, the Forrest Wood Cup. The 2011 Forrest Wood Cup will be held on Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs, AR.
The Bass Federation is the oldest grass roots, 100% member-owned bass fishing organization in the nation, consisting of nearly 30,000 members in US & Canada. For more information about TBF, you can visit


Washington Takes Day 1 Lead in First Northwest Divisional Tournament



June 2, 2010 – Yellowtail Reservoir, Montana – For the first ever Northwest Divisional Tournament consisting of the 5 states of Washington, Oregon, Montana Wyoming & Idaho, it definitely was not a home water advantage for Montana. It was a gorgeous day for fishing in the Big Sky Country on Yellowtail Reservoir. The scenery here is breathtaking and the water is clear, cool and full of smallmouth bass.
There were 32 limits caught, all smallmouth bass, as Washington surged ahead for the lead with 78 lbs and 10 oz. Idaho is in a close 2nd with a team total of 71 lbs 7 oz. Ken Elvsaas of Snoqualmie, Washington is leading his state and the tournament with 10 lbs 15 oz on Day1. Washington had 4 team members in the top 10.
Elvsaas had his limit caught very early after takeoff, which began bright and early at 6am this morning. He caught bedfish with the bigger ones being a bit deeper in water, although there were a lot of empty beds from prefishing. His partner from Oregon, Jim Brinkerhoff also caught a limit that weighed 6.12.  Elvsaas’s teammate, Chris Ferry, is in a close 2nd place overall tie with Wyoming’s Eric Lippincott, both anglers weighed in 9 lbs 10 oz. It’s going to be a close race every ounces will count to see who moves on to the 2011 TBF National Championship. There are 2 days left of fishing and anything can happen!
Reigning Montana State Champion and home state favorite, JD Woods of Trout Creek, MT, showed why he is a state champion and led his team on the river today. JD is both deaf and mute but despite what some might view as a disability, JD is in the hunt and has a strong presence in 4th place overall, with 9 lbs 9 oz. He is only down by 1 ½ pounds.
 Jordan Doucet of Bothell, WA weighed in a 2 lb 10 oz smallmouth and leads the big bass pool so far. We’ll see if that holds up for the next 2 days! He is also in 5th place in the overall standings with 9 lbs 2 oz.
Full individual, team & federation standings can be viewed on our Tournament Results page.

The top 2 anglers to finish in their state will qualify for the 2011 TBF National Championship, where they will fish for the ultimate prize, the TBF $100,000 “Living the Dream” Package next spring.


Hot Springs to host 2011 Forrest Wood Cup

Professional bass fishing’s premier championship to head back to Arkansas


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — FLW Outdoors and the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Tuesday Hot Springs would once again host the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, Aug. 11-14, 2011, on Lake Ouachita. The last time the Forrest Wood Cup, the sport’s premier event, was held in Hot Springs was 2007 and Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., made professional fishing history winning the first $1 million first-place cash prize.

“We couldn’t be happier about returning to Hot Springs for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup,” said Charlie Evans, President and CEO of FLW Outdoors. “The then-record attendance we had at the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup and FLW Outdoors Expo speaks volumes about the enthusiasm for bass fishing that fans have throughout the state and the entire region.”

Hot Springs isn’t a new venue for FLW Outdoors’ championship tournaments. The 2005 Forrest Wood Cup and FLW Outdoors Expo was held on Lake Hamilton, a sister lake to Lake Ouachita, and drew a then-record crowd of 40,671 fans to the Hot Springs Convention Center and Summit Arena over the course of four days. Those same fans ultimately witnessed Hot Springs resident and bass-fishing legend George Cochran reel in $500,000. The Forrest Wood Cup returned to Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita in 2007 where many of those same fans and more, 61,967 to be exact, saw Suggs make history.

“The 2007 Forrest Wood Cup was by far the largest and most successful event we’ve ever held in the Hot Springs Convention Center since the construction of Summit Arena in 2003,” said Steve Arrison, executive director for the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Hot Springs is a bass-fishing town situated along some fantastic lakes and full of fishing fans. There’s no better place to hold the most lucrative event in the history of the sport.”

In addition to the tournament and the international media coverage it will receive, the FLW Outdoors Expo, which will feature hundreds of exhibits and activities, will be held at the convention center and the live weigh-ins will be held at Summit Arena. Visitors from around the globe will not only catch the world’s best bass-fishing action, they’ll also receive great buys on everything from crankbaits to bass boats at the outdoor show.