Delaware, Maryland and Nations Capitol Advance Anglers to Nationals
The Delaware Bass Federation played host to the first TBF National Semifinal contest for District 13 October 22-23 on the Nanticoke River System in Laurel, De. 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 $13,320 with 123% 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 seven boaters and co-anglers in the 36 boat field divvied up $8,100 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).
The tournament launched from Phillips landing on Broad Creek. Due to high winds, the Wicomico River waters were off-limits on day one. But, that didn’t stop anglers from finding solid limits. There were 167 largemouth bass weighing a total of 307.52 pounds caught. On day two, another 139 bass weighing 239.1 pounds were brought to the scales. Regardless of conditions, the Nanticoke River System gave up more than a boat load.
After two days of competition, Jeff Mandes, from Delaware bested the boater field with 22.88 pounds. Mandes received a $2,270 paycheck, a slot in the 2017 Federation National Championship and the $500 Ranger Cup award for being the highest finishing Ranger Cup qualified angler.
The race on the boater’s side was so tight, Roger Shirkey, Sr., also from Delaware narrowly missed the top spot with a two day total of 22.23 pounds. Shirkey did receive a $1,150 cash prize for his two days of work.
On the co-angler side, Steve Redden, from Delaware led it on day one with 10.32 pounds. But, he never felt comfortable with his four pound lead; instead he fished hard on day two to win the co-angler champion title with a two day total of 18.66 pounds. Redden will advance and he also received a $1,135 cash prize.
Also advancing to the national contest are Maryland’s highest finishing boater and co-angler, Richard Martin, Jr., with 19.5 pounds and Dean Young with 16.14 pounds. Representing National Capitol, will be Nations President, Peter Yanni, with 18.16 pounds and Russell Lohr with 16.69 pounds.
The Delaware Bass Federation narrowly won the first District 13 State Pride Award with 117.5 total pounds right in front of Nations Capitol with 115.19 pounds and Maryland with 90.78 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 13, 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 Delaware 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.