Missouri TBF Hosts First Joint Student Angler Federation High School and Junior State Championship

Mother Nature smiled on the Missouri – The Bass Federation (TBF) and the TBF Student Angler Federation as they hosted their first joint Student Angler Federation (SAF) High School and Junior Angler State Championship on Sunday, April 17th at Lake of the Ozarks.  Again for 2019 the TBF partnered with National Youth Fishing Association (NYFA) to host the event which allowed a huge field of 270 High School teams along with 54 Junior teams to enjoy some beautiful early spring weather.  The morning started out brisk, the bright sun, clear skies and light winds allowed the anglers to quickly warm up with the first nice spring weekend of the season with high temps topping out near 60 degrees.  While the weather for the event was nice, the long cold winter was not conducive to good fishing with water temps still in the low 40’s.  The rapid warm up along with thawing snow and rain muddied up the normally clear Ozark impoundment adding even more challenge for the anglers. While fishing was tough, most anglers agreed that a tough day on the water was still nicer than a good day at school! 

The new joint format meant that there were over 320 boats to launch from the PB-2 Marina which required organization and the cooperation of all the participants.  High School Teams representing all corners of the state were sent out first at approximately 7:00 AM in multiple flights, with the first flight due back at 3:00 PM.  The Junior Anglers were sent out last with the last boat leaving the cove at 8:05 AM, a testament to the TBF and NYFA staff.  The Junior Anglers were also flighted with the first group due back at 2:00 PM, which hampered their chances at the improving afternoon bite.  The Junior Anglers now follow the same format as the SAF High School teams with a 2-person team and a standing boat captain from their school.  This format has proven popular with the SAF across the country and provides each young angler with the opportunity to relax and compete with a familiar partner and adult.  Fishing is the only sport where youth with disabilities can compete on a level playing field with other students and we were extremely proud to have several competitors join us for this event.

This was the second year in a row with record turn-out for this event! This represents the largest SAF High School event in the country and one of the largest Junior Angler events.  While the participation level is a clear sign of the enthusiasm for youth fishing it simply couldn’t happen without the help of so many fine sponsors. The countless hours of work necessary to put on an event of this size is hard to imagine unless you have seen it.  J.P. Sells and the NYFA staff along with Joey and Karen from the SAF national office did the heavy lifting and you will not find a finer group of folks dedicated full-time to mentoring young   through our sport of bass fishing.  with help from local Missouri TBF volunteers.  Events like this are not possible without the generous support of our corporate sponsors such as Ranger Boats, Lowrance, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Booyah, Berkley, Evinrude, St. Croix, Lew’s, Favorite Fishing, Motorguide, Eagle Claw, Okuma, Rapala, Sufix Line, VMC Hooks, LiveTarget, MoveU Apparel, Fishouflage, Strike King, Faculty OF Fishing, Pursuit TV and of course FLW.  Local support from vendors and the Missouri TBF was also critical with special thanks to Tom Kaufmann, Chris Dougan, Karl Buck, Richard Winchester and Tom McGovern along with the staff at PB-2 Marina.  Finally, a thank you to J.P. and the members of Missouri TBF that made sure that every student, regardless of financial situation or physical capabilities, got an opportunity to fish and enjoy this spectacular event.

SAF Missouri High School State Championship

Landing at the top of the field was the team of Colin Ames and Rider Hall from Bolivar High School who scratched out 5 keepers on a very tough day for 15.78 pounds.  The margin of their victory was provided by a 5.80 lunker that distanced themselves from the only other 2 teams with 5 fish limits.  They caught their fish early on a bone colored Rick Clunn Jerkbait up the Gravois in about 9 feet of water.  The clearer and slightly warmer water (43 degrees) allowed them to catch fish both early as well as later after the sun warmed the water.  They want to thank their boat captain as well as their sponsors, Denali Rods, Lew’ Reels and Marine Repair in Carter.

Second place belonged to the team of Jackson Stephens and Jake Lange from Lindbergh High School.  One of the few teams with 5 fish limits, they threw both a Ned rig (PBJ color) along with a Rage Swimmer swimbait to fill out their sack.  One of the few teams with action all day they caught over a dozen fish by focusing on the 10-15’ depth range and looked for cleaner water (2-3 foot visibility) to concentrate the fish.

Third place went to the familiar team of River Clunn and Zack Pierce from Ava High School.  This team finished strong at the first championship last year in similarly cold conditions, proving their ability to figure out the finicky early spring bite.  Their bag totaled only 3 fish, but the quality was right, weighing in at 11.01.  They proved their determination by fishing hard to the end with their 2 big bites, including a 5.62-pound lunker, coming after 3:00 o’clock.  Not surprisingly their fish came on a Rick Clunn 1.5 square bill in River Red on chunk rock banks.  They found these quality fish in warmer, dirty water with only 6-12 inch visibility.

On the High School side big bass honors went to Brady House and Justin McCarthy of Nixa with an early spring female weighing in at 6.59 pounds. As mentioned above, 2nd big bass went to our winning team from Bolivar, while the third place went to our third place-team from Ava. The amazing turnout for this event allows Missouri to send the top 27 teams to the SAF National Championship this summer at Pickwick Lake! There contestants will not just be competing for a national title but also for scholarships and prizes such as laptops, gift cards, big screen TV’s, rods/reels and more.  Check out our website to register and learn more at: www.highschoolfishing.org/2018-high-school-fishing-world-finals-and-national-championship-combined-event/.  Here is the list of your qualifiers:

PLACE TEAM NAMES #FSH BIG FSH TOT WGT
1 COLIN AMES-RYDER HALL  5/5 5.80 15.78
2 JACKSON STEPHENS-JAKE LANGE  5/5 11.51
3 RIVER CLUNN-ZACK PIERCE  3/3 5.62 11.01
4 PAYTON SAPP-GAGE ERICKSON  4/4 10.62
5 CALEB MCCULLOUGH-DUANE ERICKSON  3/3 5.09 9.75
6 CHASE JONES-BRAYDEN HILTON  4/4 8.76
7 CARTER FLETCHER-JESSIE ANTHONYSZ  5/5 8.35
8 JOHN HUBBERT-ANDREW JOHNSON  3/3 8.20
9 BRITTEN DOVER-ANDREW FLOOD  4/4 7.79
10 GRANT CORNELISON-JAMES SHOCKLEY  3/3 7.65
11 DREW CROSBY-AARON WILSON  4/4 7.47
12 BEAU BONDURANT-CARSON BRAUNER  3/3 3.84 7.28
13 HUNTER WILLIAMS-LOGAN CLIFFORD  4/4 7.16
14 ZACH BONDURANT-SPENCER MERTENS  3/3 7.14
15 KYRAN HEPKO-BROCK PEARCE  2/2 5.11 7.01
16 BLAKE BEHITER-SAM WEBERT  3/3 6.82
17 BRADY HOUSE-JUSTIN MCCARTHY  1/1 * 6.59 6.59
18 JASON TINKER-J J  3/3 6.35
19 QUINTON HOPPER-COLT BURNHAM  3/3 5.95
20 IAN BAREIS-NATHAN JONES  2/2 5.74
21 LUCAS LEAZOTT-ABRAM STAMPER  2/2 3.88 5.68
22 COLE GODWIN-CALEB SHIELDS  3/3 5.28
23 ETHAN HERIGON-DREW DISTLER  1/1 5.26 5.26
24 CALEB WELCH-NATHAN YOUNG  3/3 5.20
25 SKYLER COMMONS-GABRIEL COMMONS  2/2 5.18
26 DEREK HESS-JOSIAH HILL  3/3 5.14
27 DAKOTA STALLWORTH-CALEB BRAKE  2/2 4.99

Missouri TBF Junior Angler State Championship

The Junior Angler was led by the pair of Mathew Malmstron and Mason Geisler from Helias Catholic School in Jefferson City.  Sacking 4 fish for 7.98 pounds they easily outdistanced the field in number and total weight.  What was even impressive than their catch was the fact that this came in their first ever tournament against a very large field of boats, what a way to start a career in tournament bass fishing!  A white shad jerkbait produced their consistent bite on what proved to be a tough day for all our younger anglers.  They would like to send a big thank you to their sponsors and their boat captain for helping them make this a very special day.

Finishing second in our Junior division was the team of Levi Fredrickson and Landon Flood from Hurley with 2 fish for 6.56 pounds.  Their sack was anchored by the Junior Big Bass of 4.91 pounds and which was caught on a French Pearl Jerkbait.  Rounding out the top three was Ely Tolliver and Bryce Koll of Lincoln High School.  They had 2 fish and finished just out of second with a weight of 6.51 pounds.  Like most other teams they found the jerkbait to be the most productive lure throughout the day. 

Our Junior anglers proved they had a tough challenge on Lake of the Ozarks with the cold, dirty water with only 25% of the field weighing a keeper bass.  The later start along with the early check-in meant they missed the most productive bites of the day so they should be proud of their efforts regardless of the results.  As the top team, Malmstron and Geisler are now qualified to represent Missouri at the TBF Junior Angler World Championship in Arkansas this August.  This event is scheduled to coincide with the Forrest Wood Cup to give the young anglers access to the FLW Expo and a chance to trade fishing secrets with some of the FLW pros.  It’s a great event for the kids and an exciting opportunity for family and friends to support their team while also seeing the worlds best pros in action.

PLACE TEAM NAMES #FSH BIG FSH TOT WGT.
1 MATHEW MALMSTRON-MASON GEISLER  4/4 7.98
2 LEVI FREDRICKSON-LANDON FLOOD  2/2 * 4.91 6.56
3 ELY TOLLIVER-BRYCE KOLL  2/2 6.51
4 ZACH VENTIMIGLIA-AUSTIN COFFMAN  1/1 3.78 3.78
5 ZACH HOLTMEYER-TREY STRUEMPH  1/1 3.37 3.37
6 RACE CLEMENTS-LOGAN BLISS  1/1 2.36 2.36
7 MASON DUNN-CAYSEN YOUNGBLOOD  1/1 2.25 2.25
8 CARTER WEBSTER-KOLEMAN KAISER  1/1 2.20 2.20
9 JACKSON MAILS-CARTER LILLESKAU  1/1 1.95 1.95
10 DIERKS BECK-IZAAC SWEET  1/1 1.92 1.92

 The Missouri TBF would like to thank all the anglers, boat captains, parents and volunteers for their support and cooperation.  These young anglers represent the future of our sport and the guardians of this resource and their sportsmanship should make us all very confident in our future.  

First Missouri Qualifier Held at Table Rock Lake

Early Spring Weather presents Anglers with additional Challenges

As we all know, early spring fishing can be tough at any lake but especially at Table Rock.  As a clear water Ozark highland impoundment, it hosts all three native Missouri species in good numbers.  This adds a new variable for anglers, do they concentrate on the larger Black Bass, the more aggressive Spotted Bass or the more predictable Smallmouth.   Practice proved tough for most of the anglers, with some large fish being caught but numbers hard to find.  Anglers explored all parts of the lake from the deep, clear water bite near the dam to the dirtier water up the Kings and Long Creek.  In the clearer water temperatures ranged from 44-48 degrees with temps as high as 54 degrees in the more stained water up the rivers.  Alabama rigs, Wriggle Warts and Swim Baits proved to be the most reliable baits, but some jerk bait fish were caught in the clear water with spinner baits and jigs working in the stained water.   

Typical of early spring tournaments, the weather proved to be a variable for all the anglers.  Our cold spring has delayed the normal spring migration but the warm up the week before our event had the fish moving daily.  Saturday started cool but clear skies and bright sun quickly warmed the participants.  The shifting winds foretold the incoming front and unfortunately the heavy rain hit us just as weigh-in began at about 3:00 o’clock.  Sunday’s weather also was a challenge with shifting winds and warmer temperatures.  Since most fish were positioned on primary and secondary points, the wind turned the bite on and off as the wind shifted hourly.   

The boater side was won by one of our perineal front-runners in Robert Hime. He led the event from wire to wire with a Saturday bag of 17.42 pounds which he followed up with 15.32 pounds on Sunday for a total of 32.74!  Like many anglers Robert struggled finding numbers in practice with only 3 keepers on Friday, but like all good anglers he made the right adjustment on Saturday and hit some new spots. His first two keepers came on Commemorative Creations wart style bait and followed it up with a swimbait fish.  This still left him with only 3 keepers at noon, so he made his second adjustment and it proved to be key.  Over the next 2 hours on his new location Robert boated 11 more keepers on swimbait!  Obviously, Robert started Sunday on his hot location but also saw some schooling fish in the back of a nearby cut and picked up additional fish to allow him to cull up to the winning weight.  The small swimbait he used was small Table Rock shad color on a ¼ oz jighead. 

Second place was won by an old friend of Missouri TBF, Cole Finley. It was nice to have Cole fishing with us again and it was no surprise that he found two limits on Table Rock lake even in tough conditions.  His Saturday bag was 12.53 which he followed up with 16.56 on Sunday for a total of 29.09.  Cole worked hard each day with an A-rig to entice bites from deep trees.  His local knowledge allowed him to focus on the most productive individual trees and used his electronics to quickly determine if active fish were present and willing to bite.  By working his A-rig erratically, he triggered fish that were following his bait to bite throughout the day in varied conditions.

Rounding out our qualifying field was a new TBF member, Justin Layton. He followed up his first day bag of 12.05 with 13.92 on Sunday for a total of 25.97.  Justin spent practice time in the dirtier water throwing a crankbait but was not satisfied with the bite and made an adjustment for tournament day.  Electing to fish the cleaner water on the main lake he concentrated on deep trees with an A-rig.  Location was key for him, concentrating on bluff walls and/or channel swing banks.  His bite was deep, so he had to count his rig down 15 feet and patiently retrieve the rig at a very slow speed. 

Our strong boater field proved that good anglers can always find fish, even in changing conditions.  We had 3 other boaters find a limit of keepers every day with Scott Hill, Brad Tyer and Chris Embry each sacking 10 fish.  Tom Kaufmann had a strong showing on Saturday, culling through multiple keepers to sack 17.28 pounds which included the big bass of the tournament of 7.14 pounds.  Each of these anglers used the A-rig as their primary bait, including the big bass for Tom.  The A-rig contributed the most fish for this event but since the fish were deep, several of the submerged trees now have new ornaments hanging from their limbs all over Table Rock Lake.

The Missouri TBF has one of the strongest co-angler group of any circuit in the country and they did not disappoint at Table Rock.  Fishing behind a quality group of boaters can be tough, especially when the bite is on an A-rig but these co-anglers figured it out.  Leading the field with a late charge on Sunday was Jason Morisaki.  Not being deterred by a tough day on Saturday, Jason brought 11.41 pounds to the scales on Sunday that included 5.99 big bass!  He found his fish by concentrating on steeper, wind blown secondary points with an A-rig and a jerk bait. 

Finishing second was one of our consistently competitive co-anglers, Gary Martin. He caught a mixed bag of Black, Spotted and Smallmouth fish each day with a total bag of 11.20 pounds.  He focused on the 10-25 foot depths around Kimberling/Shell Knob area.  He used a jerk bait for the shallower fish and an A-rig to probe the deeper depths.

Sean McBee returned to the Missouri TBF to add to our already strong co-angler field and took the last qualifying slot with 9.79 pounds.  Like most anglers Sean tried several baits in practice but focused almost exclusively on the A-rig during the event.  He found the smaller bladed rig with 3-4 inch baits produced the most bites.  Color was also key in the clearer water so he used fat swimbaits in the darker colors without additional flash/glitter.  Unfortunately, his fish were also in the trees so he donated several A-rigs over the two days to the lake.

Table Rock is our first Qualifying event which leaves all boaters and co-anglers with 3 more opportunities to qualify for the National Semi-Final.  The next chance to qualify is at our second annual Buddy Bass event at Lake of the Ozarks on May 19th at Pa-Ha-Tsi (see website for Entry form).  At this event the winning team qualifies for the National Semi-Final as long as both members agree to participate at the event.  The next traditional Qualifier tournament will be at Truman Lake be June 8-9th.  Finally, each club in good standing with a minimum of 6 dues paid members on April 1st will be eligible to send their club champion boater and co-angler to the event (all dues must be paid to Missouri TBF by 4/1/19). We look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming events and want to thank you for your support of the TBF.

For full results check out our results page

OPEN BUDDY BASS TEAM TOURNAMENT

May 19th, 2019

6:30am to 3:00pm

LAKE of the Ozarks – Pa He Tsi Ramp

SPONSORED BY: MISSOURI STATE TBF FEDERATION

80% payback

$20.00 per boat optional for 100% payback on Big Bass Pot

ATTENDANCE DRAW PRIZES

Entry fee $150 for an entry form CLICK HERE

Includes a Chance to Qualify for the TBF NATIONAL SEMI-FINAL

And an Opportunity to move on to the TBF National Championship and BFL All-American 

The 2019 Season is set for Missouri TBF!

             At the December Board meeting the Missouri TBF voted on an exciting schedule for 2019.  Once again, the schedule will include 2 separate solo tournaments along with the annual Team Championship, providing each member with 3 opportunities to qualify for the National Semi-Final events.  The first qualifier will be held at Table Rock Lake (Mill Creek Ramp) on March 23 & 24th.  The second event will be at Truman Lake (State Park Marina) on June 8 & 9th.  If mother nature cooperates anglers should have the opportunity to catch some big sacks at each event.  With the clear water of Table Rock and the cover rich environment of Truman lake anglers will be challenged to show their mastery of a wide range of techniques if they are to produce the kind of bags necessary to reach the top of the field.

               Missouri TBF’s two-tournament schedule gives anglers twice as many chances to qualify for the National Semi-Final.  Unlike some circuits, the Missouri TBF has two separate statewide tournaments which helps clubs and their anglers avoid family and other commitments each year and still have an opportunity to qualify for advancement to the TBF National Championship, BFL All-American and even the Forrest Wood Cup. This is not a “series” format, instead the top 3 anglers and 3 co-anglers from each event will move directly to the TBF National Semi-Final this fall.  This means that anglers can fish the Qualifier, the National Semi-Final and the TBF National Championship all in a matter of 12-16 months!

The Qualifying tournaments are a traditional “draw” format, with boaters and co-anglers being scored separately.  This means boat partners will not be fishing against each other during the day, which creates a friendly experience for everyone (see Tournament Rules for full details). For 2019 the new lower entry fees will be maintained with an optional side pot available for those that wish to take a chance on a cash prize! At the Qualifiers anglers and co-anglers will be fishing for daily big bass payouts, trophies and expense paid trips to the National Semi-Final.  Additionally, annual Angler and Co-Angler of the year prizes and trophies will be awarded to the top point getters over both tournaments.

               In order to participate in the Qualifiers anglers must have annual dues and individual entry fees paid at least 7 days prior to the event. Entry forms for the Qualifier are available on the website or from your club President.   Clubs or individual anglers who are interested in joining the Missouri TBF should contact Tom Kaufmann at (573)216-4980 or Dennis Maggart at (816)718-0335.  We have clubs across the state that are looking for boaters and co-anglers so if you are an experienced tournament angler or a weekend guy wanting to have fun and learn more about how to catch big bass please give us a call. 

See 2019 Missouri TBF Bass Federation Tournament Qualifier Entry Form on website

The Second Annual Missouri TBF Team Championship

The Missouri TBF is excited to announce details for the Second Annual Missouri TBF Team Championship May 18th at Lake of the Ozarks (Pa He Tsi Ramp).

This event is open to all anglers, allowing us to introduce non-TBF members to the advantages of participating in our programs.  The winning team from this event will have the opportunity to fish the 2019 TBF National Semi-Final. 

Cash awards, trophies and lots of draw prizes will be available along with special prizes for TBF Members that bring a new TBF member to this event.  Further details and entry forms for this exciting new tournament will be available soon but please put this date on your calendar. For more information on this exciting event please contact Joe Hughes at (573)216-4232.

See 2019 Missouri TBF Bass Federation Open Buddy Bass Tournament Entry Form on website