The 2010 TBF Junior State Championship returned to Kerr Reservoir on May 29th as 31 of Virginia’s top youth anglers competed for the title of state champion. At the Friday night pre-tournament meeting hosted by the South Hill Hampton Inn, anglers, parents, and boat captains were treated to Dominos pizza as the youth were paired up with their adult boat captains for the big day on Saturday. After what was probably a restless night with little sleep, the boys’ appetites were once again satisfied as the South Hill Comfort Inn opened their breakfast area bright and early at 4:30 am so all could enjoy a breakfast consisting of fruit, cereal, and hot waffles before heading to the lake.
With all the anglers launched and ready for the challenge, TBF State Chaplain Jimmy Rorrer offered a prayer for all those in attendance, followed by a flag ceremony from “Doc” McGhee as the Star Spangled Banner echoed across the lake. At 6:42am blast off began and the 16 boats filed by the Rudds Creek ramp one by one with the hopes of full livewells upon their return at 2pm. As the anglers disappeared into the distance, the staff of volunteers led by Jerry Wright of Southern Virginia Bass Masters began the process of setting the stage for the afternoon’s coming events. The Yamaha tent was erected with the “hot seats” which would hold the leaders in each age group (11-14, 15-18) during the weigh-in. Prize bags were filled with lures for each angler and lunches were bagged for everyone as the adults waited in anticipation.
As the boats returned to the ramp for the weigh-in, the boys were called to the scales in order of their blast off position to reveal what Kerr had to offer. Being first to the scales guarantees you a place in the “hot seat”, but for Zach Francis it turned out to be really hot. Zach, who drew boat one, came to the scales with an impressive 4 fish limit weighing in at 7.03lbs. Zach waited patiently (if that’s possible) as all of the 11-14 age group moved across the stage with their day’s catch. And while the Yamaha tent offered some respite from the sun, it didn’t do much to reduce the “heat”. However, at the end of the day, Zach weathered all challenges and was crowned TBF Junior State Champion in the 11-14 age group. Zach reported finding his fish in practice in 10-40 feet of water. He stuck with his plan on tournament day and made the run to Nutbush Creek which proved to be the right choice. All of his fish came on a Carolina rig with a 5’’ Senko and Zach was fortunate to land every fish he hooked during the championship. Zach credits his custom St. Croix rod made by Francis Custom Rods for helping him get all of his fish in the boat. Second place honors went to James Pond with 3 fish weighing 4.47 lbs. And rounding out the top 3 in the 11-14 age group was Hunter Eaton who weighed in 3 fish with a total of 3.70lbs.
In the 15-18 age group the competition was stout with several anglers who placed in the top 5 from the 2009 championship returning to this year’s tournament. Last year Nicholas Bodsford learned just how competitive things can be at the state championship. In 2009 on the James River, Nicholas was 1/100th of a pound shy of capturing the championship. To be so close is agonizing, but coming that close is often the spark that drives an angler to work even harder and focus even more than ever before. It seems that’s just what happened with Nicholas in this year’s tournament. In practice, Nicholas spent most of his time working rocky points with jigs and a Carolina rig with some success. So, on the morning of the championship he repeated his plan, but was keen enough to notice a pocket with grass near North Bend that looked promising. So, he moved into the pocket fishing a Lake Fork Magic Shad and on his second cast caught a 2 ½ lb keeper. Realizing he might be onto something he abandoned his game plan from practice and focused on similar grass areas. And in doing so he landed about a dozen bass during the tournament, including Big Bass of the day weighing in at 2.99lbs. This year, Nicholas left nothing to chance as he crossed the scales with a decisive 4 fish bag weighing in at 9.34lbs. With it, Nicholas captured the TBF Junior State Championship in the 15-18 age group and is headed to Lake Lanier where he’ll compete for a world title. Skylar Hamilton took second place in the 15-18 age group with an impressive 4 fish limit of 7.97lbs and third place went to Brandon Newberry who also had a solid limit of 4 fish weighing 7.63lbs.
In addition to the individual anglers who captured top honors, the Student Angler Federation State Champion was crowned on May 29th as well. 2010 was the inaugural year for the Student Angler program in Virginia. This program introduces youth anglers to opportunities through a high school supported program. The 2009-2010 Student Angler Federation State Championship was awarded to Kentson Forest School in Blackstone Virginia. Congratulations to the Kenston Forest team.
Congratulations also to all the youth that competed in this year’s event. It is quite an accomplishment just to qualify and compete at the state level. Every angler can take something positive from their experience at the state level and use it as they grow in the sport and become better fishermen. A special congratulations to Nicholas Bodsford and Zach Francis who will be representing Virginia at the 2010 National Guard Junior World Championship to be held on Georgia’s Lake Lanier August 5th -7th. We wish them both success and hope they each have a great experience in Georgia.
We’d also like to express our thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who made 2010 another great year for the youth program in Virginia. A special thanks to the following: Bass Pro Shops (Richmond), Southern Virginia Bass Masters, R&R Plastics, Mechanicsville Honda, LuLu Lures (Castaways Sporting Goods), Keep’em Cool Livewell Systems, Dominos Pizza of South Hill, Chris and Mr. “T” of South Hill Hampton Inn, Quality Inn, and Comfort Inn, TBF of Virginia for the use of the state trailer, and Region 3, 5, 6, and 10 adult directors. And last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to all the boats captains who offer their time and talents to give our youth an opportunity to improve as anglers through our tournaments. Without these volunteers our program could not exist.
From Kerr Lake 5.30.2010
HIGH SCHOOL FISHING WORLD FINALS ANNOUNCED TODAY HIGH SCHOOL FISHING’S ULTIMATE EVENT TO BE HELD IN RUSSELLVILLE, ARKANSAS
PONCA CITY, Okla. (April 7, 2010) – The Bass Federation announced today it will conduct the inaugural High School Fishing World Finals in Russellville, Ark. on Lake Dardanelle, July 19-24, 2010. Anglers from more than 15 U.S. States and Canada are expected to attend this pinnacle event of TBF’s Student Anglers Federation and the rapidly expanding High School Fishing segment. All Student Angler Federation affiliated high school fishing clubs are eligible to register and attend this inaugural event and there is plenty of time left to get any High School club signed up.
Russellville, Ark. and the state of Arkansas Fish and Game have pledged an active role and support in the event. “Russellville is excited to be the host site for the 2010 High School Fishing World Finals, we look forward to having these high school students and their families here for the week, which will bring great economic impact into our community, as well as, allow them to see what a great lake area we have,” Christie Graham, Executive Director of the Russellville Tourism said.
According to TBF President, Robert Cartlidge, “The event will be centered on education, scholarships, catching fish and having fun; we intend to do all this with no entry fee to the event. In the future, there will be a format for who attends the event. However, the first one will be the tournament that anglers years from now will look back on and say, “I fished the first one, in Russellville” and we want to include as many as we can. The Student Anglers Federation has grown rapidly and our team has put together a unique plan to handle as many High School Teams who wish to register and try their hand at becoming the first High School Fishing World Champion.” Cartlidge continued, “If we have 100 boats or 1,000 boats this first year we’re ready for that, the more the better for the kids. Over time, we will grow; our plan is unlike anything the fishing industry has ever seen, and it will accommodate more boats at one event than there has ever been and do it in a fair and competitive format.”
The High School World Fishing Finals was designed around a very unique model never used in the fishing industry, but still incorporates items from sports longest running and most successful events. The event will settle into a “home” much like “March Madness” is with basketball. High School anglers and their families will know July is the time to vacation to the High School Fishing World Finals. The importance of education will be reinforced during the event with two simple written quizzes required of each contestant, one on boater safety & ethics and one
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on invasive species & conservation. The results will have an impact on the final weights and event outcome. As stated, the event field is virtually unlimited in size to be as inclusive as possible. TBF organizers want to grow the event to 1,000 or more boats competing and have a solid plan to properly manage those numbers. There will be no entry fees for the High School Teams. Each Student Angler Federation affiliated High School club can send as many two person teams they wish this first year. Each team secures its own boat to fish from and an adult non-fishing boat captain over 21 years old to drive the boat. The event’s “payout” will be in the form of thousands of dollars in post high school education scholarships, medals and trophies, and significant prizes for the anglers and for their High Schools. Students from all public and private schools that have graduated from the eighth grade, but have not started their freshman year of college are eligible to compete on a High School Fishing Team. Lake Dardanelle will go off- limits on Tuesday July 6 to all competitors until the start of the first practice day July 18. There will be multiple activities during the week culminating with official tournament days of July 22-24. Full details, entry forms and rules can be found on the website at highschoolfishing.org.
“For High School fishing, this is the culmination of years of hard work by a lot of dedicated people. All the state federations have supported young anglers since the very first federation was formed more than 40 years ago; youth is one of the federation’s cores values,” TBF National Youth Director, Mark Gintert, stated. “Over the years, others have stepped forward as well to serve the next generation of anglers, people such as, Ron Duncan, who helped model the national initiative “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” and industry veteran Terry Brown, president of Wired2Fish.com who started a “labor of love” that took eight years to get high school fishing in the schools and approved as a varsity sport in his home state of Illinois. The work done by Brown and director Dave Gannaway in Illinois is the “gold” standard in High School Fishing.” Gintert goes on to say, “There are many others “out there” working hard to help young people. They all deserve to share in the credit on getting things this far. By all accounts, the next logical step is to bring them all together for a true High School Fishing World Finals.”
The High School World Fishing Finals will be centered on a low cost family vacation of fun and festivities in and around Russellville, Ark. With its central location right off I-40, Russellville has everything for a perfect event where the high school anglers will be the stars of the show and a first class fishery and state park will highlight Lake Dardanelle.
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots fishing organization in America. TBF is owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year, and have provided the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years. For more information about The Bass Federation, visit bassfederation.com, or call 580.765.9031. For more information about Student Anglers Federation, visit highschoolfishing.org, or call 580.765.9031
A big thank you to all the region directors, there wife’s, region youth coordinators and junior club members that worked very hard to make the 2010 Richmond Fishing Expo kids corner a great success. We also crowning the 2010 Reel Kids Casting Champions.
They are as follows:
7 to 11year old Champion:
Chris Grennen, of Spotsylvania, Virginia
He won the $500 US savings bond, a very large trophy, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and an extra large bag of fishing equipment.
First runner up: Allyson Linton, of Glen Allen, Virginia. She won a trophy, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and a bag of fishing equipment.
Second runner up: Benjamin Inge, of Blackstone, Virginia. He won a trophy, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and a bag of fishing equipment.
12 to 15 year old Champion:
Sydney Jones, of Prospect Virginia.
He won the $500 US saving bond, a very large trophy, a Reel Kids Casting fishing rod, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and a extra large bag of fishing equipment.
First runner up: Justin Dix, of Spotsylvania Virginia. He won a large trophy, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and a large bag of fishing equipment.
Second runner up: Chad Owen, of Charles City, Virginia. He won a trophy, a Green Tops Show gift certificate and a bag of fishing equipment
Congratulation to all for all the effort they and there parents.
I would like to give a giant thanks to Gerald Swindle for helping with the adult and Reel Kids Casting Championship awards ceremony. He kept everyone in the area fired up.
On the weekends of February 28th & March 1st and March 7th & 8th the TBF Junior clubs were out helping again. The following clubs are the ones that stepped up for this event,
Virginia Jr. Bass Master, Powahatan Pro Casters and Powahatan Bass Hog all came out to support Bass Pro Shops Spring Outdoors event.
These juniors help catch and release a different type of fish then what they are accustomed to, they manned the tout ponds the Bass Pro had set up in front of the store. They also helped Mike Gunn and I cook up a wash tube of Johnsonville. I had one and they really tasted great!
I would like to thank the management of Bass Pro Shops for letting use come and help.
The kids and adults that helped had a blast and are looking for the next time. And all the help they have given us.
WAY TO GO TBF VIRGINIA JUNIORS!!
Basseast caught up with Tim Mick and the TBF casting kids state championship at the Richmond Fishing Expidition 2009.
The 2008 Reel Kids State Championship was held at the Richmond Fishing Expo at the Richmond International Raceway facility on January 17th. We had 17 eager casters ready to compete for the two $500 US Saving Bond that the Virginia Bass Federation supplies.
The final top three in each age group is as follows:
8 to 11year old
Staton Gray Dupree, of Tarboro, North Carolinian.
He won the $500 US savings bond, a very large trophy and a extra large bag of fishing equipment.
First runner up:
Cheyenne E. Greer, of Richmond Virginia.
She won a trophy and a large bag of fishing equipment.
Second runner up:
Brian Seimetz, of Chesapeake Virginia.
He won a trophy and a bag of fishing equipment.
12 to 15 year old
Austin Colgin, of Rockville Virginia.
He won the $500 US saving bond, a very large trophy and a extra large bag of fishing equipment.
First runner up:
Robert Saunders, of Virginia Beach Virginia.
He won a large trophy and a large bag of fishing equipment.
Second runner up:
Austin Sarford, of Prince George Virginia.
He won a trophy and a bag of fishing equipment.
Congratulation to all the kids that participated in this years state championship.
Everyone needs to watch for our local Reel Kids event and try to qualify for next years state championship.
The championship will be on January Saturday,16th 2010, hope to see you all then.
I would like to thank all the helpers and sponsors that support our Virginia Reel Kids Casting events and program.
God Bless our troops.
And go fishing when you got your home work done.
Virginia Bass Federation State Youth Director