On October 12-13th The Bass Federation (TBF) held their annual State Team Qualifier (STQ) tournament on Lake Champlain with their base of operations out of Port Henry. Weather conditions were stable for three days leading into the event to include day one. However, day two the big lake showed her colors as Mother Nature produced sustained SSE winds of 8-15 mph.
Going into the tournament many locals announced the bite was slightly off and predictions were the two day tournament winner needed 30 lbs. or better to win and that held true to form. The top three weights were all in access of 30 lbs. with a separation of just three pounds. We had a chance to talk with the winners and they shared a few tips on what worked for them.
Taking 1st place was NY TBF Vice President Bobby Williams with a two day total of 35.35 lbs. Williams reports a successful pattern running main lake points with a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 (Citrus Shad) and he also fished shore line flats in 8-12 ft. with a Texas-rigged Zoom Speed Craw (Green Pumpkin) with the tips dipped in Chartreuse Spike-It.
Williams reports catching 11 fish on day one and that included the daily lunker, a smallmouth bass weighing in at 5.40 lbs. Day two he caught only eight fish but they weighed 17.95 lbs. and that limit was anchored by a solid 4.95 lb. smallie.
In addition to winning the event and day one lunker Williams also pocketed the Ranger Cup bonus money and Cablea’s Angler Cash.
Tom Luciano took 2nd place with a weight of 34.80 lbs. and the heavy weight limit of the tournament with an 18.50 lb. limit. Luciano reports using a white chatterbait both days and his pattern was simply targeting shallow weeds and ripping it out of the weeds to generate the strikes. When fishing in 1-4 ft. depths he used a 3/8 oz. model, and in the 4-8 ft. zone he used a ½ oz. model
Taking 3rd place with a weight of 31.50 lbs. was Keitech pro staffer Dan Murphy. Murphy reports he fished along the outside edges of grass flats in 5 ft. of water with a Keitech Model 1 jig (Green Pumpkin/Blue). Murphy also recognized Towne Marine for keeping his Skeeter boat in top condition throughout the season.
Rounding out the top six were Rob Lamoy with 29.75 lbs., Dave Suttle with 29.50 lbs., and Jim Schneider with 27.55 lbs. All six of these anglers qualified for the NY TBF 2014 Eastern Divisional Team as designated boaters. The Day 2 lunker went to Gary Woodruff with a solid 5.30 lb. largemouth bass.
The remaining NY TBF 2014 Divisional Team qualifiers are Jessie Bezio, Ben Wright, Brain Winchell, Bud Harrington, Dave Hart, Jason Barnes, 1st alternate is Brian Sanson and 2nd alternate is Chris Gore.
Following the final weigh-in three participants were randomly drawn to receive Temple Fork Outfitter (TFO) Rods. The winners were Ryan Carey, Todd Stark and John Siejak.
Sponsors: Berkley, Chevy, Evinrude E-TEC, Humminbird, Ranger boats, Solar Bat Sunglasses, FLW Outdoors, Lowrance, Minnkota, Temple Fork Outfitter (TFO) rods, Cabela’s Angler Cash, The BASS University. Keitech and STORMMR
The final NYTBF tournament of the year is scheduled for October 27th on Oneida Lake at Oneida Shores Park in Brewerton NY; this event counts as an early bird providing valuable Angler of the Year points for the 2014 season standing. For additional information on the NYTBF tournaments contact President Ben Wright at 518.593.5681 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.nytbf.com
Images courtesy The Bass Federation