1st Place: Josh Roark and Allen Smith
1st Place Points Champion: Clifford Bunch and Paul Napier
1st Place Highest Finishing Skeeter - Josh Roark and Allen Smith
2nd Place Highest Finishing Skeeter - Steve Miracle and Michael Wolfenbarger
3rd Place Highest Finishing Skeeter - Benny Roberts and Todd Nidiffer
Decatur, Ala - The Alabama Bass Trail will appear on network television next year when its Tournament Series airs on Fox Sports Southeast. Thirteen episodes and 65 re-airs will be televised on Sunday mornings.
FSS will televise 13 original 30-minute episodes to 10 million homes on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. in the second half of 2016, officials said. Each show will feature a different tournament location. Footage will be taken on the water, during takeoffs and weigh-ins and will also include in-depth interviews with the tournament winners.
"Being able to televise the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series on Fox Sports Southeast will allow us to feature our lakes, anglers and sponsors on a huge stage for outdoorsmen," said Kay Donaldson. "The exposure will not only be a bonus for the fishing industry in general, but will benefit the state of Alabama."
While the episodes take viewers inside the boats of the competitors as they navigate the lakes of Alabama, a production crew will film local eateries and attractions in the host city of each tournament location.
"Although our Bass Trail is just a few years old, it has a strong foundation and solid reputation. Being on television will encourage even more anglers to come to Alabama and fish our lakes and rivers. This is a great way to bring economic impact to rural areas all over the state," said Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Tourism Department.
Fox Sports Southeast is, owned by Fox Cable Networks and operated as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks, is available in over 10 million homes throughout Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and a large portion of North Carolina. For more information on Fox Sports Southeast, visit www.foxsports.com/south
The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series gets underway February 20, 2016. The tournament trail contains two divisions: North and South. Each division is made up of five tournaments on five different lakes. Maximum number of boats for each division is 225.
Lewis Smith Lake February 27, 2016 hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County
Lake Guntersville March 19, 2016 hosted by Marshall County CVB
Pickwick Lake April 23, 2016 hosted by TBD
Neely Henry Lake May 21, 2016 hosted by City of Gadsden Parks & Recreation
Weiss Lake June 18, 2016 hosted by Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce
Lake Martin February 20, 2016 hosted by Alexander City Chamber of Commerce
Lay Lake March 12, 2016 hosted by Shelby County Commission
Mobile-Tensaw Delta April 9, 2016 hosted by Mobile Sports Authority and Mobile CVB
Alabama River May 14, 2016 hosted by the City of Camden (Millers Ferry)
Lake Jordan June 4, 2016 hosted by TBD
Lake Eufaula October 7-8, 2016 hosted by Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce
Sponsors of the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series are Bill Penney Toyota; the Alabama Tourism Department; Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc.; Academy Sports & Outdoors; Garmin; T & H Marine Supplies, Inc.; Alabama Power Company; Buffalo Rock, Inc.; Boat US, Jet-Pep, Inc.; AFS Inc.; Tennessee Valley Authority; Lew's Fishing; Allstate Insurance; LEER Truck Caps and Tonneau Covers; E3 Sports Apparel; Navionics and Frogg Toggs, Inc.; YETI Coolers; Hydrowave; and Costa Del Mar
For more information, call Alabama Bass Trail Program Director Kay Donaldson at 855.934.7425 or visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.
The Texas Bassmaster Team Trail (TBTT) held its 2015 Championship at beautiful Lake Conroe, on October 24-25, 2015. The event was an invitation-only tournament, with the qualifiers competing at various lakes on the 2015 schedule. The stakes were high, as the competitors were seeking the three Texas B.A.S.S. Nation births to the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship to be held at Lake Guntersville, Alabama on December 9-12, 2015. The teams that competed in all events during the year were also vying for the coveted “2015 Team of the Year” awards, which included plaques and prizes.
The tournament was staged at Stowaway Marina and the stage was set for an exciting showdown. Lake Conroe is surrounded by boat docks and beautiful lakeside homes and has an abundance of shoreline cover, brush-piles, and ledges where those big fish reside. The lake activity peaks in the summer months, but in October the lake was virtually left to the anglers competing at this tournament.
The weather was threatening rain on Day 1, but somehow the area avoided the downpour that was witnessed across the state of Texas that day. The anglers all returned to the weigh-in and the crowd was excited to see some heavy bags come to the scales. Several teams topped the scales with 20-pound bags. The team of Robert Reddell and Kolby Strait led the way with a big sack of fish weighing 23.23 pounds, closely followed with the team of Todd Castledine and Brent Broussard with a limit weighing 21.05 pounds and bringing home the Day 1 big fish. In 3rd place Day 1 with a limit of fish weighing 20.79 pounds was the team of Byron Albrecht and Jason Windham.
Day 2 started with a downpour of rain which continued throughout the day. The anglers adjusted throughout the day to accommodate for the inclement weather. At the end of the day everyone was soaked but some heavy sacks could be seen being loaded into the tournament weigh-in bags. The crowd’s excitement built as the teams crossed the stage with their days’ weight.
Arriving to the scales with the tournament’s heaviest stinger was the team of Dean Alexander and Tom Martens, who brought in a whopping big fish at 9.93 pounds and a total weight of 33.51 pounds. The previous day the team was sitting in 9th place with a limit that weighed 15.48 pounds. The two-day total pushed the team way out in front on the leaderboard with a total weight of 48.99 pounds. The team was awarded a total of $2172 for their efforts. Alexander and Martens are both members of the Big Sandy Creek Bass Club in Austin, Texas and have competed in various levels of B.A.S.S. sponsored events for many years. The team indicated that their bags were caught in a variety of methods, but mostly with crankbaits in mid-depth ranges.
Coming in 2nd place with a combined two-day weight of 40.43 pounds was the team of Bryon Albrecht and Jason Windham. They came to the scales on Day 2 with a with a five-fish limit weighing 19.64 pounds. The team was awarded a total of $1448 for their efforts. Additionally, this team finished as the overall “2015 Team of the Year”, and received plaques and prizes valued at $680. Bryon and Jason are members of the Heart of Texas BASS Assassins and Region II Team BASS. Albrecht stated that they had their limits each day before 9 a.m., fishing around docks and then went very shallow the rest of the day in search of bigger fish.
The team of Jason Buchanan and Terry Kircus came to the scales on Day 2 with a five-fish limit that weighed 19.97 pounds, elevating them to a 3rd Place overall finish for the Championship. The team was holding down a 5th place status from their Day 1 weight of 17.48 pounds. The combined two-day total of 37.45 pounds was an excellent demonstration of consistency, pushing them past the leader board of some excellent competitors. The team was awarded a check for $650. Buchanan and Kircushave fished in B.A.S.S. Nation events for many years and are members of the Llano BASS Club.
The 2015 Championship event paid out a total of seven places, with $6400 dollars in cash and prizes, along with plaques/trophies. What a great finish for 2015 - overall, the Championship was a great experience! All teams were treated to a BBQ dinner at the Friday night meeting, along with TBTT hats (many thanks to the contributions from Classic Chevrolet/Sugarland, Texas) The Texas Bassmaster Team Trail has demonstrated excellent growth for its inaugural year, with 71 teams registering for the various events held across Texas. A total of 47 teams qualified for our Texas Championship this year. The top three teams received in invitation to the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship.
The New Hampshire Bass Nation Fall Open was held on October 18th on New Hampshire’s “Golden Pond”, Squam Lake. This was the final event in the team open series. The anglers were vying for the top 3 spots and an opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Team Championship on Lake Guntersville. While Squam Lake lived up to it’s reputation as a scenic destination with a beautiful foliage backdrop, the weather that greeted the thirty-three competing teams was a different story. Subfreezing temperatures and gusty winds were the order of the day, but the STA-BIL Start Boat got the teams out fishing safely. Despite the difficult conditions, many teams weighed in limits of quality bass.
In a close finish, the team of Dave Leblanc and Doug Hume weighed in a limit of bass consisting of four smallmouth and four largemouth totaling 24.91 pounds. Their catch was anchored by a 6.91 pound largemouth. While many teams reported catching their fish in deep water, Leblanc and Hume concentrated on a shallow bite.
Second place honors went to the team of Mark Dimarzio and Brian Emerson. The team weighed in another 24-plus pound bag. Their bag was anchored by a 6.05 pound largemouth. Despite the cold weather, this team reported having a limit by 8:30 A.M. Third place went to the team of Chris Bolduc and Curt Riendeau. Their limit of smallmouth weighed 21.05 pounds, including a 2.99 pound bronzeback. Tyson Alvanos and Chris Zyla finished fourth with a 21.00 pound bag of smallies. Rounding out the Top 5 was the team of Chad Bishop and Craig Wiley. Their 20.71 pound limit was one of eight twenty-plus pound bags that came to the scales.
Full results can be found here.
The Dobyns Rods Lunker Largemouth award for the event went to Leblanc and Hume with their 6.91 pound beauty. The NUMA Sport Optics Lunker Smallmouth award went to the team of Dan Greenwood and Rick Landry with a chunky 3.06 bronzeback.
This was the final event in our Lowrance Team of the Year competition. The team of John Wright and Pete Weeks dominated the trail this year and surprised no one by being atop the leaderboard. Good luck to our top teams that will be moving on to fish Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship December 9-12 at Lake Guntersville in Alabama. See full results here.
Thank you to all our sponsors for their support: Dobyns Rods, NUMA Sport Optics, EGO S2 Slider, Lew’s, Traeger Grills, West Alton Marina, 303 Boat Care Products, StormR, Granite State Rod & Reel, Lock-n-haul, STA-BIL, Toyota of Nashua, Livingston Lures, Nationwide, Triton, Mercury, Lowrance, Motorguide, Skeeter, Yamaha, Carhartt, Rigid Industries, Toyota, Power Pole, Berkley and Evan Williams. We could not conduct these successful events without all of you!
Additionally, we would like to thank NEBA of NH and NH Last Cast for being our partners on these events. The “Double-Down” concept has been a winner for us all.
Tom Haley crushed the field at the Rochester Bassmasters Dick's Sporting Goods Keuka Lake tournament on September 12, 2015 with 18.35 pounds. His five fish limit was anchored by the events biggest bass, a 5.97 pound largemouth.
Haley followed up his win at Keuka Lake with another dominating performance at the Rochester Bassmasters Field and Stream Conesus Lake tournament on September 13, 2015. His 16.81-pound limit of five largemouth bass gave him the win. With his phenomenal weekend performance he wrapped up the title as the club's "2015 Anger of the Year."
Saturday, Sept. 19th, on Presque Isle Bay, Scott Sirakos and Dan Gray earned the title of "2015 K.B.B.C. Classic Champions."
Sirakos and Gray weighed in a limit of 6 big smallmouth for a total of 23.76 pounds with a 4.40 lb. lunker, and won everything: 1st place prize money, Lunker Cash Award, 1st place Bonus Bucks Cash and even the drawing for free entries to the 2016 K.B.B.C. tournaments.
In a rare occurrence for this time of year, several K.B.B.C. teams competing in the year-end classic championship were able to find Lake Erie smallmouth in the Presque Isle Bay. Tournaments on the bay during late summer an early fall are almost always dominated by largemouth, but for the first time ever the K.B.B.C. classic on Erie Bay was won with all smallies.
Other teams also had big weights at the Classic. Ken Baumgardner and Mark Flament weighed in 23.17 pounds for a second place finish. Robert Hirosky and Ben Lipiec had 22.43 pounds for 3rd place. There were also two more teams with over 20 pounds.
See full results here.
Each season the K.B.B.C. teams complete in seven regular season events, earning points based their place finishes for each tournament. A portion of their entry fees from each regular season tournament, plus contributions from sponsors, go into the Classic payout pot. The Top 40 teams in the points standings earn a free entry to complete in the year-end Classic Championship.
For more results and photos, visit www.kbass.com.
The Florida B.A.S.S. Nation held its first Team Championship Tournament on Lake Okeechobee out of Okeechobee City September 19-20, 2015. The weekend started on Friday evening with 41 teams registering for the tournament. The anglers were provided with a barbeque dinner prepared by Tom Brown of Brown’s Real Pit Barbeque, followed by a brief welcome from the Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council and title sponsor of the event. The evening was capped off with approximately $3,500 worth of door prizes being given away to the anglers, which wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the following sponsors: Denali Rods, TA Mahoney’s of Tampa, FL, Boca Bearings, Zoom, Culprit, and Triton Alliance member Mercury.
Over the two day event, teams had no problem getting early limits of 2 pound fish but as each day would progress the bite would get tougher and tougher for most teams. After Day 1, the team of Fred George and Ray Trudeau of Bass Rattlers Association led the tournament with five fish that went 25.44 pounds. They also had the big fish of the day that was 8.14 pounds. On Day 2, several teams made a charge at George and Trudeau, including the team of Curtis Lewis and Steve Fairtrace, also of Bass Rattlers Association, who weighed in the second day’s heaviest sack of 23.01 pounds. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to take over the lead as George and Trudeau backed up their Day 1 weight with a weight of 22.81 pounds for a total weight of 48.25 pounds. Lewis and Fairtrace ended up in second with an overall weight of 44.43 pounds, and third place went to Steven Thames and Zach Weimer of Bassmasters of Gator Country with a weight of 36.99 pounds. The big bass on Day 2 was 6.73 pounds caught by John Barrow and Allen Wares of Lake County Bassmasters.
See full results here.
Through this event, the top 3 teams will advance to the Bassmaster Team Championship Tournament being held on Lake Guntersville in December. We wish all three teams the best of luck and hope to see one these anglers in the Bassmaster Classic in March.
Long-time friends and bass tournament partners, Keith Baird and Michael Thompson, have accomplished a first in Indiana BASS Nation history. The pair competed in the Indiana BASS Nation Team Trail Series this year and dual qualified for both the B.A.S.S. Team Championship held this December on Lake Guntersville and the 2016 Indiana State Team, which will be competing next April at a location to be announced. Both avenues give amateur anglers a chance at qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic.
Baird and Thompson, both from southern Indiana, participated in the four tournament team series that visited Lake Patoka, Geist Reservoir, Lake Wawasee and Morse Reservoir. They tied for first place team points for the year and then both qualified for state team spots during the one-day Super Tournament held at Morse Reservoir. Baird and Thompson complete the twenty-man Indiana State Team roster for 2016.
Indiana Bass Nation President, Carey Richardson, mentioned the opportunity for dual qualification for Indiana anglers in 2014 when the new team format was announced. In just our second year with this format, Baird and Thompson have shown it’s possible and we look forward to following them, and our other qualifiers, throughout the upcoming months.
According to Baird and Thompson, “Indiana’s new BASS Nation Team Tournament Trail is an absolute must-fish series for anyone serious about the sport. This circuit has opened doors for us that seemed like more of a dream just a couple years prior. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the field double or even triple in the next couple of years.”
The Indiana Bass Nation has worked hard to bring new opportunities to Indiana anglers and we couldn’t be happier with this year’s results. Each year, we look forward to putting our best anglers from around the state in a national spotlight and we’ve certainly succeeded. Congratulations and good luck to Keith and Michael and all of our team series and state team qualifiers!
After a lengthy delay for dangerous weather, anglers finished up our 2015 season at Morse Reservoir. The fishing was tough but Bill Smith and Chris Lemon managed to bring in five bass for 10.73 pounds, enough for 1st Place. Father and son team Rich and Drew Crawford finished 2nd with 10.43 pounds while Terry McWilliams managed 10.41 pounds, taking 3rd Place by himself.
The points leaders for the season were the teams of Matt McCoy and Dennis Davis and Keith Baird and Michael Thompson, both tied at 381 points. McCoy and Davis finished on top after the tie breaker of most fish caught. Both teams move on to the B.A.S.S. Team Championship at Guntersville in December.
Thank you to all that fished Morse on Saturday and thanks to everyone that participated at some point during the year. We were able to more than double our participation this year and look forward to growing again next season. Thanks to Carey Richardson, Mike Vertesch, Troy Gorham, Matt Burkhart, John Pridemore and Aaron Hochstedler for assistance throughout the year. Thanks also to our sponsors: Secret Lures, Outdoorsmandirect.com, Tire Barn, Cash's Prop Repair and Mercury.
Brian Harvey and Lee Varner of Knoxville, TN took home first place with a weight of 17.71 pounds after a narrow victory over Hunter Hamilton and Josh Goan, who lead through three flights with 16.94 pounds, but lost the lead in the final flight.
Third place went to the team of Chad Waddell and Bobby Chambers with a weight of 16.87 pounds. Fourth place went to Clifford Bunch and Paul Napier with 16.34 pounds. Rounding out the top 5 were Jeff Russell and Jeff Lindsey with 16.14 pounds.
For complete results visit www.morristownmarine.com
The last point’s tournament of the 2015 season will be October 3, 2015 on Tellico/Loudon.