Southern Division boater Jay Keith from Camden, S.C., came from behind Saturday to win The Bass Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard after catching four bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces giving him a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 46 pounds, 11 ounces at Watts Bar Lake. The victory earned Keith the “Living the Dream” $100,000 prize package that includes berths in two of the sport’s most coveted events – the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, and the BFL All-American presented by Chevy.
“I did the same thing today that I have been doing every day,” said Keith. “I have been flipping an Ernest Langley 3/8-ounce crawdad color jig targeting laydowns on bluffs and little flat places on bluffs where fish are spawning or where I think they are pulling up to spawn. I fished new water every day. I did fish some old water [Friday], but I fished new water mostly each day.”
Keith said he was going to evaluate how he was going to work and fish the FLW Tour next year. “I guess I will work 90 hours a week to make it happen. It is going to be a job, a real job, but it will be great.”
In addition to the incredibly lucrative championship berths, Keith also wins $7,000 and the “Living the Dream” prize package. The package includes use of a “Living the Dream” wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat powered either by Evinrude or Yamaha, sponsor merchandise and paid entry fees into the 2011 FLW Tour to compete against the world’s top bass anglers.
Anglers from seven nationwide TBF divisions competed during 2008 and 2009 seasons qualifying through a series of TBF club, TBF state and TBF divisional tournaments to compete in the no-entry-fee TBF National Championship. The top boater and top co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions from the competition on Watts Bar Lake will advance to the 2010 BFL All-American. The national championship is the culmination of more than two years of qualifiers for most of the 30,000 anglers that are members of TBF in the United States and Canada.
Rounding out the division winners on the boater side were:
Central Division: Clint Farris, Crowley, Texas, 15 bass, 46-6, $2,000
Eastern Division: Eric Guimond, Standish, Maine, 13 bass, 36-6, $2,000
Mid-Atlantic Division: Edward Loughran, Mechanicsville, Va., 15 bass, 37-2, $2,000
Northern Division: Jason Knapp, Uniontown, Pa., 15 bass, 46-6, $2,000
Northwest Division: Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho, seven bass, 17-8, $2,000
Southwest Division: Jason Rayls, Haskell, Texas, 11 bass, 29-11, $2,000
For complete results, visit the bassfederation.com.
Overall there were 26 bass weighing 71 pounds, 11 ounces caught by seven boaters. The catch included three five-bass limits.
Matthew Hartman of Fredricksburg, Pa., representing the Mid-Atlantic Division, won the Co-angler Division Saturday with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces giving him a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces.
“I do not know how I did this. I missed so many opportunities,” said Hartman. “On day one I brought in three fish, I broke one off, lost another and caught a ton of shorts throughout.”
Hartman said he used only one bait throughout the tournament. “The Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver – got me here, qualified me and it is all I used this week. Reaction Innovations will be getting a letter.”
Hartman earns a $10,000 prize package that includes $5,000 cash and a berth into the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup for a chance to fish for as much as $60,000. He also earned a berth into the BFL All-American presented by Chevy along with the top co-angler from each TBF division for a chance to fish for as much as $60,000.
Rounding out the division winners on the co-angler side were:
Central Division: Matt King, Olathe, Kan., eight bass, 20-6
Eastern Division: Gilbert Gagner, Highgate Springs, Vt., nine bass, 16-15
Northern Division: Kevin Wells, South Shore, Ky., nine bass, 19-14
Northwest Division: Boyd Golightly, Preston, Idaho, five bass, 14-15
Southern Division: Adam Williamson, Ridgeway, S.C., 10 bass, 26-2
Southwest Division: Randy Pierson, Oakdale, Calif., nine bass, 23-12
Overall there were 14 bass weighing 31 pounds, 5 ounces caught by seven co-anglers. The catch did not include any five-bass limits.
The entire field of 47 TBF boaters and 47 co-anglers competed Thursday and Friday for an accumulated two-day weight. The top boater and co-angler from each of the TBF’s seven divisions advanced to Saturday’s final round, where the winners were determined by the heaviest three-day accumulated weight.
Coverage of the TBF National Championship presented by the National Guard will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on WFN (World Fishing Network) Sunday, June 20 at 7 p.m. ET.
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots angling 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.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.