The Oklahoma Bass Federation held their 2015 State Top Six Tournament on the Arkansas River out of the Three
Forks Marina in Muskogee, Okla., September 12-13. The weather during practice days met us with fairly warm temperatures. Most reported limited success during practice with catches mostly of smaller, 14inch fish. But, due to a front Friday night, the tournament and surface temperatures were more appealing to both the fishermen and the fish.
The day started with light winds and temperatures in the high 50’s. During practice surface temperatures were around 86 but as the tournament got underway they were closer to 82. With this slight change, fishing seemed to get a little better. Ten of the 24 boats weighed in 5 fish limits. The secret turned out to be getting the better quality fish.
The anglers weighed in a total of 82 fish weighing 192.38lbs, an average of 2.35lbs per angler. Claremore was the team standings leader with 33.41lbs. Mark Jones and Kenny O’Malley’s 5 fish limit weighed 14.03lbs to help Claremore with Greg Ingram and Dan Beach also contributing a limit weighing 10.84lbs. Taking the second spot with 32.94lbs was Ponca City with all 3 boats bringing limits to the scales. Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrick’s weight was 12.86lbs followed by Jeff Linder and Robert Cartlidge with 11.48lbs. Rounding out the top four teams, Bedlam followed with 32.03lbs for third and Central garnered fourth at 31.28lbs. John Garcia and Brett Fawcett’s limit of 13.19lbs lead the Bedlams team and Eric Fawcett and John Becerra contributed a limit of 10.31lbs for Central.
Individually, Dean Matts and Mike Sanders (Central Bass Club) had the biggest stringer with 5 fish weighing 15.3lbs, the tournaments heaviest stringer. Jones/O’Malley followed at second with 14.03lbs.
Third was Garcia/Taylor with 13.19lbs, Vogt/Combrink’s 12.86lbs took 4th and J.Linder/Cartlidge rounded out the top 5 individuals with 11.48lbs. Big Bass, a 4.3 Lunker, was brought in by John and Chris Lee with the His and Hers Bass Club.
The day started with warmer temperatures, however the wind was a little more brisk, although manageable, and the wind chill factor made it feel cooler than Day 1. After a shorter day of fishing, the anglers brought 81 fish to the scales weighing 187.49lbs for an average of 2.32lbs. There were 10 limits, matching the first day total. The second place team on day one from Ponca City had the biggest catch with 13 fish weighing 33.26lbs for a 2.26lb average. The only team with 3 limits was Ada with Johnny Babb and Mike Morris leading with 11.63lbs followed by Stewart Ryan and Wendel Raper at 10.89lbs and Chris Terron and Dan West added 8.22lbs. Chickasha rallied from a slow first day to catch 10 fish weighing 24.96lbs. Jason Conaway and Keith Fritzmier brought in the second largest stringer of the tournament at 15.08#
lbs to anchor their total. The His and Hers team took fourth for day 2 with 25.76lbs. Jason and Janet Powers brought 4 fish to the scales weighing 10.1lbs with Steve and Robin Pearce and Justin and Tisha Parchman rounding out their catches with 7.88lbs and 7.78lbs, respectively.
The largest day 2 stringer was 15.08lbs caught by Conaway/Fritzmier, followed by Linder/ Cartlidge at 13.08lbs. The Vogt/Combrink pair nosed NEO’s Brannon Whipple and Kyle Tudor for third by .05 ounces, 12.1lbs vs. 12.05lbs. Fifth for Day 2 was Babb/Morris with 11.63lbs. The second day Big Bass was 3.86lbs weighed in by Bedlam’s team of Eric Fawcett and John Becerra.
The final standings recorded a total of 167 fish weighed with 100% returned to the lake alive. The difference in first
and second place was determined not by the total number of fish caught by the team but the average size of each fish. Ada led in the number of fish, 29 to 28 by Ponca City. However, Ada’s catch average was 2.06lbs while Ponca City’s average was 2.33lbs. Ponca City weighed in a total of 65.2lbs and was crowned the 2015 State OBF Team Champions. The team members are as follows, Gene Vogt, Donnie Combrink, Jeff Linder, Robert Cartlidge, Shawn Lewis and Don Linder. Ada totaled 59.88lbs to capture second with team of Stewart Ryan, Wendel Raper, Johnny Babb, Mike Morris, Chris Tarron and Dan West. Third place was garnered by the Central team composed of Dean Matts, Mike Sanders, Dennis Freymiller, Brent Wilson, Drew Blaylock and Cass Blaylock. Fourth was Bedlam with 52.37lbs, fifth went to Claremore at 48.96lbs and sixth to the His and Her’s at 39.62lbs. Chickasha was seventh with 33.03lbs and NEO fishing rounded out the field with 26.91lbs.
The team event was very close with only 1.02lb separating the top 5 teams. The top team was Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink(Ponca City) with 10 fish weighing 24.96lbs. They were followed closely by fellow team mates Jeff Linder and Cartlidge 0.40ounces behind at 24.56lbs. Only 0.10ounces behind at 24.46lbs was Dean Matts and Mike Sanders (Central) for third. John Garcia and Brett Taylor from Bedlam (24.21lbs) finished fourth and Mark Jones and Kenny O’Malley (Claremore) finished fifth 23.94lbs.
Two OBF anglers went home with some of our Sponsors products. Roger Freymiller garnered the Lowrance HDS 7 unit. Roger plans on using the touch screen unit on his MinnKota trolling motor. Pat Conaway, Chichasha, walked away with the Terrova 80 trolling motor. (Note: On Sunday Roger had to borrow Pat’s new Terrova 80 after his trolling motor lost a challenge with an underwater rock.) A little info from the individual winner, Gene Vogt revealed that his catch was anchored by a couple 3 pounders. He felt that these fish were caught in about 15 feet of water with a very strong current. The fish were found on his Lowrance HDS down scan unit and then used his MinnKota Fortex 112 trolling motor to position and hold his boat in the current.
The tournament was co-sponsored by the Greater Area Muskogee Chamber of Commerce and the Three Forks Knight’s Inn. We would like to thank those that volunteered to help make the tournament successful. Those helping were Monica Linder and Chris Lee handling Saturday and Sunday’s check-in and taking pictures; Stewart Ryan and Robert Cartlidge for checking and weighing the fish; and Jeff Linder and Shawn Lewis working on the computers.