The first of three weekends of Oklahoma Bass Federation qualifying tournaments was held on Texoma Lake March 12 and 13. The 52 anglers faced muddy to heavily stained water and occasional rain during the practice days, however, the Saturday and Sunday competition days proved to be mild weather and most of all, little to no problems with the wind. Both days resulted two to three times more anglers blanking than those bringing limits to the scales.

The day opened with threatening skies but essentially no wind and with a 12 inch limit on spotted bass and 14 inch on large and smallmouth bass only 7 limits were brought to the scales. Dean Matts, Central Bassmasters, weighed-in the big stringer of the tournament with a 5 fish limit of 16.12 pounds, anchored by a 4.7 pound lunker. Jody Linder, Ponca City, nosed out Kyle Tudor, NEO, 12.89 # to 12.67 # for second place. Brian Browning, Bedlam, and Ron Fuller, NEO, added their limits of 10.46# 10.12 # for fourth and fifth. Donnie Combrink, Ponca City, the only angler in the top 8 without a limit, brought 3 fish in for a total of 8.35 # for 6 place. Michael Morris, Ada, and Curtis Bryan, Bedlam, had the two final limits of 5 fish weighing 8.03 # and 7.75 # to capture 7 and 8th, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 were Brandon Beck, Ada, at 9th (7.13#) and Garrett Daggs, Bedlam, with 6.98# for 10th.
The first day resulted in 91 fish being brought to the scales weighing 178.74# with an average weight per fish at 1.96#. There was 7 limits brought to the sales and 15 anglers that were not able to find an elusive keeper. All 91 fish were returned to the lake, which gave us a 100% of the fish weighed in were alive.

The second day was greeted with an excellent weather forecast, however, the light winds were predicted to change during the day and they did. Only 6 anglers had limits while 17 failed to weigh-in a legal fish. Jake Beam, Ponca City, claimed his first win in our organization with 5 fish weighing 12.6#, he is also our first Junior State Champion to win an event. Stewart Ryan, Ada, garnered 2nd with a limit weighing 12.30# while Kyle Tudor repeated his first day finish for another third place finish with 4 fish weighing 10.55# with the Big Bass of the weekend of 5.13#. Brandon Moss, Bedlam, had 4 fish weighing 9.59# for fourth. Jody Linder again placed in the top 5 with 5 fish weighing 9.46# for fifth. Don Linder, Ponca City was 6th with 5 fish weighing 8.72#. Johnny Babb, Ada, squeezed by Shane Egger, Bedlam, with 4 fish at 8.50# to Shane’s 8.45# limit. Ninth went to Jeffrey Linder with a limit of 8.32# followed by John Fulller, NEO, with only 2 fish weighing 7.90# with a 4.58# lunker.

The second day result brought several first in our organization. The first Junior State Champion to win and the first time to have four from the same family place in the top 10 for a tournament. In fact, 4 of the 6 limits were registered by that family. (Note: a grandson, two sons and their father.)

The leader after the first two qualifiers is Kyle Tudor, NEO, with his two third place finishes with 196 points. Jody Linder, Ponca City, was the only other to place in the top 10, second and fifth, for a 195 point second place standing. Dean Matts, Central, and Brandon Moss, Bedlam, are tied at 183 for third while Brandon Beck, Ada, holds down fifth at 181. John Fuller, NEO, sits at sixth with 178 with Michael Morris, Ada, and Curtis Bryan, Bedlam tied for seventh at 175. Jeffrey Linder and Donnie Combrink, both from Ponca, are ninth at 173 while Brian Browning, Bedlam, is eleventh with 172 while a three way tie for the 12 place at 168 are Jake Beam, Ponca, Ron Fuller, NEO, and Don Linder, Ponca.
The Ranger Cup winners for each day were Jody Linder on day one and Stewart Ryan for day two. Each will receive $75 for their efforts. Ranger will award the top registered Ranger Cup finisher at each of our next 4 qualifiers a check for $75. If you are a Ranger Boat owner, go to bassfederation.com or Rangerboats.com web site and sign-up.
The next tournament weekend is April 2 and 3 on Lake Eufaula with the weigh-in each day at the pavilion north on Eufaula Cove. That is by the volleyball court and the north entrance to Eufaula Cove from the main lake.

We are fishing for the top six boaters and next six point getters to round out our State team that will represent us at the final Central Division Tournament on Truman Lake in Missouri, June 19 -24. We will also be accumulating points to select the top 32 to 34 anglers that will qualify for the National Semi-Finals to be held on the Arkansas River in Muskogee with Arkansas. The top boater and co-angler at that event will qualify for the TBF National Championship. Entry to the NSF will be $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers. There will be a 75% payout for the top 20% entered. Also, we may have as many as two boaters and two co-anglers qualify if we have 50 or more Federation anglers enter the NSF. Of course, each club that participates in our qualifiers, can enter a boater and co-angler into the NSF tournament. After our six qualifiers, you will also have an additional chance to qualify by entering the Top 6 or the Team Tournament in September.