The Oklahoma Bass Federation held their second week-end tournament April 22 and 23, 2017 on Eufaula Lake. It appears that the weather coordinates with our events since we seem to attract ever changing conditions during our practice and tournament days. Thursday, our first practice day, the weather was an excellent day to check the low levels of Eufaula with little wind. True to predictions, Friday brought a strong front with most of the anglers getting hit by strong winds and more than enough rain to disrupt their practice. However, the anglers, fishing to qualify for the September 16 and 17 TBF National Semi-Finals at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR, adjusted to the ever-changing conditions and confirmed that we have an excellent group of anglers to choose from, one boater and one co-angler, to advance to the 2018 TBF National Championship.
The first day greeted the anglers with temperatures in the high 40’s and high winds. Trying to find a favorite fishing location, we were one of seven tournaments on the waters on Saturday and with the high winds many of the areas that some of the anglers wanted to fish were covered with other boaters. However, Andy Beloat and Daren Lewis, NEO, fought the wind and elements to weigh a limit of 15.20# stringer with an anchor Big Bass of the day at 5.58# to garner first place. Being a good boat guide, Andy allowed his co-angler Daren to catch the lunker. John Garcia and Brett Taylor, Bedlam, nailed down the 2nd place position with a limit of fish weighing 13.85#. The limit included a 4.69# lunker with a combination of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink, Ponca City Hookers, nosed out Mike Morris and Chris Terren, Ada, for 3rd with a limit of 13.37# while Mike and Chris was 0.22# for a 4th place total of 13.15#. Fifth place went to Dean Matts and Scott Callaway, Central, with their five fish tipping the scales at 12.10# pushing fellow Central Club members, Richard and Matt Schwalbach to 6th with a limit weighing 11.73#. Stewart Ryan and Wendel Reaper, Ada, and Ron Boyd and Brian Browning rounded out the 11 plus pound limits with Stewart and Wendel posting 11.56# to best Ron and Brian’s 11.34#. The Ada pair took 7th while the two from Bedlam posted the 8th place finish. Brett Kreiger, fishing alone while this partner was fishing the NBAA National’s, made his first outing as a boater and trolling motor operator pay off by garnering his 9th place finish and his first limit weighing 10.72#. Brett is with Ponca City and lives in Dallas. Rounding out the top ten was Marc and Julie Downs, Bedlam, with a limit at 10.37#.
The second was more like a mild winter morning with temperatures in the low 40’s, however the winds were more in the 8 to 10 mph out of the North with a clear blue sky. Although there were 21 limits, Jack Garrett, NEO, and Cameron Adams, Ponca City, brought in the biggest limit of the tournament with 5 fish weighing 18.28# for 1st place. The limit included the big bass of the weekend at 6.43# and was accompanied by an additional six pounder. Stewart Ryan and Wendel Reaper, Ada, moved up from their 7th place on day one to take the number 2 spot with a limit weighing 14.22#. The only 12 pound limit brought to the scales on day 2 was by Mike Morgan and Blake Rouch, Ada. Their 5 fish tipped the scales at 12.34# for their 3rd place. Dean Matts and Scott Callaway, Central, moved up one place from their first day catch from 5th to 4th with 11.83#. The fifth presented us with our first tie since using the digital scales that weigh to the nearest 0.01#. Two teams weighted in limits of 11.56#, therefore, Andy Beloat and Daren Lewis, NEO, and Mike Morris and Chris Terren, Ada, shared the 5th and 6th place positions. John Becerra and Keith Whitmire, Bedlam, took 7th with an 11.22# bag. Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink , PC Hookers, had a limit weighing 10.92# for 8th place. Ninth place went to day one 2nd place finishers, John Garcia and Brett Taylor, Bedlam, with 10.65# limit and was followed by Jackie Husmann and Sandy Hooker, PC Hookers, at 10th with a limit weighing 10.42#.
The total catch for both day were about the same. On Saturday, with the high winds and overcast skies, there were 116 fish weighed in with a total weight of 237 pounds, which is an average of 2.05 pounds per fish. The Sunday, with light winds and clear blue skies, brought 113 fish to the scales for a total weight of 230 pounds for a 2.04 pound average. The big bass for day one was a 5.58 pounder boated by Daren Lewis, NEO, while Jack Garrett took the second day and overall weekend Lunker with a 6.43 pounder. The Day 1 Ranger Cup winner was Gene Vogt, PC Hookers, with his third place finish while Stewart Ryan, Ada, took Day 2 Ranger Cup honors with his second place finish.
The first four of our six tournaments of our 2017 schedule have been completed. The final two events will determine both the Oklahoma Bass Federation Team State Champion and the top qualifiers to advance to the TBF District 6 National Semi-Finals in September. The current leading team is Stewart Ryan and Wendel Reaper, Ada, with a four day total of 378 points. There are two other teams in the 370 class was Dean Matts and Scott Callaway, Central, garnering second with 375 points followed by Jason and Larry Conaway, Chickasha, at third with 370 points. Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink, PC Hookers, edged out Mike Morris and Chris Terren, Ada, by one point registering 368 points for fourth place to Mike and Chris’ fifth place finish with 367 points. Sixth place was taken by Mike Morgan and Chris Terren, Ada, with 365 points. Wyatt Ryan and Keltyn Hendrix, Ada, charted 363 points to capture seventh place while Marc and Julie Downs was eight with 362 points. NEO’s Andy Beloat and Daren Lewis took the ninth place position with 360 points. Tenth ended in a tie between two Bedlam teams. The team of Brandon West and Chris Angier matched John Garcia and Brett Taylor with each team getting 357 points.
The final two tournaments will be on Lake Hudson with the weighin at the Snowdale State Park. The headquarters will be at the Holiday Motel, 918-864-1967, with a meeting at 6:30 pm for fishing times and off limits.