April 23, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Northern Division boater Jason Knapp, 27, from Uniontown, Pa., overtook the field Friday to lead The Bass Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces giving him a two-day total of 34 pounds, 13 ounces at Watts Bar Lake.
The catch gives Knapp a 15-ounce lead over Jay Keith of Camden, S.C., representing the Southern Division with a two day weight of 33-14, heading into the final day of the championship and the race to win 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 am catching all my fish sight-fishing," said Knapp, who said the conditions improved dramatically for him today. "I am catching all my fish dropshotting a Mizmo Scorpion."
"I want to get back out there and fish the [FLW] Tour and being able to do it for free would be great," said Knapp, who has fished on the FLW Tour as a co-angler and a professional since 2002. "I need to thank the Michigan TBF President Jeff Cox and the Michigan TBF in general for everything they have done and their support."
In addition to the incredibly lucrative championship berths, the TBF National Championship will also award $7,000 and a "Living the Dream" prize package to the first-place boater. 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 leaders on the boater side after day two on Watts Bar Lake are:
Central Division: Clint Farris, Crowley, Texas, 10 bass, 28-11
Eastern Division: Eric Guimond, Standish, Maine, 10 bass, 30-2
Mid-Atlantic Division: Edward Loughran, Mechanicsville, Va., 10 bass, 24-15
Northwest Division: Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho, seven bass, 17-8
Southwest Division: Jason Rayles, Haskell, Texas, seven bass, 18-8
For complete results, visit the bassfederation.com.
Overall there were 145 bass weighing 367 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 47 boaters. The catch included 15 five-bass limits.
Adam Williamson, 23, of Ridgeway, S.C., representing the Southern Division, held on to lead the co-angler division Friday with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces giving him a two-day total of nine bass weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces.
"I was fortunate and drew a great partner from Oklahoma, John Prichett, and I was fortunate to not lose any fish today," said Williamson. "I caught a lot of fish today using a jig, but most of them were short. I had one real close in the last few minutes, but ended up throwing it back."
If Williamson can hold on for the win, he will earn a $5,000 cash prize and a berth into the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup for a chance to fish for as much as $60,000. He will also earn 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 leaders on the co-angler side after day two on Watts Bar Lake are:
Central Division: Matt King, Olathe, Kan., six bass, 15-5
Eastern Division: Gilbert Gagner, Highgate Springs, Vt., seven bass, 13-3
Mid-Atlantic Division: Matthew Hartman, Fredricksburg, Pa., seven bass, 17-5
Northern Division: Kevin Wells, South Shore, Ky., seven bass, 16-4
Northwest Division: Boyd Golightly, Preston, Idaho, four bass, 12-0
Southwest Division: Randy Pierson, Oakdale, Calif., seven bass, 19-5
Overall there were 97 bass weighing 231 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 47 co-anglers. The catch included 3 five-bass limits.
Ladd Park in Kingston, Tenn., will host takeoff Saturday at 7 a.m. Anglers will weigh in Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center followed by the FLW Tour weigh-in at 4 p.m. The TBF National Championship is being hosted by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
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 will be determined by the heaviest three-day accumulated weight.
Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday prior to the final weigh-in from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a drawing for a Can-Am ATV courtesy of WNML-AM and rod and reel combos will be given to the first 300 kids under 14 in attendance on Saturday compliments of the Knoxville News Sentinel. The Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events, additional information and to register for the ATV, visit http://www.flwoutdoors.com/knoxville/.
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.