UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Queen is no joker

Queen is no joker
Southern Divisional winner Joshua Queen holds up his trophy.

CORNELIUS, N.C. - The home-state team finished 1, 2 and 3 at The Bass Federation Southern Divisional on North Carolina's Lake Norman, as day-two leader Joshua Queen of Lincolnton, N.C., took the top spot with a three-day catch of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. That put him in front of No. 2 Ronald Tuck of Rockwell, N.C., by 4 pounds, 10 ounces.

As such, Queen advances to the 2009 TBF National Championship as a boater, and Tuck will compete in that event as a co-angler. This week's Southern Divisional featured competitors from seven states - North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky - and the No. 1 finisher from each state earned a ticket to the 2009 National Championship as a boater, with each state's runner-up also advancing as a co-angler.

As the overall winner, Queen earned a $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer and helped the North Carolina team earn $15,072 as the winning state. Cash prizes are awarded to the states according to total weight caught, and North Carolina's 12 team members brought in 247 pounds, 3 ounces of bass over three days to best No. 2 Tennessee, which earned $7,500 for its combined catch of 213-1. The Georgia team took third place and $5,000 with 204 pounds, 11 ounces, followed by South Carolina in fourth with 199-6, good for $4,000. Earning $3,000 for its fifth-place finish is the Alabama team with 181 pounds, 7 ounces, and the Florida team took sixth and $2,000 with 164-9 over three days. Rounding out the state teams is Kentucky, with 164 pounds, 8 ounces of bass caught worth $1,000.

The North Carolina team donated $2,000 of their winnings to their state TBF youth program.

Queen living a "dream come true"

Southern Divisional champ Joshua Queen caught 32 pounds, 10 ounces over three days to claim the win.Queen led the Southern Divisional after day two and held on for a win thanks to his final-day catch of five bass weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces, his heaviest limit of the week. Other contenders may have given him a scare, but ultimately the tournament - held on a lake he fishes twice a week - was his to win.

"I fished shallow today and caught all my fish on a jig again," Queen said. "I had spots that I had saved for today. I ran all over the lake, from Mountain Creek to Long Island."

When he pulled into check-in, Queen felt secure that his name would remain at the top of the leaderboard.

"I felt confident that this weight would finish me at the top," he said. "(Yesterday's No. 2) Craig Fredrychowski had me a little worried coming into the day. Today I helped my non-boater get his limit of fish, and he passed me up while doing so, but that is what it's all about."

As the state winner, Queen is relishing his chance to fish the nationals, a tournament that will give him a chance to win the Living the Dream package, awarded to the boater winner of the TBF National Championship. The LTD package includes paid entry into the Wal-Mart FLW Tour or the Wal-Mart FLW Series.

"It is a dream come true," Queen said of fishing the nationals. "I definitely wouldn't mind making fishing a profession."

Finishing second overall and second on the North Carolina squad is Ronald Tuck of Rockwell, N.C., with a three-day catch of 28 pounds. Tuck will represent North Carolina at the nationals as a co-angler.

Rikard finishes fourth, takes South Carolina title

Robert Rikard will once again represent South Carolina at the TBF National Championship.At the 2007 Southern Divisional, Robert Rikard and Craig Fredrychowski finished first and second, respectively, in South Carolina to earn the chance to compete in the nationals. This year, they've done it again, as Rikard finished fourth overall to win South Carolina, followed closely by Fredrychowski. Rikard will once again compete in the nationals as a boater, and Fredrychowski will return as a co-angler.

"It has been deja vu," Rikard said. "Craig surprised me. He is a great angler. I did not think I could bring in 8-7 today and be our state's winner."

Indeed, Fredrychowski led day one and was second overall yesterday but caught only three today worth 4-2 to slip to second in South Carolina.

"It was a tough day overall, but I kept plugging away and got my limit," Rikard said. "Early on I fished some islands to catch some spotted bass and get some keepers in the boat. At 10:30, I did some sight-fishing that was working until the clouds came out and ruined that."

In the end, it didn't matter, as Rikard's three-day weight of 26-9 took the state win by 2 pounds, 4 ounces.

"I would like to thank the South Carolina TBF for giving me the opportunity to fish these tournaments," he said.

Ellis scores Tennessee victory

Daniel Ellis caught 26 pounds, 6 ounces over three days to emerge as the Tennessee champion.In fifth place overall and first on Team Tennessee is Daniel Ellis of Gleason, Tenn., with a three-day catch of 26 pounds, 6 ounces. That edged him past No. 2 Tennessee angler and fellow nationals qualifier Rick Kelly of Union City, Tenn., by 1 pound, 3 ounces.

"I fished a jig and a homemade topwater lure the whole tournament," Ellis said. "I had 70 brushpiles I had marked, and I fished those all week."

Ellis is headed to the nationals after fishing three divisional championships.

"I really appreciate my state team," he said. "We work great together, and we all get along together great. I also credit the three great partners that I had these three days. The last two days, my partners were really patient and let me fish the front of the boat all day."

Rest of the best

Winning the Alabama title is Russell Burroughs of Jacksonville, Ala., with a three-day catch of 26-5. He will represent Alabama as a boater, while No. 2 Kenny Pannell of Springville, Ala., heads to the nationals as a co-angler. Burroughs finished sixth in the overall race.

In eighth overall is Georgia winner Justin Lanier of Macon, Ga., with 25 pounds, 4 ounces over three days. He will be joined at the nationals by No. 2 Georgia angler Woody Parks of Lincolnton, Ga.

Michael Boggs of Portsmouth, Ohio, claimed the Kentucky state win with 25 pounds, 1 ounce, good for a boater slot at the nationals. Steve Scott finished second in Kentucky to advance as a co-angler.

Rounding out the state winners is Chris Crossan of Naples, Fla. Crossan claimed the Florida title with 23 pounds, 10 ounces. Behind him in second is Leon Roy of Tallahassee, Fla., with 22-4 over three days.

Junior champions crowned today

Also on Lake Norman today was the North Carolina TBF's Junior State Championship, where junior anglers competed for slots in the 2008 National Guard Junior World Championship. That event will take place on South Carolina's Lake Murray in conjunction with the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. A total of 32 junior anglers competed in two age groups, 11 to 14 and 15 to 18, with $3,500 in savings bonds, two national berths and tons of sponsor merchandise on the line.

Tops in the 11 to 14 age group is Don Willis, who also had the distinction of catching the day's heaviest bass, a 3-pound, 8-ouncer. For the win, he not only will compete in this year's National Guard Junior World Championship, but he also earned a $1,000 savings bond and sponsor products.

"I caught that big bass on a shaky head," Willis said. "Yesterday, Larry Lehew took me out on a practice day. We found some good spots to fish by doing that. He and Shane Lehew, who won the junior championship last year, have influenced me to fish."

David Blanton won the 15 to 18 age group, earning a $1,000 savings bond, sponsor products and a berth in the National Guard Junior World Championship.

"I used a Zoom Horny Toad today," Blanton said. "I have a friend who fishes tournaments here, and he helped me find some good spots to fish."

Blanton was definitely excited about earning a trip to the junior nationals.

"Oh, man, it is unbelievable!" he said. "I feel like jumping around and screaming."

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2008-06-11-lake-norman 

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