UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Beale leads TBF National Championship

Overall leader Kenny Beale Jr., of Danville, Virginia has every reason to smile going into the final day of the TBF National Championship.

KIMBALL, Tenn. - Torrential downpours didn't stop the show today as 94 TBF State Champion anglers fought until the bitter end on day two of the 2011 Federation National Championship presented by National Guard on Lake Nickajack in Kimball, Tenn. Fourteen TBF anglers advanced to the final round to vie for the National Champion titles and they put it all on the line today through the elements and came out 2011 Division Champions and earned berths in the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy.

Tomorrow one boater and one non-boater will be crowned National Champions and receive spots in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The 2011 Federation National Champion boater will also receive the $100,000 "Living the Dream" prize package including cash and prizes, fully paid entry fees into the Walmart FLW Tour, travel funds and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck for the year. The anglers know what's at stake; tomorrow, we'll see who has what it takes to seize the titles and all the glory.

Kenny Beale Jr. of Danville, Va., held on tight to the top spot with 16 pounds, 6 ounces and a 36-pound, 13-ounce two-day total.

"It was a lot tougher for me today. I think I only caught eight keepers. They just never really started biting," Beale said. "I was fishing up in my area around lunch and caught two 4-pounders five minutes of each other and that super helped me."

This was Beale's first time to qualify for the Federation National Championship and now he's a Division Champion, earning a spot in the All-American and a chance to fish for the national title.

"I'm really, really excited. Honestly, I didn't think I had that much weight. I thought it was about two pounds lighter. Today, I just fished hard in my two spots and didn't budge. I fished very slow and very hard. Yesterday, they were biting left and right. Hopefully, they will get back to that tomorrow."

Nineteen-year-old Ryan Latinville of Plattsburgh, N.Y., was a crowd favorite today with his 14-pound, 6-ounce bag, contributing to his 25-pound, 4-ounce two-day total. Latinville is the youngest angler to qualify for the 2011 Federation National Championship. Now, he's on his way to the finals and the All-American.

He was all nerves waiting for the other anglers from the Eastern Division to cross the stage. But he wasn't alone. Casey Casamento, also from Plattsburgh, N.Y., stood beside him sweating the results from the Eastern Division on the boater's side. Latinville and Casamento were both named Division Champions on the boater and non-boater side for the Eastern Division and advanced to the final day. It's rare for division champions to qualify from the same state. We'll see if these young hotshots from New York have what it takes to take it all the way.

Another unlikely event is the Northwest Division co-angler, Gene Lippincott of Cusick, Wash., who qualified with his son Eric Lippincott for this tournament. They're the only father and son team to qualify, and they both represent the Wyoming TBF. Eric has fished the final day of the championship before, but Gene has not, and today he put all that in the past. Gene caught 9 pounds, 2 ounces for a two-day total of 23-10, advancing him to the finals and fulfilling a lifelong dream.

"You know everybody is saying how the 19-year-old kid is all giggly. Well that's how I am right now," Gene said with a grin.

The 14 Division Champion TBF anglers will face off tomorrow with hopes of becoming the 2011 Federation National Champions on Lake Nickajack in Kimball, Tenn.

The final day of the Federation National Championship will be held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Chickamauga presented by National Guard being held one pool up on the fishery and the weigh-in will be at the FLW Outdoors Expo in the Chattanooga Convention Center. There will be plenty of family activities and booths at the expo. All events and weigh-ins are free to the public. For results, visit http://bassfederation.com/.

About The Bass Federation

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, visit bassfederation.com or call 580.765.9031.

Tags: press-release  2011-04-14-national-championship-nickajack 

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