The 2017 Oklahoma Bass Federation Top 6 championship was held on Grand Lake Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4. The tournament is the final OBF adult event for the year with each club in good standing pitting their top six anglers, 3 boaters and 3 co-anglers, against the other clubs to see which club can claim the title as the State Champion. With the lake about 6 to 8 feet over normal elevation, predicted rain for the weekend, and only about 4 or 5 ramps available during the practice days the anglers showed why they were the best from each of our clubs. The predicted rains never arrived until the final couple hours of Sunday’s competition and continued throughout the weigh-in. Under these conditions Central Bass Club, fishing out of Oklahoma City, combined their two day total to take the State Championship.
The initial day of the Top 6 team tournament started with clear to partly cloudy skies, no rain, and essentially no wind, an unusually set of conditions for Oklahoma. His and Hers Bass Club took the first day lead with Nick and Nicole Kincaid weighing in the largest stringer of the day at 16.08#. Jason and Janet Powers contributed only 3 fish, however, their largest was the Big Bass for day 1 weighing 6.28# to bring their total weight to 11.10#. Chris and Brooklyn Haney added their 4 fish, weighing 6.85# to bring their leading total to 34.03#. Following in second was Ponca City Bassmasters with all three teams weighing-in 5 fish limits. Ponca City was anchored by Jody Linder and Jake Beam weighing 13.03# while Shawn Lewis and Don Linder contributing 12.90#. Jeff Linder and Brett Kreiger added 7.30# to bring the team total to 33.23#. Bedlam Bass Club followed at third with 13 fish weighing 32.96#. John Garica and John Becerra’s limit weighed 15.01# while Ron Boyd and Brian Browning added a limit tipping the scales at 13.04#. Rounding out the Bedlam total was Marc and Julie Downs with 4.55#. Fouth, just 0.42# behind Bedlam, was the Central Bass Club. Central was led by Richard and Matt Schwalbach with 13.08# followed by Dean Matts and Greg Blalock’s 11.31#. Rounding out the three limits Central brought to the scale was Roger Freymiller and Gary Barnicoat’s 8.15# to bring the team total to 32.54#. Fifth place was garnered by NEO, the other team to weigh-in three limits. Ron Fuller and Brannon Whipple brought the second largest stringer of the day with five fish weighing 15.19#. Andy Beloat and Daren Lewis along with Jack Garret and Cameron Adams added 7.07# and 5.81#, respectively, to bring NEO’s total to 28.07#. Rounding out the top six teams was PC Hookers with a total of 24.38#. PC Hooker was led by Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink with a limit weighing 11.73# followed by Jack Husmann and Sandy Hooker’s limit at 10.66#. Jeremy Vantuyl and Mike Gaddis added 1.99#.
The final day of the tournament started with overcast skies and the threat of rain. During the day we had a slight breeze from multiple directions followed by an hour of rain around 10 am. The final hour of competition was hampered by rain which continued throughout the weigh-in. Central increased their first day total by over 12# and brought in the heaviest team weight by during the two day event. Their total, with three limits, tipped the scales at 45.30#. Dean Matts and Greg Blalock led the team with 16.22# while Richard and Matt Schwalbach had 15.26#. The other limit was a 13.82# stringer by Roger Freymiller and Gary Barnicoat. Second was recorded by Bedlam matching Central’s in limits with three. Bedlam’s 15 fish resulted in a weight of 41.21#. The pair of John’s, Garcia and Becerra, had the heaviest stringer at 14.35# followed by Ron Boyd and Brian Browning at 13.75#. Marc and Julie Downs’ limit added 13.11# to the team total. His and Hers garnered the third spot with 38.98#. The leader for the team was an 18.05# limit, the largest of the tournament, brought in by Nick and Nicole Kincaid. Jason and Janet Powers contributed 12.33# while Chris and Brooklyn Haney had 8.60#. Ada jumped to fourth on the final day with 36.94#, increasing their Day 1 catch by over 14#. Dewayne Sutterfield and Cain Brinlee had a limit that weighed 17.36#, the second largest stringer for the two day event. Brandon Beck and Blake Rauch added four fish weighing 9.96# while Larry Carter and James Richards had a limit tipping the scales at 9.62#. Ponca City, one of three teams to have six limits for the tournament, fell to fifth on day 2 with 29.10#. Shawn Lewis and Don Linder led the team with 12.37# that included the big bass for day 2 at 4.70#. Jody Linder and Jake Beam had 10.17# followed by Jeff Linder and Brett Kreiger with 6.56#. Rounding out the top six teams, NEO brought another three limits that weighed 29.05#. Ron and John Fuller led the team with 11.39# while Andy Beloat and Daren Lewis weighed-in 9.36# followed by Jack Garret and Cameron Adams at 8.30#.
Central Bass Club took the 2017 Oklahoma Bass Federation State Championship title with a total catch of 77.84#. Richard and Matt Schwalbach led the team with a two day total of 28.34# followed closely at 27.53# for Dean Matts and Greg Blalock. Roger Freymiller and Gary Barnicoat added 21.97# giving Central the only team to have all three teams breaking the 20# barrier. The State Runner-up was Bedlam totaling 74.17#. John Garcia and John Becerra led Bedlam with 29.36#. Ron Boyd and Brian Browning contributed 27.15# while Marc and Julie Downs brought 13.11# to the scales. Third place team was His and Hers with 73.01#. Nick and Nicole Kincaid led the team, and the over-all tournament, with 10 fish that averaged over 3.4# with a total catch of 34.13#. Jason and Janet Powers had 23.43# while Chris and Brooklyn had 15.45#. Fourth went to Ponca City with a total of 62.33# with Shawn Lewis and Don Linder leading the team wtih25.27#. Jody Linder and Jake Beam provided 23.20# while Jeff Linder and Brett Kreiger had 13.86#. Ada moved up three places from day 1 to take fifth place. Ada totaled 59.19# with Dewayne Sutterfield and Cain Brinlee leading the team with 21.24# followed closely by Brandon Beck and Blake Rauch with 20.35# and Larry Carter and James Richards adding 17.60#.
Generally, the catch on day 2, of a two day tournament, is less than the first day, however, that was not the case this year. The total catch for day 1 was 95 fish weighing 207.46# resulting in a 2.18# average. There were 101 fish weighed-in the second day with a total weight of 245.99# for an average of 2.44#. Although the average was higher on day 2, the big fish, five pounds and larger, were caught on day 1. Big bass for day 1 was 6.28# caught by Jason Powers while day 2 was a 4.70# by Don Linder. The total fish weighed for the week-end was 196 weighing 453.45# for an average of 2.31#. Ninety-eight percent of the fish were returned to the lake.
There was a team tournament, two persons per boat, provided along with the Top 6 event for either the teams fishing the club event and any other team that chose to enter. Top honors and the $325 check went to Nick and Nicole Kincaid, His and Hers, with a two day total of 34.13#. Second place went to Justin and Trisha Parchmann, His and Hers, with 29.45#. John Garcia and John Becerra, Bedlam took the third place money falling on .09# behind second with 29.36#. The final check, at fourth, went to Dean Matts and Greg Blaylock, Central. Fifth placed was garnered by Gene Vogt and Donnie Combrink, PC Hookers, with 26.17# while Shawn Lewis and Don Linder took sixth with 25.27#. Jason and Janet Powers, His and Hers, took seventh with 23.43# followed closes behind by Jody Linder and Jake Beam at 23.20# for eighth. Rounding out the top ten teams was Brandon Beck and Blake Rauch, Ada, ninth with 20.36# and John and Chris Lee at tenth weighing-in 20.16#.
The final tournament in 2017 will be the TBF District 6 National Semi-Finals September 16 and 17 on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR. The Lake will be off limits for the three days prior to the two day practice period. The leading boater and co-angler from the NSF will advance to the TBF National Championship in 2018 for a chance to go the BFL All-American and possibly advance to the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup. There will be 5 boaters and 5 co-anglers from the Top 6/Team tournament that will qualify to attend the NSF in Arkansas along with the previous 24 boaters and 24 co-anglers already qualified from the three tournaments held earlier this year. Also, all clubs, in good standing with the Oklahoma Bass Federation, can also send a boater and co-angler, of their choice, to the NSF. Entry for the NSF is $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers. There will be an 80% pay-out for both the boaters and co-anglers for the two day event.