Mark Hewitt, Hastings, Michigan, and Ron O’Keefe, Nashville, MI, made it a three day sweep to win the 2016 NBAA National Championship on KY Lake this week. For their effort they took home a 2016 Ranger RT-178 boat with an Evinrude 75 horse power motor, MinnKota Trolling motor and two Humminbird graphs. Their total prize package was worth $22,995.00. They also picked up 2 additional checks of $300 each for having the “Heaviest Stringer” on both of the first two days of competition. Their three catches consisted of 20.03 pounds, 21.08 pounds and 16.09 pounds for a final weight of 58.04 pounds.
Mark and Ron fished all three days on Lake Barkley and were catching most of their fish on a 1/4 ounce Black and Blue Flake Bitsy Bug, with a Rage Craw as a trailer. They fished any and all kinds of wood cover in 3-6 feet of water to catch their limit of five each morning. Then they would move out to roughly 8-12 feet of water and throw a Series 4 Sexy Shad crankbait to catch the bigger fish, which were holding in a little deeper water, waiting to move up for the spawn.
Long time members of NBAA, both Mark and Ron said it was finally good to seal the deal and get a win. In the last few years they had finished second and fourth at the National Championship events. Ron said “it is good to see the events and Championships begin to grow again. We had a great time while we were here and met a lot of new people this week. We are glad we continued to fish the NBAA.”
Second place was Lee Wubbles and Chris Wood from Nebraska with 46.02 pounds.Their three days consisted of 17.00 pounds, 13.11 pounds and 15.07 pounds. For their efforts they took home a check for $2500 along with a Humminbird 899 SI combo and an Evinrude Raker Prop. They said it took a variety of baits for them to catch their fish this week. With the channging weather conditions, each day we had to adjust and try new baits and find new water. Third place belonged to another Nebraska team consisting of Doug Sullivan and Dave Carpenter. They gathered up 42.03 pounds over three days, with 12.00 pounds, 12.11 pounds and 17.08 pounds and took home $1000, a 80 pound thrust MinnKota trolling motor and a Humminbird 698 Si unit. They caught most of their fish on a Shaky Head bait fishing is 5-12 feet of water. Their comments for the week were that NBAA put on a great event this week and gave a way a ton on great prizes and goody bags.
Rounding out the top five were the teams of Mark Rahn and Ryan Ortega with 41.09 pounds. Their payday was $600 and a Humminbird Helix 7. Fifth place was secured by the team of Steve Parker and Herb Rush with 39.11 pounds, landing them $500 and an Evinrude Raker prop.
Sixth thru tenth place also paid money and prizes that went to the teams of
6th – Royce Hershberger & Steve Brinkerhoff 39.06 pounds for $400 and a MinnKota 4 bank charger
7th – Cody Kelley & Jack Dale 38-11 pounds for $300 and a Humminbird Helix 5
8th – Zach Laupp & John Laupp 36.09 and $250 pounds and a MinnKota battery charger
9th – Brent Werries & Chuck Teegardin 36.09 for $200 and a MinnKota battery charger
10th – Kent Stingley and Casey Clark 35.13 and $100 and MinnKota battery charger
11-25th places each received two Federation Angler Custom Rods
Steve Hess from Michigan received the coveted Angler of the year for 2015, since he racked up the most sponsor points for products used during the 2015 season of events.
Another bonus for the week was the “Heaviest three Stringers” for the first two days of the event. Here were the winners:
Thursday $300 Mark Hewitt/Ron O’Keefe 20.03, $200 Kent Stingley/Casey Clark 17-15, $100 Stanley Pearson/Aaron Fasel 17.10
Friday $300 Mark Hewitt/Ron O”Keefe 21.08, $200 Mark Rahn/Ryan Ortega 19.03, $100 Wesley Duck/Hutton Leppert 14-14.
Big Bass of each day paid $420 and the winners were, Thursday Stanley Pearson & Aaron Fasel 6.07, Friday was Mark Rahn & Ryan Ortega 7.00 and Saturday was Doug Sullivan & Dave Carpenter 7.01.
Congratulations to all the winners and I want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers and workers from this week. Without you we could not make this event go as smooth as it did. A special thanks to Donnie Keeton, Beth Sullivan, Matt Hewitt, Rob Duncan and Eddie Whitehead. Also a big thanks to the Nebraska Division anglers. Donnie and I both say a BIG THANK YOU for staying after the event and helping us tear down, it was greatly appreciated!
If you would like to start and NBAA Division for 2016 , it is not too late. The season is just about to begin and there is still time to get a division organized. For more information log onto our website at www.nbaa-bass.com. I hope to see you all, and many more anglers, at next years Championship.