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The 2024 New Hampshire Open Challenge was held May 5th on Spofford Lake. It was a very wet, cold and windy day.  Lots of great smallmouth weighed.  The anglers persevered and had limits for all but one boat.  The winners were able to capitalize on prespawn smallmouth to come away with the win and lunker.

Ike Leventry and Jack Osborne claimed 1st place with four fish weighing 16lbs 8oz. The big fish of the day was 4lbs 12oz.

In 2nd place was Bridger Jamison and James Deffley with 13lbs 10oz.  And rounding the top 3 was the team of Jared Curavoo and Tanner Thompson with 11lbs 9oz.

Jones and Curry win Montana State Championship

The Montana State Championship of the TBF – Student Angler Federation was a great event! The weather was warm and sunny. The fishing was great and every team weighed in a limit!  The morning started off with coffee and doughnuts, followed by a rules and safety briefing, the National Anthem and a prayer.

The fish were biting great first thing in the morning allowing anglers to quickly get a limit. The fish were running small, but with five in the livewell quickly, they had all day to find those crucial upgrades!

The winning team of Silas Jones and Aiden Curry, coach Randy Siemens, weighed in a limit of 11.30 pounds, followed by the second place team of Austin Hoff and Ben Kiesselbach, coach Dylon Hoff, with 10.82 pounds. Third place was Ethan Galassi and Cody McKinnon, coach Austin Johnson, with 10.48 pounds and rounding out the top four was Westin Wagoner and Kort Craft, coach Brady Ovitt, with 9.73 pounds. The big fish of the event goes to the team of Trent Tennison and Wyatt Daken, coach Jason Crone, with a big Smallmouth weighing in at 4.19 pounds!


Thank you everyone for your tremendous support, and thank you TBF for this amazing opportunity for everyone!

Iowa holds Junior and High School State Championships on Okoboji

By Steve Weisman

After a week of 15-30 mph gusty winds, intermittent rain showers and a Friday night of severe thunderstorms, Mother Nature gave the 65 teams for the SAF/TBF High School Bass Fishing Iowa State Championships an eight-hour window without wind and rain to vie for the state title on Saturday, April 27 at the Okoboji Chain of Lakes.

With 45 teams in the high school division, and 20 in the junior division, and the chance to qualify for the opportunity to compete at the National Championships, the teams put on quite a show with 33 teams in the High School Division bringing 5-bass limits to the scales and another 11 teams in the Junior Division doing the same.

As SAF director Bob Harris began the weigh-in, he began with “Wow! That’s all I can say! What a day, what strong competition and what a fishery! We are so excited to be here. Thanks to all of our teams, boat captains, parents, the many sponsors and the volunteers. They all make this tournament the success that it is.”

This was the second consecutive year that the SAF/TBF State Championships were held on the Okobojis, and it was obvious that the returning teams had learned their lessons well on how to fish canals, the wood docks and the clear water of West Okoboji.

In the High School Division, leading the way with a five-fish weight of 20.60 pounds was the team of Nolan Ponstein/Cole Carstens of the Panorama Panthers with a 5.7-pound kicker fish. In second place with a five-fish weight of 18.68 pounds was the team of Noah Franken/Brady Boogerd of Unity Christian. Ethan Timmerman/Ty Timmerman of Cedar Falls took third place with a five-fish weight of 16.86 pounds. Fourth place with a five-fish weight of 16.69 pounds was the team of Gavin Lindstrom/Blake Schwartz of Panorama. These four teams also punched their ticket for the National Championships at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell on June 19-22, 2024.

Largest bass in the High School Division was a 7.39 pounder brought to the scales by the team of Rowen Oostra/Isaiah Van Maamen.


Junior Division (grades 3-8)

            Meanwhile, the TBF Junior Division was also a battle. The first place team of Colton Anderson/Holden DeVore of Atlantic brought a five-fish limit weight of 16.11 pounds. They also weighed in the big fish with a 5.97 pounder. Second place went to the team of Collin Nore/Grady Peterson of Southwest Iowa Fishing Team with a five-fish limit weight of 14.33 pounds, while the team of Jake DeBoer/Parker Wilson of Cedar Rapids weighed in a five-fish limit weight of 13.89 pounds. Fourth place and a weight of 12.52 pounds went to the team of Timothy Donovan/Vaniarsdol of Southwest Iowa Fishing Team.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The top two teams in the Junior Division earned their way to the National Championships.

What a fishery the Okoboji chain of lakes is, and the teams who had never fished here before were amazed at the tremendous water clarity. They also learned a lot about fishing canals and pitching around all the wood docks.

How it all works

            An important part of success in this team format is the leadership of boat captain/mentor, who provides the boat. Harris says, “These boat captains are so important for the success of this tournament circuit. It would not be possible without their investment of money, time and emotional support for our youth. They have such a positive impact on these youngsters. At the end of the day, it’s about integrity and learning to solve the fish and the changes that can occur throughout the day, just like the problem solving they do in real life.”

Harris also shares how important sponsorships and volunteers are huge keys in making this high school fishing circuit succeed. “We have over 20 sponsors both statewide and locally that have helped cover the costs for this entire tournament. I’d like to especially mention the efforts of the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC). They were the boots on the ground that helped make this happen. It is obvious through their efforts that the IGLFC has a mission of investing in the youth of our state. I’d just like to thank the local community for welcoming us and helping make sure we had everything we needed!”