2016 KBF Board Meeting and General Membership

2016 Annual KBF Membership Meeting Saturday January 30, 2016
This meeting is open to all KBF Members
Hilton Garden Inn
2735 Crittenden Drive
Louisville, KY
12:00 – 2:00 EST
Attention: State Team Members

per KBF Rules

If a State Team Member must drop out in either the Angler or Co-Angler division of the State Team before the State Team Roster has been sent in to the TBF, the next highest finishing competitor from which ever division the competitor drops out will move up 1 place. Once the Roster has been sent in to the TBF and a competitor drops out from either the Angler or Co-Angler division the 1st Alternate will take that competitors place. The 1st Alternate is always an Angler with a back up boat on hand if needed. After which the 2nd and 3rd Alternates will be on standby if needed to complete a full 12 man Team.

The above message pertains to KBF Rules.

Once Entry Forms are turned in to TBF, only TBF Tournament rules will be adhered to.

Link to map for directions below:
http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/h … index.html
Scroll to bottom to see the Meeting times for KBF Board Meeting

Only certified Board Members can be in attendance during this meeting

This is located directly behind the Hall Of Fame Café and Cracker Barrel. It is directly outside of gate 4 of the exposition center. You can park inside the fairgrounds at the gate and walk 200 yards to the entrance to the conference center if one chooses to do that. They will also supply a shuttle from the main entrance of boat show to the Inn and back to the boat show at no charge. Just call the motel at 502-637-2424 and ask for the shuttle. For those that want to eat breakfast they have a great buffet served from 6:30 to 11:00 for $11.95. if you get there early you can eat before the meeting.

Donnie Keeton will be there to answer questions about the new KBF / TBF tournament format.

KBF Board Meeting
Same Location
Meeting Time  starts at 10 AM until 12 Noon or may be tabled until after the Membership Meeting if needed.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/2016-kbf-board-meeting-and-general-membership/

TBF & NBAA Dual Memberships now available

You asked —– TBF Delivers !

Over the past couple years KBF members have asked the Question  “Will TBF members be offered a discount if we want to start a NBAA division of our own or join and fish the NBAA circuit that TBF is affiliated with?”

TBF members are now being offered a DEEP discount for NBAA membership AND NBAA members are being offered a good discount to join TBF! Everyone wins!

  • Numerous Federation club members want to fish a local team tournament format, on your home lakes and gain the opportunity to advance to a real national Championship! You now have that opportunity.
  • Yearly national TBF membership remains only $50.00 and includes full TBF and FLW competitor memberships and all benefits associated with them.
  • Current TBF members that have already paid their 2016 TBF National dues of $50.00 can now join NBAA for only $10.00 per year and start fishing your very own NBAA events.
  • Current NBAA members that have already paid their 2016 NBAA annual dues of $40.00 can now join TBF for only an additional $20.00 per year!
  • Members still must join your local state federation to fish state federation events.
  • It is a great opportunity for Federation members to be able to advance toward 2 different National Championships.

State Clubs, here is the opportunity for clubs to grow and gain more members. Your club tournaments can also be NBAA events and you could advance to a national Championship and win a Ranger boat just by fishing your club NBAA events! The tool is here use it to help grow both organizations. For more info on NBAA or to start your very own NBAA division.

Check out the website at www.nbaa-bass.com





Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/tbf-nbaa-dual-memberships-now-available/

PowerPole Discounts for KBF Members

PowerPole Discounts

As you know one of the hardest things to do is come up with a substantial discount on something that we can offer to every single TBF member who joins.  The folks at Power Pole has stepped up and offered exactly that. 

 I am happy to say we have that with Power pole and the details are attached, even the smallest discount offered by Power Pole can save a TBF member much more than their annual membership costs, effectively making their TBF membership FREE…… sometimes for several YEARS!

Please get the word out to your membership that there is a substantial discount to them JUST for buying power poles at their local dealer, retailer or Cabela’s store\online and remember these programs the next time a member or a club ask

As you know one of the hardest things to do is come up with a substantial discount on something that we can offer to every single TBF member who joins.  The folks at Power Pole has stepped up and offered exactly that. 

 I am happy to say we have that with Power pole and the details are attached, even the smallest discount offered by Power Pole can save a TBF member much more than their annual membership costs, effectively making their TBF membership FREE…… sometimes for several YEARS!

 Please get the word out to your membership that there is a substantial discount to them JUST for buying power poles at their local dealer, retailer or Cabela’s store\online and remember these programs the next time a member or a club asks you for a member discount…… to tell them about the Power Pole discount or the discount to all members from Berkley in the TBF members only online store for instance.  

 Thanks all more to come for 2016 stay tuned.

 Yours In Service,


Click on Link below to view the Member Discount

2016 Powerpole_TBF Member Discounts

Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/powerpole-discounts-for-kbf-members/

New TBF Semi Finals format footprint

2016 will be the last year that KBF members will compete for a position on the State Team

The new format will allow more members to attend the newly organized TBF National Semi Finals

Click the Red Link to view the new format:     TBF Semi Finals Footprint 

Watch here for KBF Board guidelines for KBF members to advance on. The KBF Board of Directors are working on the Guidelines that will be posted asap.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/new-tbf-semi-finals-format-footprint/

TBF announces New “TBF Semi Finals Events

The Bass Federation, Inc. (TBF) Announces Massive Expansion and Format Change To Its Adult Program For The First Time Since 1990

All New TBF National Semi Final Events

Ponca City, Ok. (October 23, 2015) – The Bass Federation (TBF) announced today that it is expanding the adult qualifying program from seven TBF division championships to a TBF National Semi-Finals Program comprised of more than 20 “close-to-home” events.

“It is time,” was the theme heard throughout the 2015 state presidents’ conferences, which were held in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup in August in Hot Springs, Ark.

The 2016 season will mark the final year the long-established TBF framework of seven division championships will serve as the process by which anglers qualify nationwide into the biggest events with the largest prizes in all of competitive fishing. It will be replaced by a massive expansion of more than 20 TBF National Semi-Final events. Both programs (the division championships and the new National Semi-Final events) will run concurrently for the 2016 transition year so that no one is left out.

The basic structure of TBF’s current adult program was voted into place in 1990 by the state federation presidents. It has served the federation well for 25 years. The first hurdle in making such a major change is getting all state presidents to agree on a basic outline and then working through all the details to roll it out. When the presidents work through this, it’s a pretty good vetting system and the new concept outline was voted into place unanimously by all states attending TBF’s 2015 annual meetings.

The new TBF National Semi-Finals Program will make competing much more cost effective and much more rewarding financially, with travel costs way down and cash payout direct to the individual anglers increased. No longer will TBF members have to travel across the nation to attempt to qualify for the Federation National Championship, or to earn one of 14 TBF member qualifying spots into the BFL All-American or to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup and the FLW Tour with all entry fees paid, use of a custom wrapped Ranger boat all year and a chance of a lifetime to “Live The Dream.”

“Obviously as you will see we are not cutting anything, we are drastically expanding something that has been very successful and that decision was not taken lightly,” said Robert Cartlidge, TBF president and CEO. “Of course, the states have made improvements over the years to the program, such as the national insurance program started in 1991, the TBF\FLW Living The Dream program, numerous member discounts, doubling the number of anglers from each state advancing to the Federation National Championship and advancing beyond the Federation National Championship in our partnership in fishing with FLW in 2006, but this is the first major revamp and expansion of the basic format.”

Highlights of the new program include:


  • All National Semi-Final events will take place in two- and three-state groups, so travel will only be “next door”. This means not only is travel costs greatly reduced and payouts greatly increased but the new program will host a National Semi-Final event in every market segment of North America.
  • Anglers want to fish for some money, so that will be a huge added feature.


  • This program greatly reduces the amount of time required to qualify and advance.


  • In a giant new club benefit for every individual TBF affiliated club in good standing with their state, they will have the ability to qualify their top angler(s) direct from their club to a TBF National Semi-Final.


  • Larger membership states will qualify more anglers to a National Semi-Final because they have more members competing. Each state federation will send a minimum of 12 anglers to a National Semi Finals, there is no maximum based on membership participation and growth.


  • MORE anglers from each state will also advance to the TBF Federation National Championship. For instance at the 2017 Federation National Championship at least 2 boaters and 2 co-anglers from each state. Depending on participation numbers, some states may advance even MORE.


  • State Pride – The program will continue a new “State vs State Competition” piece within each National Semi-Final where a percentage of top qualifying anglers will represent their home state with significant prizes and bragging rights for the state who wins their National Semi- Final.


  • All payouts will increase significantly across the board however a major emphasis and rewards are being added for those members qualifying as a co-angler in each National Semi-Final and in the Federation National Championship.


  • Full details and outlines will go out to the state Federation Presidents & membership in coming days and weeks and be posted to bassfederation.com as the new program is rolled out.


“TBF as the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation group at the grassroots level has been laser-focused on the High School Fishing program since we founded that movement nationwide in 2007,” Cartlidge continued. “The High School program is well established and continues to grow annually by leaps and bounds. It’s time for us to turn the same laser focus we used to found and develop the wildly successful National High School program toward our adult program, and we are doing exactly that.”

“Many of our programs are widely imitated in the industry, in part, because they are so successful, so we do recognize this change will affect a lot of folks,” Cartlidge added. “I’m sure this new program the presidents have built will be imitated as well, and change will spread. As an industry leader in grassroots fishing, we have a responsibility to look ahead to the next 25 years, recognize the world is a different place than it was in 1990 and build a program that fits today lifestyles and economy. Most federation members do not want to fish professionally full time but they all would like the chance to try their skills against other members, have some fun, earn their share of a nice prize pool and possibly advance to fish the biggest events in all of fishing once in their lifetime. This program provides ever club members with that chance.”

About The Bass Federation

The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing and proudly “partners in fishing” with FLW. TBF is a member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and the only 100% member-owned national fishing organization. TBF is the largest and oldest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization in North America. TBF-affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events each year. The Federation has provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 45 years. For more information about TBF visit Bassfederation.com or look for bassfederation on Facebook.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/tbf-announces-new-tbf-semi-finals-events/

2015 KBF State Tournament Qualified


Kentucky Bass Federation

2015 KBF State Championship Tournament

KBF Angler & Co Angler

Congratulations you have qualified as either a Angler or Co Angler to fish in the KBF State Tournament. The purpose of the State Tournament is to select the 2016 State Team consisting of Anglers, Co Anglers, Alternates, and the 2016 President. These 15 individuals will represent the State of Kentucky at the 2016 TBF Southern Divisionals hosted by South Carolina. At the time of this letter Santee Cooper Lake is the prosposed tournament site.

In addition the Angler of the Year Tournament will be going on in conjunction with the State Tournament. The Top 6 Anglers in points from fishing up to 4 Qualifiers within one of the 6 Regions, along with the top 10 Anglers in total overall point, other than the 6 Regional Angler Winners for a total of 16 that will compete for the Angler of the Year award. At the State Tournament the (Best 4 Tournament Point Totals from fishing in any Region) for each of the 16 Anglers & Co Anglers will be tallied and then the points from each day of the State Tournament will be added to that total to determine the 2015 Angler of the Year.

The Entry fee for this tournament will be $75.00 per Angler & $50.00 per Co Angler with an Optional Big Fish Pot at $10.00 per person. Big Fish pot is paid back at 100%. Please send a check for the entry fee amount if you wish or bring it with you in cash to the meeting. As stated above the Big Fish Pot is optional and it needs to be paid in cash when you check in at the Registration Banquet.

You Can mail your entry fee to John Dixon PO Box 393, Leitchfield, KY 42755

The Pre Tournament Meeting: it is mandatory to sign in, if you cannot make the meeting make arrangements for someone to stand in for you and to pay your optional $10.00 Big Fish Pot. They will need to meet with your partner to see where you will need to be the morning of the tournament.

Pre Tournament Meeting & Banquet Location:

Date: Friday October 23, 2015

Time: Registration from 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern Time / Banquet will begin at 6:30 Eastern Time

Place: National Guard Armory   1503 E. Broadway St. Campbellsville, KY 42718

The State Tournament will be held at Green River Lake and the ramp will be Ramp 1 located near the dam. There is a Corps of Engineers launch fee at the ramp. Tournament Days will be Saturday 10/24/2015 & / Sunday 10/25/2015. Times will be announced at the Pre Tournament briefing.

There is no Official Host Motel setup for this event. Every Angler is on their own locating their Lodging.


Good Luck to everyone and Hope to see you there.

John Dixon, President

Rodney Bridgeman, Vice President

Tom Whittington, Sec/Treas


Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/2015-kbf-state-tournament-qualified/

2015 AOY Top 16 Fishoff


All 24 Events have now been gone through and Points have been verified and double checked for accuracy.  10/1/2015 4:45 AM

Top 16 Anglers Qualified for AOY Championship

Blue Type indicates Division Winner

Red Type indicates Point Total for Best 4 Events

Division f name l name Points per Div Best of 4 Events # Events Fished
John Dixon 1198 5
Central River Darin Moxley 1192 1197 12
Northern Darin Moxley 1189 1197 12
Eastern Chad Rice 1196 1196 4
Karl Snyder   1194 5
  Paul Stone   1192 4
  Rodney Bridgman   1191 5
LBL Brian Hickey 1190 1190 4
Bryan Snyder   1190 5
  Mark Cooper   1186 5
Sou Central Michael Johnson 1032 1179 8
Steven Wormley   1179 4
  James Burns   1178 5
  Steven Taylor   1177 5
  Mike Williams   1169 4
Central Gerald Smith 1030 1168 4
Top 16 Co Anglers Qualified for AOY Championship
Division f name l name Points per Div Best of 4 Events # Events Fished
Sou Central Rick Stringer 1198 1199 7
Central Patrick Herman 893 1199 8
LBL Tom Ballowe 1194 1196 5
  Paul Lackey   1195 5
  Tim Blythe   1190 5
Eastern Chuck Rice 1049 1049 4
Dennis Wheeler   1036 4
  Greg Stevens   1033 5
Central River Mike Sullivan 893 893 5
Mark VanMeter   893 4
  Scot Butler   893 4
  Dwight Poynter   891 4
  Ken Kleman   885 4
  Dustin Poynter   742 4
Northern Adam Fugate 599 599 2
Dillon Rager   595 2

Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/2015-aoy-top-16-fishoff/

2015 KBF Qualified for State Championship List

Names listed below in GREEN have already Paid the required Entry Fee

Names listed in Purple have indicated they will Pay at Registration

Names below in Orange type will not attend

Names in Black type have not notified KBF of their intentions of

YES or NO to attend

Qualified for 2015 KBF State Tournament

Tour ID Angler 1 Angler 2 Co Angler 1 Co Angler 2
2 Rodney Bridgman Larry Whiteman Rick Stringer None
3 Rick Kempton Paul Stone Mark VanMeter None
4 Kevin Brown Mike Stone Bobby Headrick Joshua Muse
5 Vernon Sowers Ronald Rowlett None None
6 Brian Hickey Terry Chastain Patrick Herman Paul Lackey
7 Scott Jones NONE Bob Wiles None
8 James Burns John Dixon Mike Tester Dwight Poynter
9 Johnny Cooper Pete Bayerle Dustin Poynter Dennis Wheeler
10 Mike Boggs Chad Rice Chuck Rice NONE
11 John Nevison Rodney Powell Mike Mayes NONE
12 Don Odor Darin Moxley Joey Von Hoene Adam Fugate
13 Earl Truman Joby Gossett Tom Ballowe NONE
14 Tim Hennemann Rusty Wilhoite Mike Sullivan Scott Butler
15 Ron Smith Mark Cooper Brian Bemis Tim Blythe
16 Kevin Newman Lonnie Jones Kalani Borges Tom Whittington
17 Mike Lemons Donnie Robinson NONE None
18 Bryan Snyder Karl Snyder None None
19 Steven Taylor Mark Wenger NONE None
20 Mike Williams David Stevens Dillon Rager Joshua Greene
21 Jerry Turner David Sullivan Barry Ward NONE
22 Mike McPherson Greg Hoskinson NONE NONE
23 Jay Holsapple NONE Greg Stevens NONE
24 Glenn Sageser None Tim Frohlich NONE
Note: The chart ABOVE shows 42 Anglers & 28 Co Anglers Qualified thru the 24 Divisional Events

Anglers & Co Anglers below Qualified via entering 4 or more Events: 

11 Anglers & 1 Co Angler fished 4 or more.

Total # for State Championship 

54   Anglers

28  Co Anglers 

Glenn Sageser qualified as boater & Co Angler:  he chooses to compete as Boater

82 Total Persons Qualified for KBF State Tournament

Michael Johnson 8 Ken Kleman 4
Gerald Smith 5 Hunter Harper  Jr Program
  Steven Wormley 4  Tray Hardwick  Jr Program
David Taylor 5 Trevor Windgassen  Jr Program
Gordon Summers 4  Bradley Dunagan  Jr Program
  Kenneth Davis 4    
  Wes Cole 4
David Sowers 4
Barry Smith 4    
  Michael Ryan Carter 4
Randy Findley 3 + buy in

Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/2015-kbf-qualified-for-state-championship-list/

2015 Southern Divisional in review

I started preparing for the SD on Lake Norman right after the State Championship in October. I put more time in reading fishing reports, watching You Tube videos and studying my Navionics Lake Map App than for any tournament in my life. It paid off, this time.

Steven TaylorHere is how the week progressed.

I arrived in NC at the motel around 8:30 pm on Thursday night. I had a note book in the dash of my boat with the first three days of practice laid out. Where I would fish and techniques I would be trying. Boy did that get blown to bits, quick, fast and in a hurry.

Friday morning dawned cloudy with a light breeze. Perfect top water morning, or so I thought. My plan for the day was to catch them on top water on the rip rap in the back of Davis and then find them schooled up on the many shoals I had marked. I spent the first two hours throwing five different top water baits. Two bluegills and a short strike from a bass was all I had to show for my efforts. I graphed shoals, fished rock piles and points until about 1:00. Finally gave up and started fishing the deepest docks I could find. 30 minutes into this and I had three keepers in the boat. Fished a lot of shallow docks, nothing. Went out to the shoals and spent another three hours graphing and fishing. A few shorts. Went back to the same dock area and finished out a limit of spots. About 12 hours on the water, fished docks for about three to catch those five keepers.

Saturday still cloudy with a good breeze. Barry Ward rode with me and we put in at the 150 bridge. I had decided to start in the left fork of Stumpy with top water. It just looked good on the Navionics Map with the channel on the right side with lots of docks and it would be shaded. In the first hour I had 3 keepers on a Splashit and Barry had two on a sort of wake bait with a spinner on the back. (Still don’t know what the heck it was) Called Jerry Smith and he had caught one short fish on a buzzbait. Told him about the Splashit and he started whacking them. I spent the rest of the day skipping (or trying to) jigs under docks. The most productive docks were the ones with 18 plus feet of water in front of them and lots of poles. There was absolutely no doubt when you had a bite. Pick it up and your line would be out under the boat or way back under the dock. Those spots fight like they are crazy. I also managed to catch a 25lb. flat head out of a brush pile in 18′ of water on a jig and a 10lb blue cat under a dock on a white swim jig. I ended up with a double limit for maybe 10lbs. Not what I wanted but a good start.

Sunday cloudy and still with a breeze. I had decided to fish Hicks creek, the State Park and the river. Couldn’t buy a bite on top water around the docks but could get bit on the jig around docks. Went to some of the lay downs along the State Park and had multiple keepers on the jig. Would throw it to the base of the laydown, swim it back and when I hit a limb I would drag it over and kill it. That’s when they would slam it. Left this and ran up the river to the next bridge planning on trying to find some fish on walls or somewhere other than docks. Nothing on the walls but caught a 2lb 10oz spot on a big snag along the river. Fished laydowns along islands, docks behind an island, nothing. Went back to the laydowns in Hicks and whacked them again. Had 12 to 15 keepers for the day and maybe 12lbs. Now I have found something I haven’t seen anyone else fishing. Maybe if I can expand on this I could have a shot at this1st Pl Angler KY  Taylor thing. Brian Hickey started pushing me in the Team meetings and even in the mornings before we left to find a backup pattern to those laydowns. Excellent advice and I am glad my hard head listened. At the Team meeting that night Jerry Smith told everyone he was catching what he called “Pole Dancers”. Pitching to the wooded poles, feeding line and catching suspended fish. After that everyone referred to fish caught by the poles as “Jerry’s Pole Dancers”. Funny stuff.

Monday still started out cloudy with a good breeze. Dillon Rager, our 16 year old KY High School State Champion went with me and we started in Hicks. Brian Hickey and Chad Rice had caught them on a wake bait so I had stopped the night before and bought two at Gander Mountain. Didn’t know how to throw it but decided to give it a try. We started down the laydowns in Hicks and it didn’t take long to find out they wanted the wake bait. Caught an 18″ fish and then the biggest spot of the week, about 3.25lbs. Sat down and took both hooks off of the bait so I wouldn’t sore mouth anything. My next bite was a multiple. The fish hit about 5′ from the boat and there were three of them, all looked to be 17/18″ long. One would grab it and pull it down until I took it away from him and then another would do the same thing. A little ways down the bank and another good one grabbed it. Some of the fish were on flat mud banks and some were in tree tops in 18′ of water but it appeared they were coming a long way to get it so it didn’t matter. Just throw it. We fished some more of the trees with that jig and I shook a bunch more off. Went to the docks on the other side of the creek with the jig and the same thing. After talking to Brian I had went to a 1/2 oz. jig under those docks. On the initial skip you would either get bit on the fall or the first couple of bounces. I could not get bit dragging the jig which is how I like to fish a football jig. This swim jig they wanted bounced 6″ off the bottom. Thinking they were being attracted by the sound, I started putting rattles on my jigs. My bites picked up considerably. So, two things I had added to my pattern today. Go to a heavier jig to get to the bottom quicker where most of the bites were coming from and add rattles to get their attention. Keep refining my presentation and expanding my pattern. Now I have built some confidence. I can catch then on the laydowns and on the docks. I had fished other creeks but it seemed Hicks had better quality fish than any other place I had fished. A lot of the Team members were catching fish on a shaky head but, if I could get bit on the jig, then Mr. Shaky would not get wet.

Tuesday still cloud cover and breezy. Mike Tester fished with me. Started down the laydowns again with the wake bait. Had two pretty quick try to take it away from me so they were still on that pattern. Left the laydowns and expanded to other docks. Shook off a bunch, had two that hooked themselves and hooked a couple. It was getting time to sit down and rig everything for the next day so I decided to bust the next fish that bit. Sorry when I did because it was over 2lbs. Pulled up under a shade tree, dropped my Talons, rigged up and got everything ready for the first day of the Southern Divisional. I have what I feel is a strong laydown pattern and these docks are getting better each day but I still can’t get bit on shallow docks.

Wednesday dawns clear and fog is sitting over the lower end of the lake. They let us go and I have a bad felling that something has changed. And did it ever. I drew Walter Ogle from TN and he agreed to let me go to my wake bait fish first. We shared the front of the boat all day and it worked out great. Spent 1 1/2 hours fishing the laydowns with the wake bait and had two small keepers and Walter had one on a buzzbait. The bite had changed. It was Walter’s turn to fish his water so we went deep in the same area. He caught two and the bite quit. We went back to my dock pattern and I finished my limit and culled a couple times. Lost one about 2.5lbs trying to swing him in the boat. Bone headed move on my part. Weighed in 8 lbs. 4 oz. for 5th place on the KY Team. Dillon was leading with 11 lbs. 10 oz. so I am 3 lbs. 6 oz. out of the lead. Not where I wanted to be but within striking distance. One of our boaters had an issue with his leg and had to stop fishing so that moved me from a non boater to the boater’s position.

Thursday’s weather is the same, high blue bird skies with little wind. I drew Lamar Middleton from FL and he agreed to let me fish my area and stay in the front of the boat all day. What a great guy and a true gentleman. I had a great time fishing with him and would love to hook up with him in FL some day. Back on the laydowns to see if they will hit the wake bait. I had one fish roll on it but that was it. Started pitching my jig and caught two small keepers and Lamar caught one. The fish had left the laydowns, just like Brian had predicted. Went to the docks and had a limit by 9:00. The fish from the laydowns had moved across the creek and were loading up on the docks. Lost a good one on a dock pole, another in brush and another I saw swimming the jig over a submerged boat lift (about 3 lbs.). Then caught a 3.5 on another submerged dock lift. Had two blacks to weigh in and had not been catching any up until today. I also started getting bit on shallow docks today. I concentrated on the shallow docks early then the deep docks when the sun got up high. At the end of the day I spotted an active bream bed behind a dock. Under the corner of the dock was a fish that appeared to be 3 to 4lbs. I got her to nose down on my jig once and then pick it up once, carry it out, but nothing when I set the hook. Marked her for Friday. After putting the wake bait down, I stuck with the 1/2 oz. jig the rest of the day. Some of the real shallow docks would see my 3/8 oz. jig but 90% of the time the 1/2 was in my hand. I weighed in a limit for 9 lbs. 15 oz. and moved into 1st place on the KY Team by 1 oz. less than 3 lbs. separated the top six KY Team members so it was going to be a shoot out.

Friday morning I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. It was supposed to be cloudy with wind, so I am bouncing back and forth between sticking with the docks or trying the laydowns again with the clouds and wind. By the time I leave for the water, I am sick to my stomach and about to heave. I love public speaking and tournament time. The butterflies in my stomach get me fired up and the adrenalin running. But this is different. I am not sure I will be able to keep that Apple breakfast bar or my Advocare Spark down this morning. Not good.

I drew Richard Phillips from AL for the final day. Richard was on some fish on walls up the river on a shaky head and wanted his half of the day. My heart sank. I was confident that I could get a good limit on my dock fish but had no confidence in fishing bluff walls and points. He agreed to let me fish the first half of the day so I decided to start on the bank in Stumpy creek where Barry and I had caught them on Saturday. By the time we got there my stomach had settled down and when I started fishing I forgot all about it. I picked up the Splashit but the wind was too strong and the waves to high for it to be affective. I had tied on a buzzbait that Jerry Smith and I had designed for Barren last year, so I pulled it out of the box and started throwing it. It has a single clear triple blade on it. I removed the skirt and glued a Ribbit frog on for a trailer. Perfect for clear water as it makes very little noise but lots of top water commotion. Within the first 5 casts I had a good one grab it and come loose after pulling her 3′ or so. Looked to be 2 or 3 lbs. Lousy way to start. No more bites in Stumpy. Went to Hicks, straight to the dock where the good fish by the bream beds was the day before. Brian had told me to throw short of the fish, reel it back real quick then throw past her. I did and when the wake bait came past the corner of the dock, a huge fish exploded on it. I set the hook, started reeling and poof, came unbuttoned. My heart sank even further. The biggest fish I have had bite all week, the last day of the tournament and she comes unbuttoned. I made another cast back to the same spot, reeled half way to the boat and hear Richard yell, “There she is”. He had pitched a jig 40′ away to a lone stump and she had ate it. He fought her to the boat and I saw that she had another fish that looked to be 3 or 4 lbs. with her. I netted his fish and it weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz. largest fish of the tournament.

Well now I am really sick. We make a few more casts then head to some shallow docks. Now I am flipping docks and throwing the buzzbait between docks. I catch a keeper on the jig, loose a huge fish that pulled me into a brush pile and loose another two plus on the buzzbait. I told Richard, “That’s the tournament. You can’t land one of the first five bites and expect to win.” The four fish I had lost would have been in the 13 lb. range. I said “Well it’s in Gods hands now. He has given me the bites to win and I blew it. Now I am just going fishing and if it is His will I will catch them, if not, I won’t.” Two casts later I catch a 2 lb. 2 oz. on the buzzbait. I didn’t lose another bite the rest of the day. At 10:00 I had my limit and at 10:30 it was Richards’s time to run the front of the boat and fish his water. We headed up the river and fished various points and walls. He caught one keeper and lost one in about three hours. I had told him that morning, if we had time, I wanted 10 minutes to try that dock fish that was with the big one he caught. With an hour of fishing left, we headed back down to the dock. I really needed this fish.

I stopped real short of the dock and jumped on the trolling motor. I wanted to go in slow so I wouldn’t spook her. The water around the dock and bream beds had muddied up, so I really didn’t have a lot of confidence, but was going to give it my best shot. I made two casts across the lone stumps then got lined up for the dock cast. A long cast past the dock with the wake bait, slow retrieve past the corner, and swoosh, she hammers it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something. On the way back down the lake from fishing the points, neither of us put a foot on my brand new $82 dip net and, when we hit a wave, it flew out and sunk. So now I have a good fish hooked, see that she only has one hook in the corner of her mouth, and no dip net. Richard runs to the front of the boat, lays down on his belly, and hangs both arms over the side of my Ranger. Sure glad for the flipping deck because the gunnel is only 2 1/2″ high. I ease the fish to the boat and Richard bear hugs her, lifts her up just as the bait comes out and sticks in his shirt at his neck. I reach down with both hands, get a strangle hold on the fish, pull her up, and head to the bottom of the boat. When Richard sits up, the bait falls off of his shirt to the floor. I culled a 14 1/2″ spot with a black that turns out to be 3 lbs. 13 oz., my largest of the three day event. I thanked God for the fish, thanked Richard profusely for giving up his body for my fish, and we head to the weighin.

I had one fish that succumbed to the shock on the way back to the scales so ended up with 10 lbs. 5 oz. for the day. I ended up with 28 lbs. 8 oz. and first place on the KY State Team. This will go down as the biggest emotional roller coaster ride of my life. The lowest of lows in the morning after losing four out of the first five bites, catch the good one late in the day and then pull off the win. Absolutely incredible. Brian Hickey finished second with 25 lbs. 11 oz. so Brian and I will be headed to the TBF Nationals next April. Wish us luck because this will be up against some real tough talent.

Lessons learned: Before this event I could pitch pretty well but skipping a bait was new to me. By the end of the practice I could put that 3/8 oz. jig 20′ back under the docks two out of five times. The 1/2 oz. not so much. (My reel with the 1/2 oz. has about 50 yards of line left after cutting away multiple back lashes) I didn’t own a wake bait and had never fished bream beds. The third thing I did was swim a jig through trees which was new to me. Everyone has flipped trees, but most of these fish were suspended in the trees, and if the water was more than 8′ deep, you were wasting your time letting the jig go to the bottom. Swim it to a limb, pull it over, kill it, let it fall 5 to 7′ and then swim to the next one. What a blast.

A big thanks goes out to Jerry Smith and Brian Hickey. Both of these guys had a feeling from Sunday KY Steven Taylornight on that I was on the quality of fish to win this thing. Jerry kept telling me to stay with what I was doing and I would win it. Brian was crucial in helping me refine the pattern around those docks and finding a backup pattern to my laydowns. I can’t thank both of you enough. I am very fortunate to have friends like you.

While the State Team did not reach one of our goals, which was to win the overall tournament, we did reach another that I think is far more important and will stay with us much longer than a trophy or our names at the top of some list.

That goal was working together as a Team and building friendships that will last a lifetime. This was a very special Team. We laughed a lot, teased one another, and shared information, spots, techniques, baits, etc  an experience like most of us have never enjoyed. Several of us have been on multiple State Teams so we told the new guys that if everyone works together, shares information, and is completely open, it would be one the best tournament experiences of their life. And this one proved to be just that. I have enjoyed building on existing friendships and making new ones. It was a bittersweet drive home Friday night. Elated that I had won, but sad that the experience was over.

What a special group of men who I now consider to be very close friends. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to share these experiences with you guys. I look forward to seeing all of you at the State Championship in October.

It was also very special to have Donnie Keeton give me that big hug after the event was over. You got so choked up you had a hard time getting your congratulations out. So many great memories in such a short period of time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our National/State Sponsors and my Sponsors: Ranger Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Renegade Marine, Denali Rods and a special thanks to iXL Elite Hydration. Without you this would not be possible.

Steven Taylor







Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/2015-southern-divisional-in-review/

KBF State Team at Southern Division Championship

2015 KBF State Team ResultsThe 2015 KBF State Team proves to be a 1st Class Team as all Team Members pitched in and worked hard during the Southern Division Championship.  A Class Team with 3 hard working Alternates all lead by the outstanding Leadership of President John Dixon.

Congratulations Gentlemen, I for one was a Proud Person as you gentlemen walked across the stage on the final day.  Job well done and deserving of a big Round of Applause from the entire KBF membership.

Kentucky Bass Federation














Congratulations are also extended to the Steven Taylor & Brian Hickey for your opportunity to advance on to the National Championship.  “Steven, your work thru the years have paid off my friend, your really choked me up on your accomplishment.  Now keep your chin up and lean on your Teammate Mr Hickey as he can be of superb help in the adventure you & he is getting ready for.

Steven Taylor Brian Hickey










80-13 81-15 129/119


Steven Taylor


9-15 10-05 15/14


Brian Hickey


9-06 8-06 15/12


Gerald Smith


10-07 7-13 13/13


Chad Rice


7-15 3-04 12/12


Rusty Willhoite


1-09 8-05 11/9


David Taylor


4-10 10-05 10/10


Dillon Rager


5-09 1-04 9/9


Tim Hennemann


8-00 0-00 10/7


Barry W Ward


9-01 8-08 10/10


Timothy Frohlich


6-01 10-05 9/9


Mike Williams


4-15 9-15 8/8


Michael Ray Tester


3-05 3-09 5/5


Wes Cole




John Dixon Alt




Tim Blythe Alt




Whoops! error corrected for MIke Tester.  Sorry Mike!




Permanent link to this article: http://www.kybassfed.com/news/kbf-state-team-at-southern-division-championship/

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