After cancellations from the coronavirus pandemic and flooding stalled the start of its 2020 season for several months, the Kansas Crappie Club finally got competition underway last Sunday, June 7, with a tournament at Council Grove Reservoir.
Potwin’s Vince Coats and Lane Peterson took first place in Division I with 9.4 pounds, also securing the Big Fish award with a 1.65-pound slab. Ryan Harman and Todd Morstorf finished runner-up in the field of 13, hauling in 8.5 pounds of crappie.
Auburn’s Kevin Moriarty and Overbrook’s Austin Langley rounded out the top three with an 8.45-pound bag.
Division II, the winner of which is determined by measuring the biggest single fish caught by a team, was a family affair.
Douglass’ Gary Spear, fishing with his son and grandson, finished first in D-II with a 1.05-pound slab to top Jo and Alan Green by just 0.05 pounds. Gary’s 12-year-old grandson, Elkan, also earned a lifetime fishing license thanks to Phil Taunton of the What’s In Outdoors radio show on KVOE-AM (1400) in Emporia.
The next regularly scheduled KCC tournament is set for July 5 on Toronto Lake. Entry fees are $100 per team for Division I and $40 for Division II. Registration begins at 5 a.m. at the Toronto Point West Ramp, with a captains meeting at 6:15 and takeoff at 7. Weigh-ins will take place at 1 p.m. for D-II and 2 p.m. for D-I.
For more information, contact Joe Bragg at 785-220-6404.
Cates, Lay win TBF qualifier
Boater Garrett Cates, of Manhattan, and co-angler Joey Lay, of Gardner, earned state championship titles and an entry into the 2020 TBF Nation Semifinals in September after winning the TBF Kansas State Qualifier last weekend.
The two-day event took place from June 6-7 on Truman Lake in Missouri.
Cates pulled in a two-day total of 34 pounds, 1 ounce, after posting an 18-9 bag on Day 2 to take the top prize among boaters, edging out Justin Russell (27-2) and Overland Park’s Jeremy Montgomery (26-6) for the victory. Cates also posted the big bass of the tournament at 5 pounds, 5 ounces.
Olathe’s Matt King finished fourth with a two-day bag of 25-13, with Leavenworth’s Larry Stoafer (25-6) rounding out the top five.
Lay led the nonboaters with a bag of 22-8, topping Jason Bryant's 20-pound, 12-ounce weight for the victory. Devin Pino, of Kansas City, Kan., finished third at 20-9. Brent Goss (20-5), of Kansas City, Mo., and Jerry Benjamin (19-14) rounded out the top five.
Topekan Richard Heflin, the former youth director for the Kansas BASS Nation, finished ninth among co-anglers with a two-day bag of 14-10.
Fore, O’Neill lead KBN qualifier
The monthlong online qualifier for the Kansas BASS Nation youth and high school state championships is off to a solid start.
The Catch-Photo-Release-style tournament uses the combined lengths of the best five legal fish submitted by each of the 25 combined teams in the two divisions.
As of Friday morning, Kickback Club’s Peyton Fore and Griffin O’Neill led the high school rankings with 96.25 total inches, featuring a 21 1/4-inch big bass. They were followed by Buhler’s Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover in second place with 94.5 inches.
Kickback’s Luke Crane and Jackson Opheim sat in third place with 91.25 inches.
Topeka youths Nick and Kyle Herrman were in fourth place overall and first among youths as of Friday with 90.5 inches, and Kickback’s Mason Sudermann and Harrison Roth rounded out the top five overall with 89.75 inches.
Cooper Line and Parker Phillips, of Kickback, were the No. 2 youth team and No. 6 overall with 87 inches even.
Shawnee Heights’ Parker Still and Conner Brees sat in 14th overall as of Friday with one fish measuring in at 17 inches.