Topekan Richard Heflin earns spot in BASS Nation Championship

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
Kansas BASS Nation President Richard Heflin, right, was the top nonboater on the Kansas team last weekend during the 2021 TNT Fireworks BASS Nation Central Regional on Milford Reservoir, earning him a spot in the BASS Nation Championship from Nov. 3-5 on Ouachita River in Monroe, La.

Kansas BASS Nation President Richard Heflin made a lifelong dream come true last weekend at the 2021 TNT Fireworks BASS Nation Central Regional on Milford Reservoir.

Heflin finished tied for eighth overall amongst nonboaters during the event April 21-23 in Junction City and was the top co-angler on the Kansas team, joining top boater Nick Luna, of Grain Valley, Mo., (14 pounds, 9 ounces) as the state’s representatives for the 2021 BASS Nation Championship. That event is slated for Nov. 3-5 on Ouachita River in Monroe, La. 

The Topeka angler had the third-largest bass among nonboaters at 2 pounds, 10 ounces, and posted a three-day total of 6 pounds, 1 ounce, to qualify for nationals, edging out Buhler High School senior angler Nathan Fideldy, of Hutchinson (21st overall, 3-4).

Ray Cates, of Overland Park, also qualified while fishing for the Missouri team as a nonboater. He posted a three-day total of 9 pounds, 8 ounces, to finish first among the Missouri team’s co-anglers and second overall among all co-anglers.

Jesse Jordan, of Stilwell, finished 24th overall amongst boaters, posting 6 pounds, 14 ounces, with Leavenworth’s Larry Stoafer right behind him in 25th (6-9).

Other notable Kansas boaters include Alan Daniels, of Kansas City, Kan. (43rd, 3-0); Hays’ Klint VonFeldt (44th, 2-14); Whitewater’s Rick Wheeler (46th, 2-8) and El Dorado’s Kenny Turpin (49th, 2-5). Notable Kansas co-anglers included Yates Center’s Joel Porter (t-24th, 2-8); McPherson’s Justin Harris (31st, 1-15) and Berryton’s Mike Turner (t-35th, 1-12).

HAYS BASS ANGLERS ASSOCIATION

Teams tie for big bass at 7.69 pounds

A total of 46 teams competed during the first Hays Bass Anglers Association Open tournament of the season April 24 on Wilson Reservoir, with Team Brown coming away with the top prize after posting a 21.45-pound bag.

Just behind them were the team of Unruh and Hopkins with 20.21 pounds for second, with Keeley and Leiker rounding out the top three with 19.47 pounds.

The big bass pot was shockingly split by a pair of monster fish, as the Browns tied with Killion and Colpetzer, each with a 7.69-pound lunker.

The next HBAA Open is scheduled for May 15, also at Wilson.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS KANSAS

Manis, Shepard win benefit crappie tourney

Brandon Manis and Marc Shepard teamed up to pull out the win April 24 at the Special Olympics Kansas benefit crappie tournament at Clinton Reservoir.

“Always a fun time and for a great cause,” Manis said of the event.

The pair were using Top Secret Jigs ToadTamers in black and chartreuse and a custom color, Cajun Craw.

Topekan Dustin Hobbs took second place, while Jeremy Conway, of Lawrence, took third in the 29-boat field.

Mike and Eric Schrock, also of Lawrence, finished fourth and posted the big fish at 1.96 pounds, just barely topping Manis’ 1.95-pounder.

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

BASS NATION CENTRAL REGIONAL

Leaders April 21-23 on Milford Reservoir

BOATERS

Angler ... State team ... 3-day total

Kris Bosley ... NM* ... 23-5

Christian Gladfelter ... NM ... 22-12

Chris Johnson ... ARK ... 19-8

Brandon Moss ... OK ... 18-2

Chad Petrie ... TX ... 17-2

Jared Miller ... CO* ... 15-10

Nick Luna ... KS* ... 14-9

Mike Wheaton ... MO* ... 14-5

Travis Sneith ... CO ... 13-9

Shane Morgan ... CO ... 12-8

Other Kansas team results — 24. Jesse Jordan 6-14, 25. Larry Stoafer 6-9, 32. Branden Garrison 4-10*, 44. Klint VonFeldt 2-14, 46. Rick Wheeler 2-8, 49. Kenny Turpin 2-5, t-54. Jason Baird 0-0, t-54. Matthew Mesplay 0-0, t-54. Josh Pladies 0-0*.

Other Kansans — 43. Alan Daniels 3-0^.

*Resident of different state

^Fishing for Missouri team

NONBOATERS

Leaders April 21-23 at Milford Reservoir

Angler ... State team ... 3-day total

Hunter Neuville ... LA ... 9-10

Ray Cates ... MO* ... 9-8

Russell Vines ... ARK ... 7-6

Brad Hauf ... NM ... 7-5

Glenn Hahn ... TX ... 6-12

Morgan Fitzgerald ... CO ... 6-6

Bobby Maynard Jr. ... TX ... 6-6

Scooter Wright ... OK ... 6-1

Richard Heflin ... KS ... 6-1

Ryan Fontenot ... LA ... 5-14

Other Kansas team results — 21. Nathan Fideldy 3-4, t-24. Joel Porter 2-8, 27. Kyle Torkelson 2-3*, t-31. Justin Harris 1-15, t-35. Mike Turner 1-12, t-39. Jeremy Jackson 0-0, t-39. Clayton Rudman 0-0, t-39. Reggie Smithson 0-0, Cody Paxton 0-0*.

Other Kansans — t-39. Brent Goss 0-0^.

*Resident of different state

^Fishing for Missouri team

HAYS BASS ANGLERS ASSOCIATION

Open No. 1 leaders April 24 on Wilson Reservoir

Team ... Pounds of fish

Brown/Brown ... 21.45

Unruh/Hopkins ... 20.21

Keeley/Leiker ... 19.47

Hamel/Peterson ... 18.33

Cocker/Wright ... 18.25

Devine/Devine ... 17.61

Rudman/Harmoney ... 16.51

Calvin/Cornell ... 15.58

Page/Kirkley ... 15.40

1st High Stakes — Brown/Brown

2nd High Stakes — Unruh/Hopkins

*Big Bass — Tie between Brown/Brown and Killion/Colpetzer, 7.69