Indiana B.A.S.S Nation
IBFN State Team Competes in B.A.S.S Northern Divisional
Dave Watson of the Strip Pit Basser's advances to the Federation Nation Championship

Escanaba, Michigan - The 12 man Indiana State team traveled to Little Bay De Noc in Escanaba, Michigan for the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional. Little Bay de Noc is quickly becoming one of the finest smallmouth fisheries in the country as witnessed by the Indiana team members. Brad Stogsdill one of the boaters on the team, pulled up on a shoal while practicing with Dave Hedge, said "there were so many smallmouth you didn't know where to cast first, and they  scattered like ants there were just so many fish, which is nothing like were used to in Indiana".

The team got off to a rocky start by being penalized prior to the event that left them twelve pounds in the hole before the first line was cast in competition. The team quickly bounced back on day one with several limits weighed in. Dave Hedge lead the team and sat tenth overall with his first days catch of twenty pounds fourteen ounces. After penalties he had to settle with a final day 1 weight of eighteen pounds fourteen ounces.

Day two started with nearly perfect weather conditions as the competitors headed out into Little Bay de Noc. This time with no penalties being assessed at weigh in, the angler's again brought in limits of bass with Hedge moving up to second place overall with a total weight of thirty seven pounds eleven ounces.. And the Indiana team moving up to fifth place with a combined weight of three hundred six pounds and nine ounces.

Day three brought a different scenario. It was the Junior State Champions Brody McWilliams and Ryan Mikels turn at competition. But, with the wind blowing at 20 mph on the final day BASS tournament director Jon Stewart made a decision to limit the adult anglers to the Bay area and have the juniors fish inside the harbor due to unsafe conditions. The adult team went out with disappointing results as only half of the team brought in bass to the scales. Dave Watson of the Strip Pit Bassers brought in the only limit for the Indiana team, which propelled him into the team lead and advanced to the Federation Nation Championship. Dave had a combined three day total of forty two pounds ten ounces. Good enough for fifth place overall. Junior state champ Ryan Mikels brought in the only bass caught by the IBFN jr. team.
L - R Brody McWilliams, Brad Stogsdill, Marvin Parton, Dave Hedge, Deacon Cashdollar, Clem Schmidt,Terry McWilliams, Chris Lemon, Mat Temme, Ed Rounsaville, Don Haggenjos, Dave Watson, Barry Grider and Scott Dieterman
Dave Watson now moves on to compete in the Federation Nation Championship on the Red River in Shreveport La, October 25 - 29

All in all this team proved through adversity you can take a group of complete strangers, and bring them together as a team. The IBFN is proud of the way the 2010 State team represented Indiana.
Dave Hedge and Dave Watson being interviewed on stage by Jon Stewart
Indiana's Dave Watson Qualifies for the 2011 Bassmasters Classic !
October 29, 2010

Federation Nation - Shreveport, LA - Dave Watson never imagined an old country boy from Dugger, Indiana like himself could ever qualify for the Bassmasters Classic, But that's exactly what he has accomplished, and will be competing in February, against the worlds best anglers. After edging the Northern Division field with a  three day accumulative weight of 16 lbs.10 oz. and becoming one of six from the BFNC to advance to the Classic. Idaho's Brian Palaniuk won the three day event with 29 - 09

Finishing eighteenth overall, Edges out all other Northern Division competitors with 16-10
Dave Watson (Northern Division Champion - 18th overall - 16 -10)
Dave said he found most of his fish by locking through to an area called the "Jungle" there he would target small cuts in the many slough's the Red River has to offer but most importantly he would have an area all to himself, he said "nobody else was doing what I was doing, after locking through I didn't have much time to fish so I had to make the best of it" at times he said he would have to run on plane over a half mile through a foot of water to get to an area. He said he would cover an area first with a spinnerbait and then go back and clean up with either a tube or a jig. The first day he weighed in only two bass for a total of 4 pounds 2 ounces but he rallied back on day two with a limit of Red River bass weighing 7 pounds one ounce and only 14 ounces out of first in the Northern Division behind Italy's Alessio Telese.

The last and final day of the tournament found him locking through to his area for the final time. Dave caught only three bass the final day and knew he had blown his shot at making the Classic. But fate was on his side as Telese only had two bass that would go 2 pounds  6 ounces giving him a three day total of 14 pounds 6 ounces. Nathan Ranallo of La Crosse, Wis. finished second in the Northern Division with a total weight of 15 - 03. This will be Watson's first trip to the Bassmasters Classic.

With the BFNC wrapping up this weekend the Classic field is now set. The Classic will be held on the Louisana Delta in New Orleans, La. February 18 - 20, 2011
By Carey Richardson
Photo By Larry Towell
I.B.F.N Top 8 State Finals Held at Patoka

Mark Banks of the Eastside Bassmasters Wins IBFN State Championship

April 16 - 17 Patoka Lake - On a cold, windy, rainy day, The Indiana B.A.S.S Federation Nation held its annual Top 8 State Finals at Patoka Lake. Looking to crown a new State Team to compete in the B.A.S.S Northern divisional, . 

   Mark Banks a twenty four year member of the Eastside Bassmasters lead the event after day one. Fishing in the Lick Fork area of Patoka, Mark used crank baits in shallow water to catch four quality bass weighing nineteen pounds four ounces. Sunday brought  different weather conditions for the 190 anglers as they were greeted with clear skies, the bite was a bit tougher. With about fifteen minutes to go before weigh-in and no bass, Mark stopped in a small cut outside the Newton-Stewart ramp area, and caught one single three plus pound fish that proved to be enough to seal the victory. Giving him a two day total weight of 23.19 pounds. This is Mark's first time qualifying for the State team.

Mark Nies of the Indiana Bass Junkies placed second with a weight of 22.26 pounds. The weather conditions were definitely in the anglers favor as more than 1100 pounds of bass were brought to the scales over the two day tournament.

The twelve man state team and two alternates will now compete in the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional on the Mississippi River,  August 7 - 12 The Iowa B.A.S.S Federation Nation is the host state for this tournament 

The Shallow Minded Anglers reclaimed the Top Club award with a combined team weight of 78.26 pounds. and placing two of its members (Mike Vertesch and Dave Hedge) on the State Team..
IBFN President Arnold Worthington (L) with 2011 State Champion Mark Banks
Winning Team - The Shallow minded Anglers. Mike Vertesch, Dave Hedge, Dave Schneider Jr., Bob Bayless, Dave Goodman, Dave Campbell, Curt Hughes, Mark Dove

2011 IBFN State Team
In no particular order - Mark Banks, Mark Nies, Mike Vertesh, Fred Felix,  Jacob Wheeler, Matt McCoy, Gordon Lamb, Mike Lytle, James Berry, Dave Hedge, Dave Watson, Calvin Davidson, Harvey Page, Lee Singleton

McCoy Leads Northern Divisional after day one !
Mississippi River, Ft Madison, Iowa - After the first official day of competition at the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional. The Indiana State team sits in fifth place overall with team member Matt McCoy leading after day one. McCoy brought in five bass weighing eleven pounds fourteen ounces. Wisconsin angler Brian Christianson is second with 11 pounds 4 ounces. The Indiana team as well as the seven other states, struggled with falling water levels and fishing pressure causing the the river to fish rather small. The three day tourney will take off Thursday at 6am with weigh-in at 1pm central time, and broadcast live on
Jon Stewart left The BASS tournament director with Day one leader Matt McCoy.
Photo by Carey Richardson

The Bite gets tough on the Mississippi !
Mississippi River - Ft Madison, IA . Day two of the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional is now in the books. The Indiana team although consistent still sits in fifth place overall but is slowly moving up the standings. The bite proved a lot tougher as expected and it showed during weigh-in. Matt McCoy the day one leader brought three Mississippi river bass to the scales but dropped in the overall standings. McCoy slipped to seventh and still leads the Indiana team standings.with 17 pounds ten ounces.
    The final day will get underway at 6am Friday morning. The Indiana Junior state champions Greg Zellers and Blake Albertson will get their chance to compete against other Junior state champs and will have the opportunity to add to the overall team total and advance one or both to the Junior federation championship

Individual Standings

7th  Matt McCoy
21st Dave Watson
25th Calvin Davidson
37th Gordon Lamb
41st Mark Nies
51st Dave Hedge
52nd James Berry
60th  Mark Banks
61st Mike Vertesch
63rd Mike Lytle
80th Fred Felix
106th Harvey Page

Indiana team members in blue/white shirts Matt McCoy (L) and Dave Watson (R)
Team Indiana Finishes Fourth Overall in Northern Divisional !
Mississippi River - Ft Madison, IA.  On the final day of competition. Team Indiana found themselves sitting in seventh place overall after a tough second day. But a last day rally by the entire team moved them up the leader board to finish the three day tournament in fourth place.  Lead by team captain Dave Hedge. Hedge started the rally by bringing in the first five bass limit of the day that weighed seven pounds twelve ounces and capped by Matt McCoy's five bass limit that advanced Matt to the Federation Nation Championship that weighed in at nine pounds three ounces. McCoy finished in fourth place with a three day total of 26-13,  He will now head to the Ouachita River in Monroe, LA, Nov 3 - 5, for the B.A.S.S Federation Nation Championship the top finisher from each division will advance to the Bassmasters Classic
Back Row - Gordon Lamb, Mark Nies, Mike Lytle, Mark Banks, Calvin Davidson, Fred Felix and Youth Director John Albertson Middle Row - Jim Berry, Harvey Page, Mike Vertesch, Dave Hedge, Matt McCoy, Dave Watson. Front - Blake Albertson, Greg Zellers

Day 3 Photo Gallery
Fall Top 8 State Finals Held at Patoka !

Birdseye, In. The Indiana B.A.S.S Federation Nation held the second of two qualifying Top eight tournaments of 2011. Crowning a State Champion and State team that will compete in the 2012 Northern Divisional. Steve Quiggins of the Blue River Sticks Bass Club proved to be the man to beat as he weighed in the only limit of the tournament on Saturday, bringing in 21.37 pounds. Quiggins weight was good enough to carry through to Sunday's final weigh-in as he blanked on the final day but still easily won by more than five pounds. Larry Paul of the Clifty Creek Bassmasters was second with 16.53 pounds. Paul was consistent during the tough windy conditions the anglers faced after a cold  front moved through the area earlier in the week with 8.52 Saturday  and 8.01 Sunday respectively.
Mark Dove of the Shallow Minded Anglers was third with 14.17 pounds. Rounding out the rest of the 12 man State team are Kyle Sommer Premier Anglers 13.67, Mark Nies Indiana Bass Junkies 13.17,  Gordon Lamb Reelmen Bass Club 13.06, Brian Hensley Indiana Adult/ Youth 12.83, Terry McWilliams Cataract Hawg Stickers 12.24., James Sampson Southern Indiana Bassaholics 11.65, Tony Wilson Premier Anglers 11.49. Eric Durcholz Jasper Bassmasters 10.65, and Aaron Hochstedler Get 5 Bassmasters 10.25 pounds. The two alternates are Mike Vertesch Shallow Minded Anglers and Tyler Pendygraft Men with nice Basses. The team will now compete in the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional to be held tentatively in Savanna, IL on the Mississippi River, in August  2012 Illinois is the host State.

Oct 15, 16 2011
2012 State Team in no particular order- Gordon Lamb, Steve Quiggins, Tony Wilson, Mark Nies, Terry McWilliams, James Patterson, Kyle Sommer, Brian Hensley, Mark Dove, Larry Paul, Mike Vertesch, Eric Durcholz, Aaron Hochstedler, and not shown Tyler Pendygraft
Big Bass Winners
Eric Meyers
Walmart Bassmasters
Saturday Big Bass 6.20 lbs
Dwight Clunie
Reelmen Bass Club
Sunday Big Bass 6.63 lbs.
The IBFN would also like to thank Winding Waters Bassmasters and tournament director Keith Kelly for hosting the event. Their crew did an outstanding job with the launch and weigh-in's.  The tournament would not have run as smooth without their help and we are deeply thankful.

Big Bass winners for the tournament were Eric Meyers of the Walmart Bassmasters. Eric's bass weighed 6.20 pounds and won the day 1 award. Dwight Clunie of the Reelmen Bass Club had the largest bass of the tournament and took the day 2 award with his bass weighing 6.63 pounds
Reelmen Bass Club Take Top Club Honors !
The Reelmen Bass Club won the overall Top 8 Club award with a total weight of 53.95 pounds. They also advanced one of their club members for the second year in a row Gordon Lamb to the State team. Dwight Clunie also helped with their total weight by bringing in the largest bass caught for the tournament weighing 6.63 pounds. Their team consisted of Gordon Lamb, Kyle Hackeman, Mike Thompson, Keith Baird, Dwight Clunie, Ron Simpson, Gilbert Hentrup and Mike Williams

McCoy to Represent Indiana In the B.A.S.S Federation Nation Championship
October 26, 2011
The 2011 B.A.S.S Federation Nation Championship is to get underway Nov. 3rd - 5th on Ouachita River in Monroe, Louisiana.

  Matt McCoy a 36 year old Machinist from Indianapolis and a 10 year member of the Cataract Hawg Stickers will be vying for a spot in the 2012 Bassmasters Classic. McCoy qualified after making the IBFN State team and finishing fourth overall at the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional held in Fort Madison, Iowa. Matt will attempt to become the third Indiana angler in five years to advance to the Classic. Terry McWilliams (4th place classic finish in 2007 )and Dave Watson (41st in 2011 )
McCoy will be competing against other qualifiers from the Northern Division as well as for the overall championship. The top six qualifiers from each division competing in the Federation Nation Championship advance to the Bassmasters Classic. This is Matt's first Federation Nation Championship after qualifying for two IBFN state teams. McCoy is sponsored by Secret Lures and the Indiana B.A.S.S Federation Nation
Photo Courtesey of

Federation Nation Northern Division Champion and Bassmasters Classic Qualifier  Matt McCoy
The second day the anglers were faced with challenging  weather conditions and no current.. McCoy only managed to bring in three bass weighing five pounds four ounces, relegating him to fourth place overall and nursing what was a seven pound lead in the Northern Division. McCoy said, "The bass were holding extremely tight to cover as a high pressure system moved through the area". On the third and final day McCoy only managed four bass that eventually would send him to the Bassmasters Classic and giving him the Northern Division crown. Matt's day three weight of seven pounds three ounces gave him a  total of twenty six pounds eight ounces and finishing seventh overall. This is the first time in the Indiana BASS Federation Nation history that two members of the same club have advanced to the Bassmasters Classic. Terry McWilliams in 2007 and now McCoy in 2012 both are members of the Cataract Hawg Stickers. The 2012 Bassmasters Classic will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana February 24 -26 on the Red River.
For the third time in five years, Indiana will be well represented in the Bassmasters Classic. Matt McCoy the newest qualifier will follow in the footsteps of Mark Dove, Kenny French, Dave Watson, and Terry McWilliams.   He will forever hold the title of Classic qualifier.  McCoy won the Northern Division portion of the Federation Nation Championship after being in contention for the overall win during the three day event. McCoy fished in the Bayou D'Arbonne area with eventual winner Jamie Horton. Matt's first day liimit of Quachita River bass, weighed in at fourteen pounds one ounce, putting Matt in second place overall.
Quachita River - Monroe, La.
By; Carey Richardson
Indiana will be represented for the third time in five years
Matt McCoy Advances to the Bassmasters Classic !
Monroe, La - After weighing in just three bass today. Matt McCoy still holds a slim lead (19- 5 ) in the Northern Division. What was a seven pound cushion has been reduced to a mere five ounces. Todd Serfoss who had six thirteen yesterday brought in the heaviest bag of the day with 12 pounds 3 ounces for a total of 19 - 0. McCoy slipped to fifth place overall with one day left in the Federation Nation Championship. Jamie Horton from Centerville, Ala leads the tournament with twenty six pounds three ounces.
McCoy Slips to Fifth Overall but Still in The Hunt !
McCoy in second place after Day one !
Monroe, La - Matt McCoy's dream of making the 2012 Bassmasters Classic took a huge step forward today as he weighed in the second largest bag of the day. McCoy brought in a five fish limit weighing fourteen pounds one ounce of Quachita River bass. Overall he sits in second place and first in the Northern division with a two pound lead on his next closest competitor.  The top six anglers from each Division advance to the Bassmasters Classic.
Photo Courtesy of BASS Adam Harbottle
Matt McCoy with two Red River Bass at the 2012 Bassmasters Classic

Matt McCoy finishes his run at the Bassmasters Classic on a High Note
IBFN Members Donate Time and Goods to help Tornado Victims
After the devastating tornados that swept through southern Indiana on March 2, 2012.  IBFN Secretary Carey Richardson called and sent text messages to Chelsea Bassmasters President Randy Spry to see if Randy or his club members weathered the storm or needed any help. Spry reported that his fellow members survived but their town had been demolished and were in need of basic everyday items. Richardson sent out an email to the IBFN club contacts asking for donations to be gathered and sent to the Chelsea area. Five clubs stepped up and donated their time and energy along with a few local businesses that provided three loads of goods that were delivered to the Chelsea Church of God, where it had been turned into a makeshift warehouse. Items from water to batteries to blankets and money were collected and delivered to much appreciation. The IBFN wants to personally thank the clubs and members that donated there time and energy. Truly Hoosiers helping Hoosiers

Reelmen Bass Club
Backyard Bassmasters
Eastside Bassmasters
West Indy Bass Club
Indiana Adult /Junior Club
Artesian Outdoors Owner Jason Seaton
The Red Hat Society
Matt McCoy the IBFN's 2012 Bassmasters Classic qualifier, ended his run at the Classic by finishing in 34th place. Weighing the third largest sack of bass on day two totaling 17 pounds 7 ounces. Unfortunately he didn't make the cut to fish the final day but proved he could fish with the best in the world. The IBFN wants to congratulate Matt for being such a great representative for the fishermen of Indiana.

Nathan Gray Wins Top 8 State Final Held at Monroe
Bloomington,In The Indiana BASS Federation Nation held the 2012 Top 8 State Final at Monroe July 14 - 15. With twenty nine clubs competing for the top twelve individual positions that comprise the state team. The 200 anglers had an awesome weigh-in over the two day tournament. Jerry Koller with Set the Hook Bass Club fishing as a non-boater brought in the days heaviest sack on Saturday weighing eighteen pounds ten ounces. Tom Forrester with the Stump Jumpers Bass Club had day 1 big bass weighing 5.82 lbs.  Sunday's weigh in was a little lighter than the previous day but still managed to produce some nice weights. Chip Swindell of the Premier Anglers brought in Sunday's biggest bag weighing 18.36 lbs.
2012 IBFN State Team in no particular order. (Nathan Gray - Center ), Charles Cross, Jerry Koller, Chip Swindell, Robert Bayless, Brad Kippenbrock, Ron Eicher, Terry McWilliams, Scott Moon,   Aaron Hochstetler, Bob Ayers, David Dupin, Tom Forrrester, Brian Roberts

Stumper Jumper Bass Club take Top Club Award
The Stump Jumpers Bass Club located in Bloomington, In won the Top 8 Club award by weighing in an impressive 65 pounds of bass over the IBFN's two day State Final. They also advance two members to the State Team Nathan Gray the 2012 State Champion and Tom Forrester . The team consists of Tom Forrrester, Nathan Gray, Brad Stogsdill, Rod Keel, Scott Bowling, George Waldron, Merlin Hammer and Kenneth Reed.

Charles Cross had day 2 Big Bass weighing 6.99 lbs. Nathan Gray of Stump Jumpers bass club was the weekends most consistent angler and the 2012 IBFN State Champion. Nathan had a two day total of 30.22 lbs to claim the win and secure his place on the State team. The 2012 Team will compete in the 2013 B.A.S.S Northern Divisional om Lake Francis Case in South Dakota
2012 B.A.S.S  Northern Divisional Gets Underway on the Mississippi River
Savannah, IL. Day one of the BASS Northern Divisional is now in the books. Team Indiana had a solid day on the water and sit in fifth place out of eight states competing in the Divisional . Mark Nies of Cannelton, Ind. leads the team and sits in second place overall with a bag of bass weighing fourteen pounds six ounces. Brad Teel of Iowa leads the tournament with 14.13 Iowa also has a commanding lead with 123.7 compared to Indiana's 77.12 pounds. Day two of the three day tournament is calling for rain and overcast cast skies for the Savannah area as Indiana tries to overcome a 46 pound deficit.
Savannah, IL  Day two of the BASS Northern Divisional has concluded and Team Indiana's Mark Dove took over the lead of the three day tournament. Dove brought in a five bass limit that weighed thirteen pounds one ounce for a two day total of twenty five pounds nine ounces. Team Indiana moved up to fourth place overall with a total of 149.1 lbs. Iowa has a commanding lead with 236.2 pounds.
Indiana's Larry Paul brought in big bass of the day weighing 4.3 pounds
Mark Dove Finishes Second Advances to B.A.S.S Federation Nation Championship
Savannah, IL  After leading day two of the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional Mark Dove finished second overall and first for Team Indiana to advance to the Federation Championship. Dove used a combination of baits during the three day tournament but a swim jig provided the majority of his bass. Mark finished with a total weight of 38.0 pounds.  J.J Patton of Iowa won the event by a scant six ounces over Dove. The Indiana team finished sixth overall out of the eight teams that competed in the Divisional. Indiana weighed in 200 .1 pounds compared to Iowa's 312.9 pounds.
Team Indiana - Front Row L - R Caleb Taylor, John Albertson, Blake Albertson, Steve Quiggins, Tony Wilson, JJ Sampson, Brian Hensley, Eric Durcholz, Back Row - Aaron Hochstedler, Terry McWilliams, Mark Dove Kyle Sommer, Larry Paul, Mike Vertesch, Mark Nies, Gordon Lamb
Caleb Taylor Wins 15 - 18 year old Junior Division at the 2012 B.A.S.S Northern Divisional
Savannah, IL Indiana's 15 - 18 year old Junior State Champion is now the Northern Division Champion after finishing first in his age group during the B.A.S.S Northern Divisional. Caleb competed against eight other States on the Mississippi River. Taylor was joined in his boat by Blake Albertson the 11 - 14 year old Indiana state Champ and John Albertson the IBFN Youth Director and boat captain. Blake finished third in his age group. The duo fished the final day of the event and their weight is added to the adults total weight. Caleb weighed in five pounds four ounces for his win, while Blake weighed in one bass totaling one pound fourteen ounces. Caleb will now compete in the Junior BASS World Championship which will coincide with the Federation Nation Championship in 2013.
Dove Flies to the Lead on Day 2 of the B.A.S.S  Northern Divisional

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