The Tri-State Bass Club recently opened their 2014 season with the Imperial Baits of Middlesboro Tournament Trail held on Norris Lake with 11 boats participating. This was the club’s first of three day tournaments.
Boats blasted off at 7:30 a.m. with a weigh in return time of 3:30 p.m. After scales closed, Donny Skelton and Donny Skelton Jr. took home first place prize money with a 12-pound, 14-ounce bag netting $400 for their effort.
Dale McQueen and Danny Smith took home second place with a 9-pound, 12-ounce bag earning $150.
The Skelton team also took home Lunker money of $110 with a 3-pound, 5-ounce smallmouth.
The club was back on the water at Norris Lake for their second tournament of year. The club originally planned to launch out of Brogans Holler at 7:30 a.m., but ended up leaving from two different areas via cellphone blast off.
With an extended fishing time of 30 minutes, a record-setting field of 15 boats weighed in at the 33 Bridge ramp at 4 p.m. Thirty anglers were looking to weigh in the top three bags to win prize money.
After the scales closed, the top prize of $445 belonged to Jason Hill and Tim Hawkins for their 15-pound bag.
Travis and Eli Singleton placed second with a 14-pound, 4-ounce bag netting $195. Third place went to Matt Creech and Ralph Osborne with a 10-pound, 11-ounce bag earning $110. Travis and Eli Singleton also took home $150 for their Lunker Largemouth weighing 4-pounds, 14-ounces.
“This has been a great start to the 2014 season. We have surpassed last year’s membership for two tournaments with 31 paid members,” said Club President Michael Sutton.
“The club has flourished in just its second season and by the end of the year we are looking to average 19 to 22 boats a tournament with well over 60 paid members which will pass last season by 20. Members have worked hard to have a good turnout at each tournament.”
Tri-State Bass Club yearly awards standings after two tournaments (anglers must make the fish off to be eligible for yearly awards; Angler of the Year is determined by number of wins throughout the season):
House Auto and Brian’s Furniture of Corbin $1,000 Angler of the Year: Donny Skelton and Donny Skelton Jr. (one win); Jason Hill and Tim Hawkins (one win).
Sander Bounce $200 Biggest Smallmouth of the Year: Donny Skelton and Donny Skelton Jr., 3-pound, 5-ounce.
Cumberland Ford $200 Biggest Largemouth of the Year: Travis and Eli Singleton, 4-pound, 14-ounce.
421 Gas & Go $250 Biggest Five Fish Bag on Norris of the Year: Jason Hill and Tim Hawkins, 15-pounds.
JJ Tax $250 Biggest Five Fish Bag on Cherokee of the Year: First tournament, March 29, Morristown bridge from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Dave’s Outdoors LLC $200 Smallest Five Fish Bag of the Year (any lake): Dallas Myers, 6-pound, 1- ounce.
The next two tournaments are on Cherokee Lake out of Morristown Bridge. The first tournament is today; and the second will be from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. (night tournament) on April 12.