Kentucky’s Michael Boggs Takes First Round Lead In B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

Date:

Michael Boggs II of Kentucky caught 20 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on the first day of the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan on Lake Conroe in Conroe, Texas.

Photo by Craig Lamb/Bassmaster

Nov. 17, 2016

Kentucky’s Michael Boggs Takes First Round Lead In B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

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CONROE, Texas — Michael Boggs II of Kentucky surprised everyone at the 2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan with his 20-pound, 10-ounce limit of bass, heaviest of the day.

It was a surprise because it was near the end of the first-day weigh-in on Texas’ Lake Conroe, and no one else had even come close.

“I’m tickled to death,” said Boggs, who is representing Kentucky but lives in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good all week,” Boggs added. “I caught some 5- and 6-pounders in practice, so I knew they were there. But today was a tough day, and I really had to work for it. And I worked all day long!”

He means that sincerely. In the last hour-and-a-half, he and his nonboater partner, Bradley Rilling of Georgia, caught at least 20 fish. Boggs was still culling 20 minutes before he checked in at Lakeview Marina.

Boggs was one of only eight anglers out of 113 to bring in a limit of five bass. The minimum length limit on Lake Conroe is 16 inches, which proved difficult for many competitors, who measured multiple 15 1/2-inch fish. Forty-one anglers failed to weigh in a single bass, many of them citing the length — not the quantity caught — as the reason.

“If someone would come up with a fish stretcher of some sort, they’d make a million dollars,” said Scott Green of Vermont, one of the competitors who zeroed.

Boggs’ closest competitor was Greg Vance of Iowa, who weighed in 15 pounds, 11 ounces, nearly 5 pounds behind Boggs.

“I thought I could get 15 pounds, but I didn’t think it would put me near the top,” Vance said. “I thought it would just keep me in the Top 15.”

Several anglers said the wind kept them on the move; it was hard for them to hold still on one spot for long. Boggs had the same experience.

“The wind made it tough,” he said. “But I fished a lot of spots today, and I still have a lot left for tomorrow.”

Boggs credits baits from Power Team Lures for his Day 1 lead, although he’s keeping the type and color of lures a secret for now. Other anglers said jigs were key and that crankbaits were moderately successful. But most are staying tight-lipped, hoping to divulge their perfect bait after the final-day weigh-in on Saturday, while holding the trophy.

The trophy comes with a special prize — a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, in March 2017 on this same body of water.

“I’ve dreamed of going to the Classic since I was 8 years old,” Boggs said through tears, with his son, Nicholas, tearing up next to him.
To do that, though, Boggs has to keep up the hard work for the next two days.

“I’ve got to do it again tomorrow,” he said. “Hopefully, it will hold up.”

On the nonboater side, Rick Hamer took the lead with 14 pounds, 7 ounces. He was the only nonboater to catch a limit of five bass.

“I was matching the hatch,” said Hamer, referring to matching the color of the forage with his soft plastics, which were made by a new lure company, FYAO.

Hamer and his boater partner, Andrew Sams of Maryland, spent lots of time on Thursday moving around, dodging the wind.

“We were getting crushed by the wind,” Hamer said. “We just kept going places to keep out of the wind.”

Despite the relatively low weights outside of the Top 10, Jon Harshbarger of Kaufman, Texas, said he knows the lake and the quality of bass it holds.

“Conroe produces one-day limits of 18, 21 and 24 pounds sometimes,” he said. “It’s got ’em; they’re not eating.”

Maybe the bass will eat on Friday, which will be the last day of competition for most anglers. The only remaining competitors for the final day will be the Top 10 boaters, the nonboater champion (the top nonboater at the end of Day 2) and the best two boaters from each of the three regions (Eastern, Central and Western) if they have not already qualified as part of the Top 10.

The Top 3 at the end of Saturday will earn berths in the 2017 Classic, as well as paid entry into the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens series of their choice, and the B.A.S.S. Nation’s Best prize package, which is the use of a Toyota Tundra truck and a fully rigged, tournament-ready Phoenix boat for one year. A 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series berth is on the line, too.

The nonboater champion will also win paid entry into the Opens division of choice, a boat and a spot as a marshal in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic.

Two bright spots in the first day of competition were a few big bass brought in that lit up the crowd.

Jason Vaughn of Delaware caught the biggest of the day, a 7-pound, 3-ounce bass. The biggest on the nonboater side was a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass by Justin Barnes of Alabama.

Competition resumes Friday from Lakeview Marina, 880 Beach Boulevard, in Conroe at 6:45 a.m. CT when the anglers take off for Day 2. The weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. CT at the same place. All events are free and open to the public.

The tournament is hosted by the Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau.

2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan 11/17-11/19
Lake Conroe, Conroe  TX.
(BOATER) Standings Day 1

Angler                     Hometown                No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Michael Boggs II       Portsmouth, OH           5  20-10    0
  Day 1: 5   20-10
2.  Greg Vance             Dubuque, IA              5  15-11    0
  Day 1: 5   15-11
3.  Mike Wolfenden         Warwick, RI              5  14-12    0
  Day 1: 5   14-12
4.  Brent Long             Iron Station, NC         5  14-07    0
  Day 1: 5   14-07
5.  Timothy Klinger        Boulder City, NV         5  13-07    0
  Day 1: 5   13-07
6.  Darrell Ocamica        Fruitland, ID            5  13-06    0
  Day 1: 5   13-06
7.  Ivan Morris            Virginia Beach, VA       5  12-07    0
  Day 1: 5   12-07
8.  Danny Grantham         Mobile, AL               4  11-12    0
  Day 1: 4   11-12
9.  Nicholas Papotto       Meriden , CT             4  11-06    0
  Day 1: 4   11-06
10. Dave McCoy             Plattsmouth, NE          3  10-15    0
  Day 1: 3   10-15
11. Josh Ray               Alexander, AR            3  10-12    0
  Day 1: 3   10-12
12. Jason Vaughn           Laurel, DE               2  10-03    0
  Day 1: 2   10-03
13. Matt Pangrac           Norman , OK              3  09-14    0
  Day 1: 3   09-14
14. Andrew Sams            Easton, MD               3  08-10    0
  Day 1: 3   08-10
15. JJ Dickens             Beaver, WV               3  08-03    0
  Day 1: 3   08-03
16. Rob Digh               Denver, NC               2  08-01    0
  Day 1: 2   08-01
17. Nate Caldwell          Ft Collins, CO           3  07-15    0
  Day 1: 3   07-15
18. Brian Brooks           Mt Epraim, NJ            3  07-14    0
  Day 1: 3   07-14
19. Arnie Lane             Lakeland, FL             2  07-10    0
  Day 1: 2   07-10
20. Ron Mace               Kennewick, WA            3  07-02    0
  Day 1: 3   07-02
20. Bubba O'Neill          Evanston, WY             3  07-02    0
  Day 1: 3   07-02
22. Jon Harshbarger        Kaufman, TX              2  06-03    0
  Day 1: 2   06-03
23. Brett Logue            Lincoln, NE              2  05-15    0
  Day 1: 2   05-15
24. Mark Lodge             Alfred, ME               2  05-14    0
  Day 1: 2   05-14
25. Kalib Lund             Glendale, AZ             2  05-04    0
  Day 1: 2   05-04
26. Ryan Buttermore        Leetsdale, PA            2  04-14    0
  Day 1: 2   04-14
26. David Mays             Portland, OR             2  04-14    0
  Day 1: 2   04-14
28. Mark Cavanaugh         Port Perry ONTARIO CANA  2  04-13    0
  Day 1: 2   04-13
28. Grayson Smith          Clarksville, TN          2  04-13    0
  Day 1: 2   04-13
30. Mark Nies              Cannelton, IN            2  04-09    0
  Day 1: 2   04-09
31. Edgar Romero           Leon MEXICO              2  04-05    0
  Day 1: 2   04-05
32. Joe Burchill           Brighton , MA            1  04-02    0
  Day 1: 1   04-02
33. Ted Heitschmidt        Tomahawk, WI             1  03-14    0
  Day 1: 1   03-14
34. John Plumlee           Branson, MO              1  03-10    0
  Day 1: 1   03-10
35. William Lortz II       Rochester, NY            1  03-08    0
  Day 1: 1   03-08
36. Danny Carter           Hernando, MS             1  03-07    0
  Day 1: 1   03-07
37. Mark Lassagne          San Ramon, CA            1  03-03    0
  Day 1: 1   03-03
38. Jay Evans              Corvallis, MT            1  03-02    0
  Day 1: 1   03-02
39. Tony Beck              Social Circle, GA        1  02-14    0
  Day 1: 1   02-14
40. Chris Brimager         Andover, KS              1  02-13    0
  Day 1: 1   02-13
41. David Cavell           Prairieville, LA         1  02-05    0
  Day 1: 1   02-05
42. Bill Brown             Grand Junction, CO       1  02-04    0
  Day 1: 1   02-04
43. Filipe Almeida         Coimbra PORTUGAL         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Randy Campbell         Sandia Park, NM          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Albert Collins         Nacogdoches, TX          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Mitchell Cone          Willow Tree New South W  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Mark Dimarzio          Franconia, NH            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Neil Engelbrecht       Windhoek Khomas NAMIBIA  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Kurt Glass             Grovetown, GA            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Scott Green            Waterbury Center, VT     0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Naoaki Ishikawa        Akiruno Tokyo JAPAN      0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Michael Kazmierczak    Lemont, IL               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Tom Kiefer             Fowlerville, MI          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Adrian Luff            George Western Cape SOU  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Brian Mailot           Columbus, OH             0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Josh Nelson            Saint Bonifacius, MN     0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Strati Orphanides      Marondera ZIMBABWE       0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
43. Luca Salvato           Curtarolo ITALY          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1         7       107       318-13
----------------------------------
           7       107       318-13
2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan 11/17-11/19
Lake Conroe, Conroe  TX.
(NON_BOATER) Standings Day 1

Angler                     Hometown                No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Rick Hamer             Charleston, WV           5  14-07    0
  Day 1: 5   14-07
2.  Ryan Lavigne           Gonzales, LA             4  11-14    0
  Day 1: 4   11-14
3.  Brock Enmeier          Enid, OK                 3  09-11    0
  Day 1: 3   09-11
4.  Justin Barnes          MONROEVILLE, AL          2  09-03    0
  Day 1: 2   09-03
5.  Mike Coleman           Pinoeer, CA              2  08-12    0
  Day 1: 2   08-12
6.  Tim Frohlich Jr        Independence, KY         2  08-09    0
  Day 1: 2   08-09
7.  Shane Stiehl           Winner, SD               3  08-05    0
  Day 1: 3   08-05
8.  Dan Carrigan           Citrus Springs, FL       2  06-15    0
  Day 1: 2   06-15
9.  Jonathan Robla         Norawood, NY             2  05-15    0
  Day 1: 2   05-15
10. Jarrod Sherwood        Vassar, MI               1  05-05    0
  Day 1: 1   05-05
11. Kevin Noel             Burlington, CT           2  05-03    0
  Day 1: 2   05-03
12. Bradley Rilling        Brooks, GA               2  04-11    0
  Day 1: 2   04-11
13. Michael Duarte         Middle River, MD         2  04-10    0
  Day 1: 2   04-10
14. Josh Cotier            Clinton, MA              2  04-05    0
  Day 1: 2   04-05
15. Dave Frost             Apopka, FL               1  03-14    0
  Day 1: 1   03-14
16. Stefan Adamchick       Monterrey MEXICO         1  03-13    0
  Day 1: 1   03-13
17. Michael Lebsack        Duluth, MN               1  03-12    0
  Day 1: 1   03-12
18. David Porter           Rockwall, TX             1  03-07    0
  Day 1: 1   03-07
19. Lee Wubbels            Lincoln, NE              1  03-04    0
  Day 1: 1   03-04
20. Jeremy Arnold          Concord, NH              1  03-02    0
  Day 1: 1   03-02
21. Riley Hansen           Sandy , UT               1  03-01    0
  Day 1: 1   03-01
22. Justin Harris          McPherson, KS            1  02-14    0
  Day 1: 1   02-14
23. Jody Adkins            Navarre, OH              1  02-12    0
  Day 1: 1   02-12
23. Amos Dixon             Camden, DE               1  02-12    0
  Day 1: 1   02-12
25. Steven Conde           Chepachet, RI            1  02-09    0
  Day 1: 1   02-09
25. Jon Hickey             Weiser, ID               1  02-09    0
  Day 1: 1   02-09
25. Curt Hughes            Greenwood, IN            1  02-09    0
  Day 1: 1   02-09
28. Bert Cooper            Huntsville, TN           1  02-04    0
  Day 1: 1   02-04
29. Chris Barrett          Vaughan ONTARIO CANADA   1  02-02    0
  Day 1: 1   02-02
30. Danny Fourr            Waterflow, NM            1  02-01    0
  Day 1: 1   02-01
31. John Bernard           McKees Rocks, PA         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Chris Brewer           Jay, ME                  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Loren Bryant           Phoenix, AZ              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Kyle Coffman           Minbun, IA               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Daniel Elsner          Green Bay, WI            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Andre Fidalgo          Parreira PORTUGAL        0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Becca Golightly        Preston, ID              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Addam Gross            Cove, OR                 0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Jeff Hager             Alexis, NC               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Ron Hanhart            Harare Mashonaland ZIMB  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Garry Harman           Adare Queensland AUSTRA  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Scott Hausman          Las Vegas, NV            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Edward Owens           Hemingway, SC            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Mauro Salvato          Curtarolo ITALY          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. John Santos            Penrose, CO              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Creighton Sawyer       Houston, AR              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Christopher Selsor Jr  Sparta, MO               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Zackery Shaff          Untion, KY               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Michael Valentine      Laurel , MS              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Kevin Voss             Bensenville, IL          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Yuya Wakebe            Odawara Kanagawa JAPAN   0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Jake Weaver            Columbia Falls, MT       0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Bob Wetzler            Rutland, VT              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Alec Williams          Windhoek NAMIBIA         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
31. Larry Witt             Forest, VA               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1         1        50       154-10
----------------------------------
           1        50       154-10

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