2023 State Qualifier Recap

The Iowa Bass Federation was formed in early 2023 joining over 40+ state chapters that make up The Bass Federation “TBF”. TBF is the oldest and largest organized  grassroots fishing, youth, and conservation organization there is. TBF provides an avenue for anglers to fish close to home and advance thru club and state federation events to qualify for the National Semi-Finals with our partners in Nebraska and South Dakota. From here each state advances one boater and one co-angler to the TBF National Championship where anglers compete for their chance at the “Living the Dream” package. The LYD package includes over $125,000 in cash/prices  for the first place boater including a new Ranger Z520 powered by a 250hp Mercury outboard. The TBF National Champion pays out over $400,000 in cash and prizes across the entirety of the championship making it an excellent path to start local and advance to national level tournaments as a boater or co-angler.

On July 15th – 16th , 2023 the Iowa Bass Federation held there first state qualifiers at Lake Rathbun.  Each day provides a new opportunity as 3 boaters and 3 co anglers advance each day to the District 8 TBF National Semi-Final.   Lake Rathbun is known to be a tough bass fishery overall, but the potential to catch some of the biggest bass in the state keeps anglers coming back for more.  5-6lb bass are common for Lake Rathbun and our first state qualifier doubled down on the reputation the lake holds. On day 1 we saw over half the field bring in a 5 bass limit, with 7 bass over 5lb hitting the scales including the day 1 big bass of 6.09lb!

Day 1 Leaders in the boater division

1st Place Jamie Taylor with 19.87lb. Big Fish 5.54lb

2nd Place Mike Wheaton with 14.25lb. Big Fish 5.17lb

3rd Place Coy Baird with 12.73lb. Big fish for the day at 6.09lb

Co- Angler division

1st Place Trent Mcdermott with 13.09lb

2nd Place Kale Baird with 12.55lb. Big Bass on the Co Angler side 5.62lb

3rd Place Hunter Fry with 11.95lb

These 3 boaters and 3 co-anglers secured there spot in the District 8 TBF National Semi Final that is being held on Lake Okoboji September 23rd-24th.

On Day 2 the weights are reset and anglers head back out to chase the remaining 3 boater and 3 co anglers spots for the TBF National Semi Final.   Day 2 Rathbun proved to be much tougher with only 7 boaters and 2 co anglers bringing in a limit.   The big fish still made an appearance with 4 bass over 5lb and the overall big bass of the event at 6.34lb! These hawgs are a prime example of what keeps anglers coming to Lake Rathbun despite numbers of fish typically being on the lower side.

Day 2 Leaders in the boater division

1st Place Nate Maher with 15.01lb. Big Bass 5.11lb

2nd Place Cody Batterson with 14.28lb. Big Bass 4.73lb

3rd Place Jamie Taylor with 10.39lb

Jamie was the only angler to finish in the top 3 both days. Since he qualified on day 1 the 4th place angler on day 2 would advance to the National Semi Final”

4th Place with 9.56lb. Big Bass out of both days 6.34lb

Co Angler Division

1st Place Brad Rockwood with 8.76lb. Big Bass 4.54lb

2nd Place Darrin Kirkland with 7.88lb. Big Bass 4.95lb

3rd Place Bill Denniston with 7.55lb

These 6 boaters and 6 co anglers have all qualified for the District 8 TBF National Semi Final at Lake Okoboji on September 22nd-23rd, where 1 boater and 1 co angler will advance to the TBF National Championship for their chance to compete for the Living the Dream package valued over $125,000 in cash/prizes.  Huge shout out to Bob Harris and the South West Iowa Fishing Team “SWIFT” for supporting us with all of the weigh in equipment and facilitating a well ran event.  Bob Harris is the glue that makes all of this possible and we cannot thank him enough. If you have not already go check out Swift and all of the great things they have going for the youth anglers in the state.   Next stop Okoboji in September for the National Semi Final. We will see you there!