HKB TOP PERFORMERS | WEEK 18 & 19
Glenn and Wyatt finally get the Win they’ve been looking for, Tweezy racks up more podiums, Ohio's Scott Rowe steals another one, and three more AOY’s are crowned. All that and more in this double edition of HKB Top Performers.
So as some of you saw, I took a little trip up north last week and with that, there was no Top Performers Recap, but we got it all in another double edition this week as we cover weeks 18 and 19.
Starting with 18, which was an absolute blast. Maybe I’m biased, but it was one of the best weeks of fishing we’ve seen. Not only were a lot of fish caught, but there were a ton of events and some great battles.
IKA | #4 GSSF DUGGER (EAST) PRESENTED BY MOVING WATER OUTFITTERS
IKA hosted its 4th event of the season. This time in Dugger, Indiana. 41 anglers competed on the east Duggar unit of the Green Sullivan State Forest.
With seven pits open to the anglers, there was a lot of strategy at play in this one. Some anglers hedged all their bets on one lake, while others opted to find a quick limit before relocating to a pit where they felt they could get a kicker bite or two.
In the end, it appears that picking a pit and sticking with it was the winning strategy and if my memory serves me correctly, that was the strategy for at least the top 5.
Coming in with an epic bag of 87.25 Inches was the unstoppable, Ryan Platt. This is his 2nd win of the IKA season and he now controls the AOY race going into the last event of the regular season.
Ryan caught most of his fish on a Neko rig targeting grass lines in the 6-12ft range on Bass Lake.
Ryan's Neko Rig Setup: Daiwa Neko fat worm with a 1/8 once nail weight buried into the worms head with a size one neko hook.
Larry Reyes earned himself some IKA Hardware posting 83.25 inches for 2nd place and in 3rd place with 83.50 inches, was Josh Robbins.
Just missing the podium was James Miller, this kid is catching them everywhere he goes. Truly Impressive.
Aidan Darlington was among the top competitors in this one and though he opted not to submit his limit, he did of course submit his biggest catch of the day -an x inch largemouth which earned him some Big Bass cash.
GRBY | TIPPECANOE RIVER SERIES #3 PRESENTED BY BO'S BAITS
Glenn Landstrom finally put all the pieces together on the Tippy and got the Win he has been working so hard for. Not only did Glenn get the W, but he did it in a BIG way! Blowing out the 22 angler field, Glenn posted a 88.75” bag of smallmouth bass. Glenn led the field by more than 10 inches.
Glenn submitted one of two trophy Indian Smallmouth, both he and Tim Hiddle landed 21.00 inch smallies but Glenn won the tie-breaker with his next biggest coming in at 19.00 inches.
Coming in 2nd was Eric Tracey with 77.25 Inches. Eric is also now sitting in 2nd behind Glenn in the series AOY race. Glenn currently holds a 5-point lead over Eric going into the final 2 events.
However, Eric's 2nd place finish did give him the lead in the GRBY Overall River AOY. Now with 679 points, Eric is fully in control of this race and only needs to hold on a little bit longer. Plus, there is no doubt he will likely improve his own score before the season is up.
Rounding out the Top 3 was Wes Ward who also posted 77.25”
GRBY | BISCHOFF RESERVOIR #5 PRESENTED BY BLUE'S BAIT'S
Bischoff wrapped up its series with an epic battle. The AOY race has been intense all year and going into the final event there were several possible outcomes. Scott Rowe of Ohio needed a win in order to claim the title and he did just that! Well, the win part…
Scott Rowe posted 79.25 inches on Thursday and took the W, his second win of the season. Unfortunately, not only did he need a win, he needed Jason Merrit to slip a bit.
Jason didn't slip though, he grabbed a top 5 and with it, the Series AOY Title.
Another AOY Contender, Antoine Hayes (Tweezy) also did what he needed to do, putting up 71.50 for a 2nd place finish.
Not only did he get on the podium and take home some cash, but his top finish moved him up into the GRBY Lake Overall AOY lead. Taking the hot seat from that of Ryan Reedy.
Thomas Fordonski finished 3rd in this one with 70.50 inches and Big Bass honors went to Chirstopher Bryant with a 19.25 inch Largemouth Bass.
GRBY | SULLIVAN LAKE #4 PRESENTED BY AMERICAN LEGACY
Ol’ Sully was once again unpredictable at best, I don't think I've seen a lake so fickle. This place has the ability to put up numbers and the Bigs. Sully has shown us this time and time again, yet still, we see events where it seems as if no one can catch, with the exception of a few, but we also see ones where everyone seems to be on them.
In this event, it was a mix of both with some anglers getting several bites and a few getting no bites. Out of 22 anglers, 12 submitted a fish, and only 5 limits over the 70-in mark.
Wyatt Gard brought in the biggest bag and biggest bass of the event. With a 77.25-inch limit and a 21-inch Kicker.
Wyatt takes the W and makes the AOY race very interesting and he is now within striking distance of Ryan Reedy.
Tweezy seemed to be in a slight slump lately, but he is starting to get back to his winning ways, finishing 2nd for the second time this week. Hayes had 76.75 including an 18.50 kicker.
Yours truly (Sam Jones), rounded out the Top 3 with 72.25 inches.
SIYAK | #6 BLUE RIVER PRESENTED BY BIOENNO POWER
The AOY battle you can't help but be obsessed over, just got really tight. With Adam Murray out for this one, the door was left wide open for Matt Kiefer and MH3 to make their move.
Matt had to have a win. Unfortunately, he fell just short. Finishing in 2nd place with 68.50 inches. MH3 However didn't have to win but needed to finish in the top 5 to keep his hopes alive and he did just that.
Dalton Over was the king of the river though on Sunday, taking home the W thanks to a 68.50 inch limit. His kicker, a 15.50 inch smallmouth, was also good enough for some Big Bass Cash!
Rounding out the top 3 was Ryan Becker with 62.75 inches.
USA BASSIN | MONROE LAKE #4 PRESENTED BY JACKSON KAYAK
A slightly better turnout and better results for this USA Bassin series in week 19. Seven anglers competed in this one. 23 fish were submitted to the leaderboard, 7 of which were caught by Rick McClain. Rick's best five went for 74.50 earning him the victory. In 2nd place was David Elsea with 74.00 inches and in 3rd, Jaden Chase with 64.25 inches.
Goodness, the competition is fierce this year, and week 19 was a great example of that. With the AOY Races really being close and just some great fishing, there was plenty to get excited about in week 19.
GRBY | RACCOON LAKE #4 PRESENTED BY XZONE LURES
This one was a slugfest! While there weren't many bigs caught, there were plenty of limits being submitted and culls being made. In fact, there were over 20 limits submitted, 14 of which were over the 70-inch mark.
The only angler to break the 80-inch mark was Anthony Brown of Greencastle, Indiana. Anthony posted 81 inches on Friday thanks to an 18” kicker.
In second was Chad Cummings. Chad had 79.75 which also included an 18’ kicker, tying Anthony for Big Bass, but Chad had a 16.75” to back it up and break the tie.
2020-2021 GRBY Raccoon Lake Series AOY, Brian Moore found himself in 3rd at lines out on Monday. Coach landed a quick limit and then upgraded 5 times before finishing out the event with 78 inches.
Brian's top 3 finish gives him the series AOY lead by 1 point over AOY Hopeful, Steve Martin, who stumbled in this event, finishing in 10th.
GRBY | BLUE GRASS FWA #5 PRESENTED BY BIZZ BAITS
Blue Grass is a Wrap for 2023. While it seemed this series' results were down a bit in 2023, there were still plenty of big bass submissions and some great dogfights along the way, including the final event this past week.
After 5 events, we have our 3rd GRBY Blue Grass Series AOY, Mr TJ Aylward!
Taking home the final victory for the series was Jacob Singer with 90 inches, including a 20” kicker.
Adam Cartwright had one last push for AOY and nearly got it done. Unfortunately, even though he had Big Bass of the event, Adam wasn't able to cull a 15.50 he needed to to take the W. Ryan finished in 2nd in both this event and the series AOY race.
Matt Kiefer rounded out the Top 3 with 86.50 inches.
GRBY | BRUSH CREEK RESERVOIR #5 PRESENTED BY BACKYARD CUSTOM PLASTICS
James Miller, aka “The Sheriff”, showed everyone once again who is in charge - putting up an 89-inch bag for the Victory. James only fished the last 2 events in this series, finishing 2nd in the last event and 1st in this one. The AOY Race leaders should all be thankful he didn't get in his four events because it's likely the result would look a little different.
Kentucky's Chris Hogan lands 84.25 inches for 2nd place and Ryan Reedy cashes in on 3rd with 68.50, over 15 inches back from the Top 2. Insane gap at the top.
Big Bass honors went to Justin Ayers with a 20.75” Largemouth Bass.
Your 2023 Bischoff Reservoir AOY is Scott Rowe, which will now be known as the Buckeye Bandit. Yeah, that's right, this Ohio boy came over a stole this one right out from underneath all you Hoosier boys...
USA BASSIN KAYAK TRAIL | PATOKA LAKE DIV. #4 PRESENTED BY JACKSON KAYAK#4
Again, just 7 anglers signed up for this one. Unlike Monroe, results did not trend in the right direction. Only 4 fish were submitted, three of which were caught by Marcus Grubbs who had a total of 36 inches.
Alright!!! That is it for this double edition. Next week is full of good events so check those out below, we will have all the week 20 action plus a look at the month-long and year-long events.
Congratulations once again to our week 18 and 19 HKB Top Performers.
GRBY | WHITE RIVER (7/27 -7/31)
GRBY | NYONA (7/27 -7/31)
GRBY | SUMMIT LAKE (7/27 -7/31)