TJ grabs his 2nd AOY title of 2023, Eric Tracey looking more and more like the "King of the River Rats", and much more in this week's HKB Top Performers Recap!
Week 21 flew by just like the summer and really, the whole 2023 season has. It's hard to believe we are just a few short weeks away from championship season and before long, we will be wrapping up the year with the Turkey Bowl. That all said, there was some solid action in week 21 and we have the full breakdown for you!
GRBY | DOGWOOD LAKE #5 PRESENTED BY THE ROD GLOVE
Dogwood is a wrap and TJ Aylward is your 2023 Dogwood Series AOY! This is TJ's second AOY of the season. He wrapped up the GRBY Blue Grass AOY last month and though it's an outside chance, TJ is still mathematically in the running for GRBY Overall Lake AOY. Pretty impressive season!
15 anglers competed in the final event of the inaugural season of the GRBY Dogwood Series. Over 90 fish were submitted in this one, with 8 anglers breaking the 70-inch mark.
Gary Freeman of Indianapolis fished on the final day of the event, putting up 78.00 inches even & blocking James "The Sheriff" Miller from the victory.
James posted 77.50 on Friday and that held up through the weekend and bumped James to 2nd, thanks to an 18.00 kicker.
David Mills finished 3rd on the podium with 74.75 inches.
The Final Big Bass Honors of this series went to Haviland Watkins, thanks to her 19.00 inch chuck of a largemouth bass.
GRBY | TIPPECANOE RIVER SERIES #4 PRESENTED BY BO'S BAITS
Another great event went down on the Tippy this past week, despite a slight interruption on Sunday due to some flash flooding. Unfortunately, the Sunday crew was unable to compete due to safety concerns with flow rates after Saturday's downpours.
The anglers fishing Thursday - Saturday however, put up some really solid limits. In total for the event, there were 9 anglers out of the 17 that competed who posted a limit of 70 inches or better.
Jason Kennedy of Danville, IN posted the largest bag of the derby on Saturday, measuring an 82.00-inch limit, anchored by a 19.25" & 19.00" Bronzeback.
Closely behind the leader was the red-hot, Eric Tracy, with 80.50 inches. Eric is owning the GRBY Overall River Series AOY so far this year.
This event bumps his lowest score at 92 and takes him to a total of 686 PTS leading 2nd place, Randal Keiser, by 29 pts. Eric also now is in control of the Tippy Series AOY, taking the hot seat from Glenn Landstrom, who did not compete in this event.
Jim Bailey continues to have a great season chasing big smallies. He takes 3rd in this one with 79.50 inches and also claims the Big Bass Cash, thanks to his 19.50" smallie.
GRBY | NE TRAIL STOP #4 ST. JOSEPH RIVER PRESENTED BY POOR BOYS BAITS
The GRBY NE Trail traveled to the St. Joseph River for the 4th stop of the series. The results were not nearly as exciting as the Tippy or the past White River events. Only 12 anglers participated in this one. 49 fish were submitted and 6 of the 12 anglers were able to find a limit. 3 anglers blanked and the Smallie Crusher himself, Cole Garland, was only able to find one bite. So as you can see, this was a tough one.
Jared Mitchell of Fort Wayne, IN had something figured out though. He posted a winning limit of 71.75 inches on Sunday and even culled 3 times.
Kevin Hopson finished just shy of the lead with 71.25 inches including the Big Bass of the derby a 16.50" Largemouth.
Kevin is leading the Series AOY race by 44 points over Hunter Ingle, but Larry Reyes and James Miller are coming in hot. Both anglers have only 3 events and are looking to nab the title in the 5th and final event of the series coming up later this month on Webster Lake.
Donald Mitchell rounded out the Top 3 with 68 inches even.
In case you missed it, we brought back HKB LIVE last week. But this time, we're doing things differently. We ditch the office and the living room couch and we're talking life and fishing with anglers from the Hoosier State and beyond, all from the water.
In episode one of the all-new HKB LIVE, HKB Founder, Sam Jones, met up with Tweezy, Gramps, and Bryan Sparks on the water for a fun challenge we dubbed the "3X3X3 Challenge"
Check out the Live recording below to see all the action.
Congratulations to all the week 21 Top Performers
With several GRBY Series already wrapped up, there are far fewer events week to week but the ones that do remain are crucial to anglers looking to qualify for championships and close out their respective AOY Race on top.
Only two derbies are set for this weekend, including a staple here in the Hoosier State - the annual IKA White River Event.
For more information on the IKA event, as well as the upcoming USA Bassin event and future events in the state, check out the UPNEXT section below.