HKB TOP PERFORMERS | WEEK NINE
Tweezy on Fire, DQ confusion, a Blowout on Brush, and much more in this week's recap!
Week nine brought the drama, both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. More on the “bad” later but right now, let's focus on the good!
We had 5 great derbies this week, not including the ongoing KBF State Challenge and IKA Big Bass Hunt. GRBY hosted four events and USA Bassin was also in the mix on Monroe Lake.
Let's break down all the action, one by one.
GRBY | Summit Lake - Presented by Gettin Jiggy With It Bait & Tackle
Talk about a “slugfest” !! Summit Lake is fishing extremely well this year and the competition is fierce. 34 anglers signed up for the 2nd event in the 2023 season and only a handful of anglers did not find a limit. The rest of the field managed to find some solid bags, with 21 anglers over the 70-inch mark. More impressively, 7 anglers broke into the ’80s!
Missouri Waite opened up the Derby on Thursday with an 85.75-inch limit and set the Big Bass bar at 20 inches for the remaining competitors to fish Friday through Monday.
But the red-hot, Antoine Hayes, aka Tweezy, did what he's been doing all season… Dropping the hammer and taking the lead with 86.50 inches!! Things got even more spicy on Saturday when Nick “The Hammer '' Mattews made a run for it himself, but ultimately ran out of time finishing just shy of Tweezy with 86 inches even.
Ryan Platt tried to derail things for Hayes on Monday and block him from his first GRBY win of the season. Ryan put up a strong performance early, posting a limit of 84.00 inches but wasn't able to put the kicker he needed in the boat, leaving the top 3 as it was.
Travis Boles of Anderson, IN. found himself a Summit Lake tank and took home some Big Bass money, edging out Missouri’s 20 with a 20.50-inch largemouth bass.
GRBY | Dogwood Lake - Presented by The Rod Glove
The Dogwood season is quickly progressing as the 3rd event of the season came to its conclusion on Monday. This one was also a super tight battle, with a tie for 1st!
By GRBY rules, ties are broken with big fish, so that puts Jesse “The Hacker” Kinser in the top spot on the final day and Justin Toney in 2nd. The red-hot, TJ Aylward, was right behind the top two though, just one inch to be exact. TJ took 3rd with 74.50”. One inch away from a 3-way tie, how crazy would that have been?
Jesse’s tie-breaking/winning fish was also the Big Bass of the event, at 18.25 inches. Pretty solid payday for the first lady to break into a podium position this season.
GRBY | Brush Creek - Presented by Backyard Custom Plastics
While most of the competitions this week were super tight, Brush Creek, or more specifically Tommy Ginder, dared to be different. This event was a Blowout!
Tommy Ginder put it away on Thursday when he threw up an impressive 87.75” limit, anchored by the Big Bass of the event, a 20.75-inch football of a largemouth bass.
Tommy led 2nd place by more than ten inches. The Top 3 anglers - Tommy, Scott Rowe, and Jim Strunk all fished Thursday and seemingly broke the lake because limits and quality keepers became almost impossible to find Friday through Monday.
This lake is definitely improving over last year, but it's still proving to be very fickle from day to day.
GRBY | Columbus Moving Water - Presented by Humble Joe's Coffee
Well, we opened up this recap by mentioning there was some drama this week, both good & bad depending on how you look at it. Well, the “bad” drama referred to the unfortunate DQ of the original leader of this event. However, the details of which have left a few scratching their heads.
If you follow the GRBY Facebook Group, you may have noticed some chatter in the thread and may have even seen a go-live from GRBY founder, Jim Strunk, addressing some of the rumors swirling about the events that took place on Saturday with Troy Riggins and Hunter Hoffman.
Sources tell us Troy and Hunter made a float together on Saturday and early on in the day, Hunter capsized causing him to lose some gear and his phone. Obviously, once you're downriver on a float, your only real option is to complete it. So that's exactly what they did. Where things started getting sticky was when Hunter continued to fish and Troy assisted him by allowing him to use his kayak and phone to capture and submit his photos.
This was to some, a violation of the rules. GRBY’s ruling was that this did not break any rules and was completely allowable. This was made clear in the go-live from Jim that I mentioned earlier, where he emphasized that GRBY was a fun, friendly, competitive fishing club.
More issues were raised as anglers began to weigh in on the debate and the community began to look at the fish submitted. As a result, another red flag was waved in regards to one of Hunter's photo submissions, in which the 1st character of the identifier code, that Hunter had written on his hand, was blocked by his or Troy's tether. Jim also commented on this concern writing, “We were able to make the ID out. I stated what I thought the ID was without knowing and it was right.”
While there was some back and forth in the threads, most shared their support of Jim and the GRBY admin group for their decision to not DQ any of Hunters Fish. Many saying that GRBY’s commitment to keeping it fun was what they loved about this club.
Jim Bailey, a long-time member of the GRBY group said, “There are plenty of clubs where competition and adherence to rules is paramount. It’s an awesome thing that GRBY is there to keep new anglers from being quickly discouraged. It’s a $35 dollar fun tournament! Just ask yourself, would you pay $35 for your entertainment for 8 hours? That sounds like an awesome deal in today’s economy! Go catch fish and have fun!”
Now, it seemed as if it would end there however, if you checked the leaderboard you may have noticed things look a little different now.
While reviewing the challenges and conversation swirling the confusion around Hunter's photo submission, The GRBY admin group was notified that Hunter was wearing an inflatable PFD at the time he capsized and the PFD did inflate.
Under GRBY rules and state law, the moment the PFD was deflated, it was no longer a viable safety device. Under our understanding, Hunter did not have another PFD or backup tank and he continued to fish and make submissions, leading to his disqualification.
GRBY Columbus Moving Waters TD, Mitchell McColum, released this statement in regard to the PFD Rules.
“PSA!!!!! If you wear an inflatable PFD and for any reason it deploys you have a few options to continue competitively fishing. First, you can leave it inflated until you get off the water. Second, get to a safe area or shoreline repack and rearm with a new kit. Or third, wear a conventional style PFD and none of this is an issue. Failure to rearm or leave inflated, means you are not properly wearing a coast guard approved PFD and will be DQ from the event.”
While a competitor DQ is never what anyone wants, this does put the most important topic of all back at the forefront and that is angler safety. Regardless of the confusion that led up to the call made by GRBY admins, ultimately the right call was made.
With the DQ of Hunter Hoffman, the official leaderboard has Troy Riggins now in first with 71.50” and Alex Deneau right behind him with 71 inches even. Randall Kiser rounded out the top 3 with 66.25” inches.
Big Bass Honors went to Eric Hyatt with a beautiful 18.00” Smallmouth Bass.
This series may have gotten off to a rocky start, but the series has some potential to become another staple in the GRBY format.
USA BASSIN | Lake Monroe - Presented by Jackson Kayaks
Another disappointing turnout for this new series. Only four anglers competed Saturday on Monroe Lake and only four fish submitted. It's obvious that anglers are not only struggling to sign up but those that have, are struggling to find a bite, let alone a limit. That said, we still hope to see the tides change for this Series. Monroe definitely has the potential to provide some awesome fishing competition and the USA Bassin format has proven to be successful for years, so there is no doubt that with time, the new Jackson Kayak Trail will take off here in the Hoosier State.
What a week - Congratulations to all the Top Performers from week 9!
Week Ten is here and it's bringing some more great opportunities to fish from GRBY and we also have SIYAK back in the lineup this week. Check out what's up next down below and get signed up before registration closes!