2019 SEASON IN REVIEW
The 2019 Fish On Bass Anglers schedule comprised of 13 tournaments: 9 one day tournaments and 4 two day tournaments (including the classic) for a total of 17 tournament days. FOBA anglers brought 1,369 fish to the scales for a total weight of 2,422 lbs. Although over 150 more fish were caught in 2019, the total weight actually decreased by 4 lbs., causing the average fish size to drop to 1.74 lbs. The catch per angler per tournament day (for both divisions) was 2.84 fish for 5.00 lbs.
The 2018 FOBA fish release rate of 99.3% somehow managed to get even higher, rising to 99.8%! That is a total of only 3 dead fish out of over 1,369 for the entire season! This is in part due to FOBA’s newly adopted Catch-Weigh-Release (CWR) system. Implemented for the second straight season, in a CWR tournament each fish is weighed, verified, recorded, and then immediately released. FOBA implements the CWR system during the summer months when livewell stress is a concern and for locations or times when size limits or closed seasons make traditional tournaments difficult or impossible. This technique minimizes fish stress, increases accuracy in weighing of fish, and has a bonus of instant gratification in knowing the weight of the fish.
Statistically, the best tournament of the year was easily the April 12-13 tournament at Lake Gaston. A total of 436 lbs. was weighed in during the 2 day tournament, accounting for 18% of the 2019 season’s total weight. This tournament featured the top 5 boaters all finishing with over 20 lbs. The tournament winner, Tim Roberts, turned in the heaviest five bass limit of the year at 26 lbs., 15 oz. It also resulted in the heaviest average weight per angler at 6.81 lbs.
The toughest tournament of the year was the September 7th event on Piney Run. While Piney Run is known for smaller fish, it usually makes up for that with high numbers of overall fish caught, but in 2019 that was not the case. It’s daily averages of only 1.5 fish for 1.22 lbs were the lowest of any event by far and proved to be one of the worst tournaments in FOBA history. Only two anglers in the entire field recorded a limit.
Overall, the 2019 season saw some very successful tournaments as well as some very challenging tournaments. Kevin Majane won the 2019 Angler of the Year in the boater division, his second as a boater and fourth overall. Majane has now won two AOY titles in both divisions. Eddie Yee won for the co-angler division. This is Yee’s third AOY title, first winning in 2010 and again in 2017. Bryan Mitchell set a new FOBA record when he caught a 7-12 largemouth at Lake Anna, the largest fish ever weighed in FOBA tournament history! Membership increased by more than 10 members in 2019. FOBA hopes to build on a successful 2019 season by growing even more in 2020.
Boater: Tim Roberts, 6-9
Co-Angler: Bryan Mitchell, 7-12
Boater: Mark Lim, 25-7
Co-Angler: Joe Homick, 10-11