The 2010 Virginia TBF Jr Angler season kicked off this morning with temperatures in the 60’s and a light fog canvassing the James River as 27 youth anglers from the James/Chickahominy River District gathered at Osbourne Landing.  The fog could do nothing to damper the spirits of the anglers and after a prayer and brief meeting to pair up the young men with their adult boat captains the tournament launched, and with it a new season was alive and well.

Catching a limit proved to be the key to the tournament as the top 3 positions in the 15-18 age group were decided by those with 4 fish limits.  If there were any doubts that 14 year old Nicholas Bodsford could compete with the seasoned veterans after aging up to the 15-18 age group, Sunday’s results put all questions to rest.  Nicholas served notice that his 2nd place finish in this past season’s state championship on the James River in the 11-14 age group was just a springboard for him into the new season.  He came to the scales with one of only 4 limits of the day and secured the top spot with a bag totaling 7.73lbs and Big Fish of the tournament weighing 3.5lbs.  Following on his heels with a second place finish in the 15-18 age group was Cody Pike also with 4 fish weighing a total of 4.78lbs.  The 3rd place finish went to Aaron Bartlett with 4 fish weighing in at 4.51lbs.

The 11-14 age group was full of competition as well and Austin Painter staked his claim to the first place trophy and distanced himself from the field with 3 fish weighing a total of 6.08lbs.  Mitch Oakley took home the 2nd place trophy with the only 4 fish limit in the 11-14 age group with a total weight of 5.41lbs.  A great job as well to Travis Perkins with his 3rd place finish with 2 fish weighing in at 2.85lbs.

We successfully released all 40 bass alive following the weigh-in with a total weight of 55.15lbs.  Congratulations to Nicholas, Cody, Austin, and Mitch who have automatically secured their spot in next year’s state championship by virtue of their top 2 placement in their respective age groups. Congratulations also to everyone that participated and made it a great opening event.  A special thanks to all the volunteer boat captains who offer their time, their boats, and their experience unselfishly to a program that is building the future of our sport. A program that only furthers our appreciation of all that the outdoors has to offer and gives us a lifetime of memories while we watch our youth mature into young men and women.  Without the support of our volunteers our program would not be possible.

Our next state qualifier will be held on Sunday October 11th on the Chickahominy River.  We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Chris Harrison