Bobby Barfield and Blake Sharp Win the James River East Regional Championship Tournament

By: Frank Evans, Senior Writer

(Oct. 11, 2008 – Richmond, VA)… The third event in the 2008 Fishers of Men Regional Championship Series came to a close today as Bobby Barfield and Blake Sharp (VA-E), in their first season of fishing the FOM Trail, won their first major tournament and the top prize: a new 2008 Triton “18-HP Explorer” powered by a 150 hp Mercury Optimax outboard, valued at over $25,000.00. Blake and Bobby also received Championship Plaques, a cash award for 2nd Big Bass, and money in the “Bonus Bucks” program. The new East Region Champions netted 23.78 lbs in two days of stiff competition to earn their “second-ever” tournament victory and first boat!

Bobby Barfield and Blake Sharp (VA-E) used their knowledge of tidal movements to take advantage of the water near the “Barge pit”. By tossing a Strike King, Series 3 Sexy Shad, the champs were able to land an additional 10.59 lbs of bass to go with Day-one’s 13.19. On the stage today, Blake credited a distracted competitor for their Day-1 catch. As the angler was heading straight towards them they took evasive action to avoid disaster by swerving into the shallows and causing a boat breakdown. While waiting for help, they just started casting baits randomly about the area and located all of the Day-1 catch. The East Region Champions also share the 2nd Big Fish Award, at 4.11lbs, with 12th place finishers, Richard and Daniel Showalter.

Day-One leaders with 14.86 lbs, Jamie Ferdanko and Chris Lanager (Pennsylvania Central) missed the win by .13 lbs, finishing with 23.65lbs for the two days. The teammates used a couple of crankbaits (Lucky Craft® and Strike King Sexy Shads®) along with a Zoom® Brush Hog on the Chickahominy River. They reported of moving to another spot along their eight fishing locations as the tide progressed upstream. However, the cool front that passed across the Richmond area on Friday night brought brighter skies and stronger winds on Saturday. This caused quality fish to abandon their day-1 posts, only to be replaced by ‘dinks”.

Ryan and Tommy Powrosnik (Virginia East) took third with 21.96 overall. Ryan said the 4.7 lbs bass of Day-1’s catch fell for an All-Terrain Jig® near the ‘barge pit’. Day-2 saw weather conditions also affecting them as the pair reported catching 10 to 12 dinks and weighing in 7.16 lbs of fish.

Moving up a phenomenal 16 slots to finish in 4th place, VA E anglers Palmer Sweeney and Donald Wilber were one of the few teams that located larger fish on the final day (11.86 lbs). With the best fishing coming in the incoming, mid-morning tide around the “Deep Bottom” area, the duo utilized Spinnerbaits and senko-type baits on woody banks in 2 to 6 feet of water, thus winding up with 21.49 lbs. They wish to thank Pop’s Marine and are pleased with an additional $500.00 in the Triton Gold Bonus Money.

Moving up a very respectable 11 places and finishing in 5th place, Todd Massey and Mike Riggs also located quality fish today (11.86lbs), as compared to Day-One’s 9.63. The pair reported fishing medium diving crankbaits in the Chickahominy on Day-1 and Rat-L-Traps® along the Appomattox on Day-2.

First Big Fish Award of Day-2 went to New Jersey’s Ian Godwin and Brad Finch for Ian’s 4.48 lbs largemouth that latched onto a jig.

12th place finishers, Daniel and Richard Showalter shared the 2nd Big Fish Award with the tournament champions for their 4.11 bass that was included with this 9.82 lbs limit.

During the two days of the East Regional, 829 bass, weighing 1385.71 lbs passed over the scales.

Remember, for your photos it will be best to contact me at: Vice President Bob Eads informed me tonight that you will soon be able to download print-quality pics from current and past Regionals and National Championships directly from the FOM website.

The annual Fishers Of Men Regional Championship Series of five Regionals and one Wildcard tournament will culminate with the Fishers Of Men $60,000.00 National Championship, which is scheduled to be held on the Red River in Shreveport LA, March 26 – 28, 2009. These six events will qualify the top seven finishers from each of the six tournaments, along with each of the 54 divisions: single highest finishing team, male-female team, and adult-junior team, Divisions are awarded extra slots for the national championship when they surpass a specified average number of boats per tournament.

We would like to thank all the fine companies that make Fishers of Men possible: Triton Boats, Mercury, Strike King Lure Company, All Star Rods, Shakespeare, Pflueger, Grace Full Gospel Church, Marshall’s Marine (Lake City, SC), Solar Bat, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Keel shield, Kistler Custom Rods, Jacobs Glass, Jones Chevrolet, All-Terrain Tackle, Dual Pro Charger, Reese Marine Towpower, XTools, Buckeye Lures, Stanley Jigs, Castrol, Deka Marine Master Batteries, Spike-It, Berkley, Motorguide, SOSPENDERS, Mizmo Bait Company, River Bottom Lures, Poor Boys Baits, T&H Marine, Rejuvenade, and Keep Alive Oxygen Infusers.

We also would like to thank meeting sponsor, Popeye’s Chicken, with three locations in the surrounding Richmond area; Bass Pro Shops; Fairmount Christian Center and members who were so courteous and helpful while hosting our meeting; Virginia East Division’s local sponsors including: Pop’s Marine, The Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA State Parks), and Dance’s Sporting Goods.

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