MBN State Championship Conowingo

The MBN Championship took place on October 14th and 15th at Conowingo to determine the top 5 boaters and top 5 co-anglers that would go on to compete in the National Bass Nation Championship on Grand Lake in November of 2024. MBN was able to qualify 5 boaters and 5 co-anglers with the new format that BASS has formulated based on our membership numbers. The top 8 boaters and top 8 co-anglers qualified from our trail events and the top 2 boaters and co-anglers qualified through our Mr. Bass event.

Michael Duarte won the boater side with a 2- day total of 22.32 pounds. Michael summarized his 2 days on the water as follows:

Day 1 – The day started quick. When I got to my first spot, I caught a quick limit of smallmouth on a Magabass jerk-bait. Then I moved to my second spot which was a deep hole on a river ledge. I made 3 nice culls on a Damiki rig and had about 12 pounds of smallmouth. Then, the current up north started to slow down so I ran south for largemouth. I got to my largemouth spot and caught a big largemouth on a jerk-bait chasing bait on live scope. That fish ended up giving me my final weight for day 1.

Day 2 – Day 2 started with another quick limit of smallmouth on a jerk-bait on a rock point. I ended up losing a big one as well on that spot. Then I moved to my next spot on a river ledge and lost a big one on a jerk-bait. Then I switched up to a Damiki rig and made a few culls. I also caught a bunch of small fish on a Keitech football jig. The day was much tougher with the wind conditions. I ran south to my largemouth spot but, unfortunately the bait had pushed out of the area. I ended up running back up north and caught a bunch of fish but, nothing big enough to make any culls.

Frank Arthur finished a very close 2nd on the boater side with his total weight for 2 days at 22.27 pounds. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any information about Frank’s days on the water.

Frank qualified for this Championship by winning the Mr. Bass event which ended up being an unbelievable turn of events for Frank in that tournament. Frank messed up his lower unit the 1st day of the Mr. Bass event and had to be towed in by a fellow competitor. Frank would end up catching only 2 fish on the first day of the event. Amazingly, Frank had a spare lower unit for his boat and repaired it that night after the first day. The second day of the event, Frank ended up having an epic day and he caught over 22 pounds for his best 5 fish and ended up winning the Mr. Bass event.

Rick Roselle won the co-angler side of the Championship event with a 2- day total of 13.40 pounds. Rick qualified as a co-angler from the trail events. Rick said his main bait was a 4- inch swimbait (sexy shad) on a ¼ oz. head. He said he also caught a few fish on a Ned rig, drop shot and swim jig. Sunday brought different conditions, the water seemed to be flowing harder. Rick said the swimbait did not work the 2nd day. He said he ended up throwing the same stuff but, he had to go with heavier weights. Rick said, he got one of those lucky days and he was paired with a good boater.

Josh Torres took 2nd place on the co-angler side with his total weight being 11.33 pounds for 2 days. Josh’s summary:

Day 1 – I threw a 1/8 oz shaky head with a 4” senko both days which got me key bites and most of my bites each day. We ended up fishing some eddies and current breaks where my boater and I were able to pick up a fish or two. We were both able to pick up some fish on a spot down river that had some submerged cover. Then, down river we fished laydowns in 3 to 5 foot of water that dropped off to deeper water and I decided to throw a 1.0 shad colored crankbait and run it along the edges of laydowns which generated 3 small largemouth. Once I popped the crankbait off the grass at the edge of the laydowns they would eat it. The biggest fish, a 4 lb. smallmouth, hit my crankbait along the edge of a laydown when I ran my crankbait parallel to it. He was barely hooked but, I was able to play him out and get him in the boat. The last spot we hit, I was able to cull out 2 times, a smallmouth almost 3 lbs. and a largemouth that was 2 lbs. which culled out the real small ones I had.

Day 2 – We faced post frontal conditions with a big temperature drop and increase in wind along with the prior day’s rain which significantly mudded up most of the areas we had fished the day before. We still hit all the same spots. I missed a couple bites in the morning. The fish were just not eating good. I was able to get a small keeper off the 3rd spot we hit. We hit our laydown spots again but, it really did not yield much but, just short strikes. Later, we ended up at the mouth of a creek where I was able to round out my limit by noon on the shaky head again. As tough as day 2 was, the good bag on day 1 really helped. I knew just having a limit in the box on day 2 would go a long way and it did, thankfully.

Rounding out the top five, who also earned a spot in the National Championship on the boater side was Brian Trieschman who finished 3rd with 20.38 pounds, followed by Mike Roselle and Justin Bronson. Would like to mention that Mike Roselle is the son of Rick Roselle. The fact that a father and son both will fish in the National Championship has to be very exciting for them. Happy for the two of them.

The co-anglers who finished rounding out the top 5 and will fish the National Championship was Tyler Hawthorne finishing in 3rd place followed by Joe Winterling and Rich Slomba.

Congrats to those who qualified to fish the MBN Championship by finishing high enough in the standings either through the Trail events or the Mr. Bass event. The final results of the MBN Championship at Conowingo is posted below:

Boaters                                                                     Riders

1 Michael Duarte           22.23                               1 Rick Roselle           13.40

2 Frank Arthur                22.27                               2 Josh Torres            11.33

3 Brian Trieschman        20.38                               3 Tyler Hawthorne  10.02

4 Michael Roselle           16.12                               4 Joe Winterling       8.66

5 Justin Bronson             16.03                               5 Rich Slomba           8.49

6 Norm McCord              14.21                               6 Joe DeVoe              7.53

7 Bret Winegardner       12.36                               7 Jimmy Eney            5.90

8 Ed Riley                         11.78                               8 Tom Todd               5.76

9 Rich Martin                     6.77                               9 J. P. Harrell             5.74

10 Danny Rodriguez         6.55                               10 Mark Pryal            5.40

On a final note, congrats to Danny Rodriquez who ended up being the A.O.Y in the State Qualifying Trail events this year. Danny finished with a score of 892 points for his best 3 of 4 Trail events. Congrats also to Bret Winegardner who finished a close 2nd by finishing only one point behind Danny with 891 points.

Congrats to J. P. Harrell for being A.O.Y on the co-angler side of the Trail events with a final cumulative score of 894. Josh Torres and Mark Pryal finished in 2nd place with the same score of 891 points.