Lake St. Clair - June 25, 2004

Dave Saterbak

Derek Jacobson

Kevin Niccum

2004 team
MT. CLEMENS, MI. - Wells Kaiser of Wisconsin won the 11-14 age division and was the overall champion at the 2004 Junior Bassmaster Northern Division Championship, held Friday, June 25th, on Lake St. Clair.

Kaiser was the only youth angler to bring in a 5-fish limit and tipped the scales with a sack weighing 9.81 pounds, while helping his fellow Wisconsin teammates win the team championship. Steven Rowbotham of Canada took second overall, while winning the 15-18 year old division with 4 bass weighing 7.86 pounds, leading Canada to a runner-up team finish. Both Kaiser and Rowbotham qualified for the Junior Bassmaster World Championship.

Kyle Heels of Canada took "Big Bass" honors in the 11-14 age group with a 3.71 lunker, while Derek Jacobson of the Bassin Boys from Minnesota had the biggest bass for the 15-18 year olds with a 3.21 lunker.

Wisconsin took first place with team score of 30.44 lbs. Second place was taken by Canada with a team score of 30.03 lbs and third place went to Indiana with a team score of 19.44 lbs. To round out the rest of team score; fourth place was Michigan with team score of 18.66 lbs, Minnesota 15.85 lbs, Ohio 10.23 lbs and S. Dakota 6.72 lbs.

Kevin Niccum, Derek Kuntz, Derek Jacobson, and Dave Saterbak of the Bassin Boys, Matt Vogel of the Fairmont Junior club, and Randy Barnet of the Bemidji Junior club represented the Minnesota Junior Bass Federation.
The majority of the Minnesota Junior team got on the water, Sunday the 20th and had 5 full days of practice on the lake. With the size of the lake and vastly different fishing conditions, they had their work cut out for them. They put in some long days along with their parents on the water during that week. All of the Minnesota Junior Team had solid patterns going up to Thursday. The night before tournament, a major cold front came through and shut fish down. It dropped 20 degrees in 1 hour on Thursday night. Largemouth were the more solid pattern against the sea walls, boat slips, and the first 100 feet of canals on the main lake on Jigs/Craws, Rattle Traps, and Husky Jerks. The Team also focused on smallmouth during the week also. The smallmouth were still in post spawn, scattered, and not yet on a real solid bite yet. The All Terrain green tube with 3/8 oz exposed hook was the key tube they were using to catch them. Drifting over the vast flats was the key. The Minnesota Junior Team made choice to go after largemouth because that was the most consistent bite going. Derek Jacobson of the Bassin Boys won big Bass in older age group and brought three fish to the scale by using an All Terrain black/blue jig with a Berkley Power Craw and placed 5th overall in the tournament, and 3rd in the 15-18 age group. The team was faced with difficult conditions and went out and fished hard all day. Great Job!!!!

Thanks to the Minnesota Junior Team Sponsors.
The Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation
Cenex - Life Vests and patches for the Team.
All Terrain Tackle - Lures for the team and embroidery.
Ranger Boats - Shirts for the Team
A&N Tackle, Kevin and Julie Paa - Custom Culling Ropes, Balance Beams and embroidery.
Berkley, Lures and patches for the team

Next stop, North Carolina and the World Championship. Derek Kuntz and Randy Helms, winners from last year’s tournament will be competing in this tournament. Good luck to them!!

On August 13th, the 3rd Minnesota Junior State Championship will be held on Turtle Lake (north on Bemidji). It promises to be a great tournament.

The Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation hosted the Northern Divisional event, and was sponsored by the Bryan Kerchal Memorial Fund, Cenex Oil, Microtel Inns, , All-Star Rods, Bass Pro Shop, McGuiness, Murray's Auto Parts, TTI Company, Daiichi Hooks, Gene Larew, Ranger Boats, Meijer Stores, Scales & Tales/Action Performance, Gino's Surf Restaurant, Gordon Foods, Sysco Foods, Dick’s Sporting Goods, BASS/ESPN, Mercury/Motorguide, Little Bill's Trophies, Quality First Aid, Jay's Sporting Goods, Red Dragon, Snack Daddy Lures, Clearwater Tackle, American Rodsmith, Gambler, Bang Products, Mepps, Absopure Water Company and Combat Fishing.