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Bass Angler Magazine

C0-Angler laps the field and beats the pros

Co-Angler Ryan Lavigne Of Louisiana Wins B.A.S.S. Nation Championship On Lake Conroe

CONROE, Texas — Ryan Lavigne of Gonzales, La., pulled off a major upset at the 2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Sunday on Lake Conroe.

Lavigne won the tournament as an unlikely candidate — a nonboater — and won it by an enormous margin, 16 1/2 pounds.

The Ascension Area Anglers bass club member bested the field with 58 pounds, 3 ounces over three days of competition.

As part of his win, he earned a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, March 24-26, along with his two closest competitors, Darrell Ocamica of Idaho and Timothy Klinger of Nevada.

“Making the Classic is a dream come true,” Lavigne said. “It’s something I’ve thought about since I started fishing. My dad took me fishing when I was a kid, and it’s just a passion I’ve never let go. And making it to the Classic is one of the biggest goals of my life.”

Lavigne bolted into the overall lead on the second day of competition, winning the title of Nonboater Champion, and opening up a 6 1/2-pound gap between him and the top boater, Klinger.

He made the margin even bigger in the first two hours of Sunday’s competition, putting 18 pounds of bass into the boat before 8 a.m.

“I prepared for any boater I could draw,” said Lavigne, who spent his time practicing for any scenario he thought he might encounter with his boaters, which are drawn at random.

Lavigne qualified as a nonboater because of the way the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation assembled its state team. The Top 10 anglers in the qualifying tournament were assigned boater spots on the state team; the anglers who placed 11th through 20th were assigned nonboater spots.

Competing as a nonboater in the B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, he won his division. Then he did it again here on Conroe, and when he was mixed in with the boaters (an honor only the Nonboater Champion earned), he beat them, too.

“Every nonboater out there should see this and realize it’s worth their while,” Lavigne said. “If you’ve been thinking about competing as a nonboater, come out and do it. I just did something nobody thought could happen.”

The boater in the championship has ultimate control of where the boat goes, but the nonboater can offer suggestions. Lavigne had a plan for anywhere his boaters may take him, but he also had waypoints marked that he suggested, and his boaters listened.

“I had decided that I could do really well flipping boat docks or cranking offshore,” Lavigne explained.

When he was on boat docks, which he mostly was the first two days of competition, he flipped a Stand-Up Jighead with a Trick Worm or Missile Baits Tomahawk Worm. In offshore areas, he cranked a Strike King 5XD.

His final day, when Lavigne was in control of the boat, he chose a small hard, hump in the main lake. He was sitting over 13 feet of water, but the top of the hump was 6 feet. In practice, he had found this spot and caught a 16-inch bass on it. He knew it was a place he could go back to if he needed.

“I went there this morning and caught a limit using a Missile Baits Twin Turbo [a twin-tail grub] in green pumpkin,” Lavigne said. Then he left the area alone until noon, when he came back and culled three of the bass he had already caught there in the morning.

For his double win, Lavigne earned two prize packages worth a combined $131,820. As the Nonboater Champion, he won paid entry into the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens division of his choice, a Skeeter/Yamaha boat package with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Humminbird electronics, and a spot as a marshal in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

As one of the Top 3 anglers, he earned the B.A.S.S. Nation’s Best prize package, which is the use of a Toyota Tundra truck and a fully rigged, tournament-ready Phoenix boat for one year, as well as paid entry into the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens series of the angler’s choice, and a berth in the 2017 Classic. As the overall winner, he was invited to compete on the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series with part of his entry fees paid.

Darrell Ocamica and Timothy Klinger will join him here on Conroe in March for the 2017 Classic.

Ocamica caught 41 pounds, 12 ounces for second place, and Klinger caught 37 pounds, 11 ounces for third.

The biggest bass of the tournament was 7 pounds, 3 ounces. On the boater side, Jason Vaughn of Delaware caught a 7-3, and on the nonboater side, Michael Lebsack of Minnesota caught one of the same size. Both won $500.

Klinger received the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 for leading the boater division on Day 2. Finishing as the Day 2 leader on the nonboater side, Lavigne also received $250.

Follow Lavigne, Ocamica and Klinger at Bassmaster.com/Nation as they prepare for the 2017 Bassmaster Classic. All three will be competing in their first Classic.

The B.A.S.S. Nation Championship was hosted by the Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau.

2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Title Sponsor: Academy Sports + Outdoors
2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Presenting Sponsor: Magellan

2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Mercury, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats

2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Supporting Sponsors: Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Lowrance, Nationwide, Shimano, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.
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Media Contact: JamieDay Matthews, 205-313-0945, jmatthews@bassmaster.com or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com.

2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan 11/17-11/19
Lake Conroe, Conroe TX.
(BOATER) Standings Day 3

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Ryan Lavigne Gonzales, LA 14 58-03 0 $45,585.00
Day 1: 4 11-14 Day 2: 5 22-05 Day 3: 5 24-00
2. Darrell Ocamica Fruitland, ID 14 41-12 0
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 4 11-11 Day 3: 5 16-11
3. Timothy Klinger Boulder City, NV 11 37-11 0
Day 1: 5 13-07 Day 2: 3 14-04 Day 3: 3 10-00
4. Michael Boggs II Portsmouth, OH 11 35-04 0
Day 1: 5 20-10 Day 2: 1 02-13 Day 3: 5 11-13
5. Brent Long Iron Station, NC 11 33-01 0
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 2 07-08 Day 3: 4 11-02
6. Andrew Sams Easton, MD 11 33-00 0
Day 1: 3 08-10 Day 2: 5 13-00 Day 3: 3 11-06
7. JJ Dickens Beaver, WV 9 28-09 0
Day 1: 3 08-03 Day 2: 5 16-14 Day 3: 1 03-08
8. Mike Wolfenden Warwick, RI 8 26-13 0
Day 1: 5 14-12 Day 2: 2 05-03 Day 3: 1 06-14
9. Jason Vaughn Laurel, DE 7 26-11 0
Day 1: 2 10-03 Day 2: 5 16-08 Day 3: 0 00-00
10. Danny Grantham Mobile, AL 8 25-00 0
Day 1: 4 11-12 Day 2: 3 10-11 Day 3: 1 02-09
BIG BASS OF TOURN
Jason Vaughn Laurel, DE 07-03 $0.00
———————————————————————–
11. Nate Caldwell          Ft Collins, CO           7  19-10    0
Day 1: 3   07-15     Day 2: 4   11-11
12. Greg Vance             Dubuque, IA              6  18-09    0
Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 1   02-14
13. Ivan Morris            Virginia Beach, VA       6  18-05    0
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 1   05-14
14. Jay Evans              Corvallis, MT            6  18-03    0
Day 1: 1   03-02     Day 2: 5   15-01
15. Arnie Lane             Lakeland, FL             6  17-03    0
Day 1: 2   07-10     Day 2: 4   09-09
16. Rob Digh               Denver, NC               6  16-15    0
Day 1: 2   08-01     Day 2: 4   08-14
17. Nicholas Papotto       Meriden , CT             6  16-05    0
Day 1: 4   11-06     Day 2: 2   04-15
18. David Cavell           Prairieville, LA         4  15-13    0
Day 1: 1   02-05     Day 2: 3   13-08
19. Matt Pangrac           Norman , OK              5  15-03    0
Day 1: 3   09-14     Day 2: 2   05-05
20. Brian Brooks           Mt Epraim, NJ            6  14-12    0
Day 1: 3   07-14     Day 2: 3   06-14
21. Dave McCoy             Plattsmouth, NE          4  13-09    0
Day 1: 3   10-15     Day 2: 1   02-10
22. Mark Lodge             Alfred, ME               4  11-08    0
Day 1: 2   05-14     Day 2: 2   05-10
23. William Lortz II       Rochester, NY            3  11-04    0
Day 1: 1   03-08     Day 2: 2   07-12
24. Kalib Lund             Glendale, AZ             4  10-03    0
Day 1: 2   05-04     Day 2: 2   04-15
25. Ron Mace               Kennewick, WA            4  10-02    0
Day 1: 3   07-02     Day 2: 1   03-00
26. Bubba O’Neill          Evanston, WY             4  09-10    0
Day 1: 3   07-02     Day 2: 1   02-08
27. Danny Carter           Hernando, MS             2  09-02    0
Day 1: 1   03-07     Day 2: 1   05-11
28. David Mays             Portland, OR             4  09-02    0
Day 1: 2   04-14     Day 2: 2   04-04
29. Jon Harshbarger        Kaufman, TX              3  08-14    0
Day 1: 2   06-03     Day 2: 1   02-11
30. Brett Logue            Lincoln, NE              3  07-12    0
Day 1: 2   05-15     Day 2: 1   01-13
31. Brian Mailot           Columbus, OH             2  07-07    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   07-07
32. Kurt Glass             Grovetown, GA            2  07-06    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   07-06
33. Grayson Smith          Clarksville, TN          3  07-05    0
Day 1: 2   04-13     Day 2: 1   02-08
34. Joe Burchill           Brighton , MA            2  07-01    0
Day 1: 1   04-02     Day 2: 1   02-15
35. Ryan Buttermore        Leetsdale, PA            3  06-13    0
Day 1: 2   04-14     Day 2: 1   01-15
36. Luca Salvato           Curtarolo ITALY          2  06-04    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   06-04
37. Edgar Romero           Leon MEXICO              3  06-03    0
Day 1: 2   04-05     Day 2: 1   01-14
38. Strati Orphanides      Marondera ZIMBABWE       2  05-09    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   05-09
39. Chris Brimager         Andover, KS              2  05-08    0
Day 1: 1   02-13     Day 2: 1   02-11
40. Bill Brown             Grand Junction, CO       2  05-05    0
Day 1: 1   02-04     Day 2: 1   03-01
41. Mark Lassagne          San Ramon, CA            2  05-02    0
Day 1: 1   03-03     Day 2: 1   01-15
42. Randy Campbell         Sandia Park, NM          2  05-01    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   05-01
43. Albert Collins         Nacogdoches, TX          2  05-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   05-00
44. Mark Cavanaugh         Port Perry ONTARIO CANA  2  04-13    0
Day 1: 2   04-13     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Tom Kiefer             Fowlerville, MI          1  04-12    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   04-12
46. Josh Nelson            Saint Bonifacius, MN     2  04-09    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   04-09
46. Mark Nies              Cannelton, IN            2  04-09    0
Day 1: 2   04-09     Day 2: 0   00-00
48. Adrian Luff            George Western Cape SOU  2  04-07    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   04-07
49. Ted Heitschmidt        Tomahawk, WI             1  03-14    0
Day 1: 1   03-14     Day 2: 0   00-00
50. John Plumlee           Branson, MO              1  03-10    0
Day 1: 1   03-10     Day 2: 0   00-00
51. Tony Beck              Social Circle, GA        1  02-14    0
Day 1: 1   02-14     Day 2: 0   00-00
52. Michael Kazmierczak    Lemont, IL               1  02-09    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-09
53. Filipe Almeida         Coimbra PORTUGAL         0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
53. Mitchell Cone          Willow Tree New South W  0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
53. Mark Dimarzio          Franconia, NH            0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
53. Neil Engelbrecht       Windhoek Khomas NAMIBIA  0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
53. Scott Green            Waterbury Center, VT     0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
53. Naoaki Ishikawa        Akiruno Tokyo JAPAN      0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–

2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan 11/17-11/19
Lake Conroe, Conroe  TX. (NON_BOATER) Standings Day 2

Angler                     Hometown                No./lbs-oz  Pts Total $$$

1.  Ryan Lavigne           Gonzales, LA             9  34-03    0  $45,585.00
Day 1: 4   11-14     Day 2: 5   22-05
2.  Rick Hamer             Charleston, WV           8  21-04    0   $1,500.00
Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 3   06-13
3.  Justin Barnes          MONROEVILLE, AL          5  18-06    0   $1,000.00
Day 1: 2   09-03     Day 2: 3   09-03
4.  Mike Coleman           Pinoeer, CA              4  16-00    0     $500.00
Day 1: 2   08-12     Day 2: 2   07-04
5.  Dan Carrigan           Citrus Springs, FL       5  15-14    0     $500.00
Day 1: 2   06-15     Day 2: 3   08-15
6.  Jonathan Robla         Norawood, NY             4  12-05    0     $250.00
Day 1: 2   05-15     Day 2: 2   06-06
7.  Jarrod Sherwood        Vassar, MI               3  12-04    0     $250.00
Day 1: 1   05-05     Day 2: 2   06-15
8.  Brock Enmeier          Enid, OK                 4  12-01    0     $250.00
Day 1: 3   09-11     Day 2: 1   02-06
9.  Josh Cotier            Clinton, MA              4  11-13    0     $250.00
Day 1: 2   04-05     Day 2: 2   07-08
10. Michael Lebsack        Duluth, MN               2  10-15    0     $750.00
Day 1: 1   03-12     Day 2: 1   07-03
11. Shane Stiehl           Winner, SD               4  10-08    0     $250.00
Day 1: 3   08-05     Day 2: 1   02-03
12. Bradley Rilling        Brooks, GA               4  09-08    0     $250.00
Day 1: 2   04-11     Day 2: 2   04-13
13. Lee Wubbels            Lincoln, NE              3  08-12    0
Day 1: 1   03-04     Day 2: 2   05-08
14. Tim Frohlich Jr        Independence, KY         2  08-09    0
Day 1: 2   08-09     Day 2: 0   00-00
15. Stefan Adamchick       Monterrey MEXICO         3  08-09    0
Day 1: 1   03-13     Day 2: 2   04-12
16. Michael Duarte         Middle River, MD         3  08-05    0
Day 1: 2   04-10     Day 2: 1   03-11
17. Andre Fidalgo          Parreira PORTUGAL        2  07-14    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   07-14
18. Dave Frost             Apopka, FL               2  07-12    0
Day 1: 1   03-14     Day 2: 1   03-14
19. Jake Weaver            Columbia Falls, MT       2  07-03    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   07-03
20. David Porter           Rockwall, TX             2  07-02    0
Day 1: 1   03-07     Day 2: 1   03-11
21. Jody Adkins            Navarre, OH              2  06-13    0
Day 1: 1   02-12     Day 2: 1   04-01
22. Ron Hanhart            Harare Mashonaland ZIMB  1  06-09    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   06-09
23. Chris Brewer           Jay, ME                  1  06-08    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   06-08
24. Amos Dixon             Camden, DE               2  05-08    0
Day 1: 1   02-12     Day 2: 1   02-12
25. Scott Hausman          Las Vegas, NV            2  05-03    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   05-03
25. Kevin Noel             Burlington, CT           2  05-03    0
Day 1: 2   05-03     Day 2: 0   00-00
27. Daniel Elsner          Green Bay, WI            1  05-03    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   05-03
28. Kyle Coffman           Minbun, IA               2  04-11    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   04-11
29. Curt Hughes            Greenwood, IN            2  04-09    0
Day 1: 1   02-09     Day 2: 1   02-00
30. Jeremy Arnold          Concord, NH              1  03-02    0
Day 1: 1   03-02     Day 2: 0   00-00
31. Riley Hansen           Sandy , UT               1  03-01    0
Day 1: 1   03-01     Day 2: 0   00-00
32. Zackery Shaff          Untion, KY               1  02-15    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-15
33. Justin Harris          McPherson, KS            1  02-14    0
Day 1: 1   02-14     Day 2: 0   00-00
33. Bob Wetzler            Rutland, VT              1  02-14    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-14
35. Steven Conde           Chepachet, RI            1  02-09    0
Day 1: 1   02-09     Day 2: 0   00-00
35. Jon Hickey             Weiser, ID               1  02-09    0
Day 1: 1   02-09     Day 2: 0   00-00
37. Becca Golightly        Preston, ID              1  02-08    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-08
37. Jeff Hager             Alexis, NC               1  02-08    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-08
39. Creighton Sawyer       Houston, AR              1  02-05    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-05
40. Bert Cooper            Huntsville, TN           1  02-04    0
Day 1: 1   02-04     Day 2: 0   00-00
41. John Bernard           McKees Rocks, PA         1  02-03    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-03
42. Chris Barrett          Vaughan ONTARIO CANADA   1  02-02    0
Day 1: 1   02-02     Day 2: 0   00-00
43. Danny Fourr            Waterflow, NM            1  02-01    0
Day 1: 1   02-01     Day 2: 0   00-00
43. John Santos            Penrose, CO              1  02-01    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-01
45. Loren Bryant           Phoenix, AZ              0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Addam Gross            Cove, OR                 0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Garry Harman           Adare Queensland AUSTRA  0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Edward Owens           Hemingway, SC            0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Mauro Salvato          Curtarolo ITALY          0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Christopher Selsor Jr  Sparta, MO               0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Michael Valentine      Laurel , MS              0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Kevin Voss             Bensenville, IL          0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Yuya Wakebe            Odawara Kanagawa JAPAN   0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Alec Williams          Windhoek NAMIBIA         0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
45. Larry Witt             Forest, VA               0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
———————————————————————

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