2023 Big Bass Challenge

HBAA’s 23rd Annual Big Bass Challenge a success

WILSON, KS (SEPT. 9, 2023) — Mitch Keeley and Jason Leiker claimed top honors on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Hays Bass Anglers Association’s 23rd Annual Big Bass Challenge held at Lake Wilson located east of Russell, Kan. Although the fishing was described as tough by many anglers, the catches were impressive. The event kicked off at safe light from the Wilson State Park boat ramp beneath a colorful dawn sunrise. Thirty-five teams participated in this year’s event. The winning bass, a 5.10 pound largemouth bass, was weighed in during the 10 a.m. time slot. The Big Bass Challenge awards cash prizes to the top two entries in 8 time slots every hour from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a grand prize for the largest fish of the event. The total payout was dependent on the number of boats entered in the competition. A new twist was offered this year as Unruh Farms, event sponsor, awarded a cash prize for the smallest legal bass entered in the tournament. The team of Merk and McKinney won that prize with a 1.43 pound bass. Head’s Up Decoy, another event sponsor, held a drawing for a pre-registered team, paying for their entry fees. The team of Masenthin and Masenthin won that drawing and were refunded their entry fee. Event sponsors offered 18 prizes from: a B&W hitch; bass rods; bait-casting reels and more during a drawing at the conclusion of the event. HBAA wants to thank everyone who participated in this year’s tournament. Proceeds from the event help the club fund a variety of youth activities and habitat projects throughout the year.

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