History of NAPRA:
+ NAPRA started in the summer of 2006 as the DFL, or Dayton Fishing League. Founder Pete Ziehler made many treks to fishing spots but never was able to share the fine spots that he discovered with anyone. He stumbled in late July of 2006 into Mike Baker, a fellow angler from Xenia, Ohio. Baker and Ziehler starting a partnership that eventually lead to the creation of the DFL. Mike Baker was declared DFL Cup Series Champion and Pete Ziehler won the First DFL Derby.
+ The DFL grew from 2 members to 9 members and 10 solid sponsors, including initial sponsors K&E Stopper, Eagle Claw, and NBAA Bass. The first event nobody scored a fish! What a way to start! Joe Salmons will score two straight victories on his way to 2007 Rookie of the Year. Pete Ziehler scored 4 victories, including his second DFL Cup and DFL Derby Title.
+ The DFL grew from 9 members to 12 and over 20 sponsors signed on the help the DFL grew. 2008 saw Rookie of the Year and DFL Derby Champion Chris Bussler changed the DFL forever with his slow paced, targeting wading. Chris Tracy was declared MVP while Pete Ziehler scored his third straight points championship.
+The 2009 Dayton Fishing League DFL Cup Series was the most exciting in league history. The season started with quite a surprise. Newcomer Dan Amburgey(Kettering, Ohio) not only won the DFL Opener (held at the Little Miami Corwin site) but caught the biggest bass in DFL history to date, catching a massive 16″ bass! Later in the season, DFL Founder Pete Ziehler, in the 4 years of the league had never won on his home turf. Down roughly 8 points to 3 heading into the final hour, Ziehler hit a rock bass honey hole and scored 13 fish in the final hour. “Finally!” is all Ziehler could say.
During the course of the season current (as of 2021) members Pete Ziehler secured a win in the DFL #2 at the Mad River Urbana. In the only stop at MRU 10 anglers fished for 4 hours to get completely skunked. Ziehler on his last cast managed a 12” fish to sheepishly claim the victory. Charles Brannam, current Ohio Series member claimed the 3rd event while Ziehler claimed the 5th event of the year.
The Derby, the last event on the stop had a surprising start and even more amazing finish. Chris Tracy, the 2009 DFL Derby Champion, scored a 24 inch Catfish to give him 18 points off the bat. He preceded to score a DFL Record 37 points on way to his first DFL Derby Title. What a surprise!! The end of the Derby was even more shocking. Chris Bussler was ahead of Pete Ziehler by 2 points with 10 minutes to go. Ziehler preceded to watch Bussler score a 10 incher(3 point fish) and think that his 2009 DFL Cup Points Title was going to go in the dumper! Well, Ziehler scored 6 points(a 8″, 9″, 7″ and 13″) in the final 10 minutes and edged Bussler for 2nd place in the Derby and secured his 3rd DFL Cup Series title in a row. Chris Bussler and Chris Tracy, whom finished 2 and 4 points behind series in the Season points series, were named Co-Angler of the Year.
+The biggest season to date started out as with the largest number of participants in DFL Opener History. DFL Veteran Chris Bussler outpaced rookies Jessie Jones and Tim Hill to win the event. Bussler scored 9 pts of the strength of 5 fish to secure the season opener. 17 anglers entered the 2010 circuit and were very pleased with the outcome.
The first event of the DFL Cup Series got off to an odd start. Due to extreme conditions at the Tailwaters, the first event in the 2010 DFL Cup Series was moved to safer waters back in Bellbrook. The anglers didn’t disappoint. 9 anglers hit the waters and 7 scored fish. DFL Veteran Pete Ziehler outpaced Jim Jones ‘s 20 pt out put, including earning 17pts on the largest bass caught in DFL History – a 17 inch smallie) to catch 25 bass in 1 outing! What a record for both anglers.
Later in the year Jesse Jones set a world record that may never be broken! In the DFL #4 event DFL Vet Chris Fetterman and Pete Ziehler thought the 24 and 23 pts worth of fish they caught would finish them first and second. How wrong they were! Jason Ashworth and Tim Hill also and 23 pts worth fish but they still weren’t even in the TOP 4!!! Mike Hill reeled off 26 pts worth of fish but he wasn’t top dog either! Newcomer to the DFL Wendell Donathon had 44 pts of fish but this didn’t sniff at Jim Jones 62 pts worth of fish. BUT, What about Jesse Jones! He caught 4 fish over 18 inches and reeled of a DFL World Record 112, yes 112 pts!!! Unbelievable day! 330 or so pts scored by the 9 anglers there. Mark Jackson’s 7 pts was also a solid score.
The 2010 DFL Cup Series came down to the final event. Jesse Jones was leading his dad, Jim Jones by 7 points heading into the 2010 DFL Derby. Both dad and son spewed collective jabs and hit the water in quest for the 2010 DFL Cup Series points Title. What an outcome…. Jim Jones hit some channel cats early, much to his surprise, on way to a record 149 points. His first-place win vaulted him to the 2010 DFL Cup Point title, edging son Jesse 44 to 41 points. Jim also dethroned 3 time defending DFL Title Champion Pete Ziehler, whom finished second in the event.
The DFL also expanded to Michigan with Chriss Bussler and Pete Ziehler each splitting 4 events to claim co-MVP of the Mio Fishing League.
Chris Fetterman won the inaugural DFL Master Series(Fall League) winning all four events!
+The most amazing thing happened in 2011. The DFL morphed into NAPRA and boy, did the league take off. With the inclusion of the first NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, the 2011 Wading League Classic, NAPRA became the largest and most renowned pro river fishing league in the nation. Tim Hill started the year off with a solid win at the Stillwater Horseshoe bend put in. Jesse Jones and Karl Halley won the next two events respectfully and were on pace to fight it out for the league title until hot shot rookie Dave Schaller won his first two DFL events. He won at Old Springfield and at the Tailwaters of the Little Miami. Claiming The DFL Derby for the first time was Chris Fetterman, whom edged Chris Sykes and Pete Ziehler to win the Derby.
Other highlights included fishing with a true river fishing legend, appearing at Gear Fest, and the Wading Classic. NAPRA members Pete Ziehler and Dave Schaller got a chance to fish with famous River Smallmouth Author Tim Holschlag mid August on the Stillwater River in Covington, Ohio. Tim taught NAPRA members and NAPRA Sponsor Johnny Stone techniques they can use to better the fishing game. At least 25 fish were caught including Dave’s monster 15 and 16 inchers! Thanks to Tim and his guide assistant Dan for all that they have done make river fishing such a great sport!
Fourteen of the top Anglers in the USA Bassin and NAPRA Circuits converged, October 22nd, on the Stillwater River in Covington to see whom is the best Angler in the Country! Past DFL Champs including Pete Ziehler, whom caught a 17″ whopper, Jesse Jones and Chris Fetterman competed against a very heavily packed field and found out one thing: Halley wouldn’t be stopped.
Karl “Voodo Man” Halley, as called by Graham Guttadore, managed to be the only angler to catch his limit and preceded to land 8.25 pounds of fish! Jesse Jones finished with 6.75 pounds, including the big bass of 18 inches(3.25 pounder) to finish a close second. Chris Fetterman managed 5.10 pounds followed by defending USA Bassin Ohio Circuit Champ Ziehler with 4.75 pounds.
+2012 proved to be a year NAPRA reinvented itself. Gone from 2011 was a tie in with USA Bassin and major growth within NAPRA as a whole. With a professionally driven website (napra.net) introduced, a two tier pro angling system (NAPRA PRO and DFL), and new divisions in Pennsylvania, New York, and Montana, 2012 was going to be special before it even started. How true did it prove to be! Karl Halley would sweep the points and DFL Titles while Travis Von Neuman would be named ROY.
Highlights include the first event in which Travis Von Neumann scored a 17” on his first cast and then a 20” on his 3rd cast to set the tone for his strong rookie year. In the 3rd event Dave Schaller managed to catch a 22” drum at Paint Creek on top of having a great day.
NAPRA expanded to a division in Dayton, Michigan (MFL), and some expeditions in Florida.
+In 2013 NAPRA was able set the foundation for what we are today. NAPRA legends and vets such as Karl Halley, Chris Fetterman, and Mike Hill start to set their mark on the NAPRA landscape. Speaking of these names Mike Hill will claim his first Title while Nick Halley ROY. NAPRA started to mix names of post season events that will eventually morph into our Wade War. Travis Von Neuman won the 2013 points title. Our Super Wade was won by Larry Draughn.
+NAPRA expanded its reach with off shoot divisions in Florida and Virginia. In addition to the outlying division in Michigan and NC . NAPRA reached 5 states as it really started to expand. Mike Hitzman started this year and has put a heavy footprint on the awards ceremonies since. He won ROY while Mike Hill won the Super Wade.
The 3 divisions of 2014 were claimed by Mike Hill (N), Karl Halley (C) edging Marvin Reynolds, and Jesse Foster and Jim Strong tying for the South trail. Other highlights included Mike Hill’s 11.65 pounds and the initial trail created in Eastern Ohio called the Tuscarawas River Trail and a Columbus division.
+In 2015 Jesse Foster set a record that was astonishing. He finished second in his division but managed to work his way into the inaugural final, the Wade War and blast away the competition. Paul Gillis was named ROY for the year.
+This year saw our biggest growth and one of the most packed fields in NAPRA history. Cameron Foster, at age 14 became the youngest angler to win an event as he won the Wild Card Wade. Marvin Reynolds, often the bridesmaid to Karl Halley in the West division, scored a WW spot by winning the NAPRA CUP heading into the Wade War. At the WW Steve Kortis secured a win within the first 40 minutes as his tally was at its highest and he could coast to the win. Rookie of the Year was Marvin Reynolds.
Highlights of the year include Brett Swanson’s massive catches in the Toledo Trail. He had totals of 10.5, 10.35, and 13.8 pounds thanks to the white bass runs in the Toledo area. The North division had 3 wins by Mike Hill and eventual ROY Josh Place with a win to finish the North’s season. In the West Karl Halley edged Marvin Reynolds for the title while both the East and South had very tight races. In the East Steve Kortis finished 2nd in the final event edging Ziehler by 1 pound and thus winning the trail by 2 pts. The South was deadlocked between Mike Hitzman and Jim Strong until Mike’s last two fish (13” and 12” fish) edged Jim’s dual 11” catches.
Steve Kortis’s 8.3 pounds and fast start in the Wade War secured the win for himself. He texted WW Official Pete Ziehler, yes, whom didn’t qualify that he had 5 fish in the first 15 minutes nearing 5 pounds. Well his total was enough to edged Mike Hill’s 7.65 pounds and Marvin Reynolds 7.5. Charles Brannam became the first wild card recipient to make it through 3 rounds of the playoffs to make the Wade War.
This was the highmark of NAPRA. With 5 divisions and its Michigan trail NAPRA was at its zenith. Sadly, a bunch of anglers would use their NAPRA skills and go elsewhere but it was a memorable year.
+The year of the many rains. The 2017 seemed to start in July and end in August. Mike Hitzman won the closest Wade War in History over second place finisher Ken Carter while Travis Lakes won ROY. The new Wade War format where a city not site hosted the event gave angler a chance to pick their poison.
Winning amounts for the regular season:
N- 1st Mike Hill (El Dean 9lbs) 2nd Mike Hill (8.1 Auglaize) 3rd Charles Brannam (2.3 Kercher) 4th Eric Chivington (10.5 pounds Roadside) 5th Jeff English (9.5 Roadside) with Mike Hill mananging a 30” pike, and 6th Charles Brannam 7.8 at Covington
C- 1st Karl Halley 6.8 (Lock 9), 2nd Manning (1 FISH CAUGHT KH*), 3rd Jimmy Colyer (Horseshoe 5.1), 4th Karl Halley (HB 7.2), 6th Roadside Marvin Reynolds 10.2.
The 5th event was truly the day of days. Steve Kortis, Jimmy Colyer, and Karl Halley mananged 38 pounds between the top 3. SK won with 13.45”. The 7 anglers caught over 60 pounds of fish. That is just the 5 keepers each!
S- 1st (Lakes 6.5 Manning) 2nd (TCC R Savage 2.5*), 3rd PC Mike hitzman 9.95, 4th PC Mike Hitzman 6.2, 5th Bellbrook Ken Carter (6.15) and 6th Ripp Rapp (Mike Hitzman 5.80)
* This event was post hurricane and so bad it was to be a double header. Karl’s 1 fish in the first event didn’t tell the story. The South fished 1 event and then decided to pull the plug on the second event while the North was fishing the start of their second event. Safety first. The river rose 6 feet later that day.
The 2017 Wade War had Mike Hitzman with 12.2 pounds followed closely by Ken Carter’s 11.15 and Steve Kortis’s 10.55.
We also had a very successful Columbus Trail lead by Mike Mercer.
+RECAPS OF ELITE EVENTS
NORTH #1--- Russ Morris wins 1st NAPRA Event of Year!
Russ Morris battled a tough crowd and even tougher conditions to manage a 14 1/2 trout to secure him the top spot in the North Elite #1 in Urbana. The mean host, or mad host was in fact the Mad River as the river only produced two fish but a great start and time for the North Elite. Charles Brannam finished 2nd with a nice 8 inch bass.
The North will battle next weekend on the Stillwater at Aullwood Park.
NORTH #2-- Marvin Reynolds Beats Tough Conditions to Win North #2
On a day of very tough river conditions, cold weather, and probably some icebergs (air temp 30) Marvin Reynolds pushed himself to the top of the crop of North anglers to claim their 2nd event at Covington. Marvin caught a 15 and 12.5" bass to get 27.5 inches of fish. He was follwed by Charles Brannam's 23 inches (15 and 8") followed by Nate Morris Jr. with a nice 12.5 fish.
NORTH #3 NAPRA NORTH #3 RECAP: Morris Beats Crappy Weather to Win North #3
Nate Morris battled a day gloomy skies and murky water to score a victory in the North Elite #3 event on the waters of the Stillwater at Aullwood Park. Nate's 62" including a big fish of 16" secured the Buster Baits North #3 event over fast charging Charles Brannam and Mike Morris. This victory tightens the standings at the half way point.
NORTH #4 KITE EDGES MORRIS
The Auglaize River is a great river. It can be so productive that one miscast or failing to set the hook can be the difference. Garrett Kite managed a nice total of 57 inches and proved this theory as he edged Nate Morris by 1/2". Both anglers caught over 100 inches of fish with an average of nearly a foot per fish. Nice totals. Mike Morris was very close behind with 53 inches. Kite's win tightens the race as the North heads to #5 at Roadside in a few weeks.
NORTH #5 "BASS WHISPERER" Wins 2 IN A ROW
Today was a good day to be on the water. Garret Kite hit the water running. He should be called the "Bass Whisperer"! His 74 inches include no keepers UNDER 14 inches. What a hull! Marvin Reynolds finshed 2nd with 51.5 inches followed closely by Nate Morris Jr. with 49 inches. The North will wrap up their season next week with a very tight race for the top spot.
NORTH #6 Morris Edges Brannam for Win/ Brannam Secures Division Title
In the World of pro river fishing a few inches of fish may seem meniscus. Was my fish enough? Did the other guy get a bigger fish? It ways on the brain but at times inches can meet the difference between the winner's circle and being a also-ran. Nate Morris scored a nice 16" fish to have just enough to edge Charles Brannam for the North Elite's final event on the GMR at Ferrington. Nate caught a nice bag of 59.5" inches of fish to edge Charles by 3 inches. Fast charging Garrett Kite was 1/2" behind Charles for 3rd. In the end Charles Brannam managed to secure the North Title and a spot in the 2018 Super Wade in September.
Central #1 -- Barker catches 60+ inches of fish to win Central #1 in Piqua
The GMR River in Piqua, site of the Wade War 2017, must have had some magic in the water as Jeremy Barker scored 61 inches of fish (12.2" average) to win the Central's 1st event of 2018. Jacob Goetz, a fly fishing wizard, managed 4 nice keepers to finish 2nd with 57" including a pair of 15's and a 16" . Dave Schaller methodically fished his way to 3rd with 39" to claim 3rd place.
Central #2 --- Just Enough Mojo Ends 18 Event Drought!!
You thought it would never happen! The Cubs would win a World Series! Trump wouldn't get elected! Well, a bigger shock would be NAPRA vet Pete Ziehler winning an event. He did. Here is how the event played out as the Central Elite fished Covington for their 2nd event of the season.
Pete Ziehler and Jeff Erwin, new Central Elite leader, manged to land two rockies in the first 5 minutes. This might be a good sign. Ziehler preceded to work his way down stream and scored 4 fish in very quick succession. Erwin and Ziehler hit the right bend down and managed few hits for a while until Ziehler managed a 18" bass! He preceded to real off 4 fish over 12 inches to secure the win. Erwin won the tiebreaker over Mike Sockman (48" each) to finish 2nd and 3rd respectfully. Overall about 225 inches of Keepers were caught on the day.
Central #3 Recap Big Money Returns to Winner's Circle
Being out of the top spot is an odd place for Mike Hill. His fellow NAPRA Elite Central anglers noticed and worried when would he heat up. At the RemoraLure,LLC Central #3 event at Paint Creek Hill managed 5 fish averaging over a foot big to win the event. His 70.5" inches of fish including a nice 16" bass edged Jeff Erwin's massive day and catch including a 20" bass!!! Jeff's 65" was not enough! Finishing 3rd fly angling his way to a nice day was Jacob Goetz with an impressive 58.5".
Central #4 Recap: Sockman Heats up Central Trail with Blazing win
Upstream or downstream? Always a tough choice for anglers. Mike Sockman, fresh off a 13 hour drive back from vacation, mustered his wills to beat the extreme heat and fatigue to catch 74.5 inches of fish to win the Central #4 at Twin Creek(Manning). His catches included an 18.5 and 17" piggies. Mike Hill, whom fished with a broken rod managed to catch 72 inches of fish including a nice 17.5 fish. Jacob Goetz finished 3rd followed by Dave Schaller.
Central #5 Recap: Erwin's win shakes up Standings
Jeff Erwin, on the strength of a nice 16" bass, managed to pace the field at the GMR Peterson Access Point to win the Central's second to last event. His 59" edged Jeff English's 52" whom caught a limit within the first 15 minutes of the event. "Kind of stresses you out to see him catch fish right away and you just have to keep plugging away," stated Pete Ziehler whom finished 3rd with 48". The shakeup is Jeff Erwin is now on top with Mike Hill and Ziehler vaulting over Mike Sockman whom fell from 1st to 4th. Quite a tight race heading into the last event on 7-29 at GMR Concord Park.
CENTRAL #6: Barker 1/ New Waters 0
Jeremy Barker fished new waters Sunday in the Central Elite's final event on the waters of GMR at El Dean. He hit a streak of fish and rolled off a nice tally of 60" of fish. The new waters and challenge were not enough for Barker whom scored his 2nd victory of the season. The battle for second and third came down to Jeff English and Pete Ziehler. Jeff edged Ziehler 53.5" to 53 to finish 2nd in the event. The Central Elite has now finished with their events. They will await the results of the other 2 trails to see where they are in the playoffs...
Well, NAPRA vet Pete Ziehler won the second event of the circuit. It was his first victory since 2015 and showed he still has the moxie to win. Ziehler however would not be able to win his 4th NAPRA title (07, 08, 11) as Charles Brannam found a stretch on the Stillwater to win the Wade War on a very gloomy and crappy fishing day. In 2018 the NAPRA Cup and Wade War were back to back giving credence that the best man had to come to win that day. Charles Ellis, whom finished tied for the last spot in the semis was given a spot in the Wade War. He almost edged Charles to win it all but it would be Brannam’s day! Bobby Tribbey from the South Division would win the 2018 ROY!
Lakes Edges Kortis at Twin Creek!
Travis Lakes caught fire(not literally but it wouldn't mattered)
the last hour to edge Steve Kortis by 1.75" to win the 2019 NAPRA Elite #1 Opener in Germantown, Ohio. "He was just on fire!" stated Kortis as his lead dwindled up in smoke. Travis caught a nice bag of fish including a nice 17" keeper.
Kortis caught 31 fish total but just couldn't get the big one to edge Travis. Steve managed 5 fish all over 12.5" to secure the second place finish. Dave Schaller fished 3rd with 57.5 inches followed by Marvin Reynolds with just over 52.5.
Thanks to sponsors Penn Sation, Maniac Custom Lures, Panther Vision, and Pro-Cure Bait Scents Germany for sponsoring our event.
The anglers will be back in the water June 2nd in the city of Bellbrook.
NAPRA NEWS: HITZMAN PACES FIELD ON VERY GOOD DAY OF ANGLING!
WHEN SEVEN ANGLERS CAUGHT 450.5 INCHES OF FISH/67 INCH BAG AVERAGE PER ANGLER/ AND 12.8 INCHES PER FISH AVERAGE IT WAS A VERY GOOD DAY FOR THE NAPRA ELITE AT PAINT CREEK. IT WAS AN EVEN BETTER DAY FOR MICHAEL HITZMAN AS HE OUTSLUGGED THE FIELD BY JUST OVER 10 INCHES TO CLAIM THE ELITE #2 EVENT. HITZMAN'S BAG INCLUDED A 17.5 BEAUTY AND A PAIR OF 16.5'S. RUNNER UP PETE ZIEHLER KNEW COMING OFF A TERRIBLE START TO THE SEASON (7TH PLACE/ 24 TOTAL INCHES) HE HAD TO PICK UP THE PACE. "I GOT A FLURRY OF FISH BUT THEN THE RAIN CAME AND THE FISH GODS TURNED OFF FOR ME! IT WAS A GREAT DAY AND VERY IMPRESSED BY MIKE'S CONTINUAL DOMINANCE!" ZIEHLER'S 67.5 INCLUDED A 16" BASS CAUGHT ON A BLUE FOX PINK/SILVER 1/3 OZ. SPINNER. CLOSE BEHIND FOR THIRD WAS BOBBY TRIBBEY (65.5) AND RANDAL SAVAGE (63.5). DESPITE FINISHING 6TH STEVE KORTIS NOW IS SEEDED #1 IN THE PLAYOFF STANDINGS (127") LEAPFROGGING ELITE #1 WINNER TRAVIS LAKES (123.5) WHOM NOW SITS IN 2ND. THE ELITE #3 EVENT WILL BE ON THE CONFLUENCES OF THE BIG DARBY/LITTLE DARBY ON JUNE 23RD.#3
NAPRA NEWS: HITZMAN ON A TEAR!
WITH STIFLING HEAT AND LOW WATER LEVELS THE ELITE #3 STOP IN FRANKLIN WAS GOING TO BE FEAST OR FAMINE. WELL, MICHAEL HITZMAN SURE PROVED THAT HEAT COULD PROBABLY FISH ON THE MOON AND STILL IMPRESS. IMPRESS HE DID AS HE ROLLED OFF 71 INCHES OF FISH INCLUDING TWO OVER 17" TO WIN THE ELITE #3 EVENT AND PUT HIM IN GREAT CONTENTION TO REPEAT AS CHAMPION OF THE NAPRA ELITE CIRCUIT. ERIC CHIVINGTON SKYROCKETED UP THE STANDINGS AS HE LIMITED OUT IN ROUGHLY 30 MINUTES TO FINISH EITH 65.75" OF FISH, GOOD ENOUGH FOR 2ND PLACE. DAVE SCHALLER WAS CLOSE BEHIND WITH 59.75 INCHES OF FISH! THE ELITE WILL DOUBLE DIP ON JULY 14TH IN MIAMI COUNTY WITH TWO STOPS FOR EVENTS #5 AND #6.... . DETAILS FORTHCOMING...
NAPRA NEWS: ELITE #4 AND #5 RECAPS
(#4) CHIVINGTON SPOILS KORTIS'S RETURN
ERIC CHIVINGTON, NOW 10TH PLACE ALL TIME IN NAPRA CAREER AND ELITE POINTS, DISSECTED THE HEAT AND STINGY FISH BITE TO CLAIM THE 2019 ELITE #4 EVENT IN COVINGTON, OHIO. HE MANAGED 70 INCHES TO CLAIM THE VICTORY AND SPOIL THE RETURN OF STEVE KORTIS WHOM WAS ON THE IR FOR THE LAST EVENT. ERIC'S WEAPON OF CHOICE WAS A WHERE NOT A WHAT. WHILE THE OTHER ANGLERS FISHED THE GREENVILLE CREEK AND STILLWATER HE SNUCK AWAY TO THE GREENVILLE FALLS AND HAD THE WHOLE STRETCH TO HIMSELF. HIS BIGGEST KEEPER WAS A 15". KORTIS MANAGED 68 INCHES FOR 2ND AND DAVE SCHALLER HAD A VERY CLOSE 67 FOR 3RD. BIG FISH OF THE DAY WERE MUTUALLY CAUGHT BY MARVIN REYNOLDS AND RANDAL SAVAGE WITH 17 INCHERS.
(#5) HITZMAN BATTLES CROWDED RIVER TO WIN #5
WITH A SLEW OF ANGLERS WADING UP AND DOWN THE STILLWATER AT HORSESHOE BEND AND A REGATTA OF CANOERS AND KAYAKERS MICHAEL HITZMAN PROVED TO HAVE NERVES OF STEEL TO WIN HIS 3RD EVENT OF THE 2019 SEASON. HIS 61.5" BAG JUST EDGED BOBBY TRIBBEY'S 59 INCLUDING A 14 INCHER THE LAST 10 MINUTES OF COMPETITION. "HITZMAN COULD FISH IN A BLENDER AND GET A LIMIT. HE'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE TOP 3 ANGLERS I HAVE SEEN IN MY 14 YEARS OF RUNNING NAPRA!", PRAISED CEO AND FELLOW COMPETITOR PETE ZIEHLER. DAVE SCHALLER HAD ANOTHER STRONG OUTING AND FINISHED 3RD AGAIN.
+6 Savage Edges Hitzman to win Elite #6
Using a jig and fishing off a series of banks Randal Savage managed just enough fish (60") to edge perennial contender Michael Hitzman by just 1/2" (59.5) to claim NAPRA's Elite #6 in Bellbrook, Ohio. Savage fished a quiet stretch to himself to secure three fish over a foot in length. Hitzman managed a nice bag with a big fish of 14" to finish 2nd in the event. Travis Lakes was close behind with 56.75" of fish for 3rd place.
The event, held in the waters of the LMR, had it share of drama. Angler Bobby Tribbey's phone took a bath while veteran Pete Ziehler's wading shoes snapped in half and made wading tough. Lastly witnessed by Dave Schaller and Ziehler was Steve Kortis, 4th place finisher, whom lost a bass that was every bit of 20-22" large! Such the life of angling!
NAPRA NEWS: Michael Hitzman Wins Elite #7 and AOY!!!
When 2017 ended with Hitzman on top of the NAPRA World you knew being top angler would be a familiar feeling for Mike Hitzman. Well, NAPRA's 2019 has many so accustom to Mike winning it has become expected more than a surprise. NAPRA's 2019 finale at the Big Darby/Little Darby confluence didn't disappoint. Hitzman battled a tough field, hot weather, and being unfamiliar to the stream make up to pound out 69.25" of fish to win the event. This secured a bye in the playoffs of Mike and the 2019 Tru Turn Inc Dba Tti Blakemore Angler of the Year Award! Way to go !!!
Steve Kortis scored a massive 17.75" bass to finish close in second with 63 inches followed by 2019 Rookie of the Year Josh Nelson whom scored 59.75 inches of bass!
Thanks to Maniac Custom Lures for being our Title sponsor for 2019! Off to the playoffs now...
AOY (Top 5)
735 Michael Hitzman
683 Bobby Tribbey
665 Marvin Reynolds
662 Pete Ziehler
605 Steve Kortis
Maniac 200 Club
Pete Ziehler 213" caught (1st angler signed up to do so)
NAPRA CUP Qualifiers (Top 5 in competition)
10 Biggest fish caught in competion collectively over 7 events
169.75 Michael Hitzman
156.75 Bobby Tribbey
149.5 Randal Savage
141 Marvin Reynolds
138.25 Steve Kortis
Wild Card Wade Qualifiers (1st round of playoffs)*
131.5 Pete Ziehler
131 Dave Schaller
129.5 Travis Lakes
* Eric Chivington, Jeff Erwin and Josh Nelson are invited to participate in the 2019 Wild Card Wade to compete for a separate prize. They can not advance to the NAPRA CUP.
Congrats to Travis Lakes for winning the 2019 Wild Card Wade with a nice 73” limit. His biggest was a 18” bass. He edged Dave Schaller (60”) followed by Pete Ziehler. All three will join the five anglers awarded byes in today’s semi. The NAPRA Cup.
Congrats to Steve Kortis for winning the 2019 NAPRA Cup in Piqua! His 75.5” of fish paced the field on a very competitive day. Over 400” of keepers were caught amongst the 8 anglers. Marvin Reynolds finished second with 68.5” followed by Bobby Tribbey’s 66. The 8 anglers totals with pair with the Wade War next week to declare the 2019 champion.
NAPRA NEWS: Kortis First 2 Time Champion!
Steve Kortis, on the strength of a nearly 8 inch lead had just enough to keep Marvin Reynolds at bay and claim the 2019 Wade War. Deja vue for Steve as he won the Wade War in 2016! Steve's 69.25 inches was the high mark for the day followed by 4 other anglers with over 60 inches of fish caught. Final standings for Wade War (includes NAPRA Cup Totals)
Steve Kortis 144.75
Marvin Reynolds 134
Bobby Tribbey 129
Dave Schaller 123
Michael Hitzman 119.75
Pete ZIehler 99
Travis Lakes 90
Randal Savage 56 (injured for WW)
We want to thank our many sponsors for making 2019 our best year yet! Fourteen years in the books!
Quick Milestone Reached:
Steve Kortis passed Mike Hill for 3rd all time in Elite wins with nine!
MIO FISHING LEAGUE
Ziehler Claims MFL 19' Title
Battle to the Last Trout!
The anticipation of another trout trip for the NAPRA Nation anglers was slightly subdued by cold weather, nasty winds, and raging rivers. Well, the battle for the MFL Crown came down to a bountiful day on the Au Sable as always. Here is the full updated report.
The first stop on the tour was the Big Creek near Luzerne Michigan. Anglers battled a narrow stream, tons of timber and stingy fish to see whom could catch the biggest trout. Pete Ziehler's fourth cast with a 1/4 oz. yellow Panther Martin produced a 9.5" trout and the largest one of the event. Ziehler picked up a prize pack including items from MFL sponsors Snack Daddy Lures, Maniac Custom Lures, and Ty Gy's Lures.
The second event was a journey to the Sturgeon River and a very swift current was the true winner. Josh Nelson and Pete Ziehler ventured to a natural low dam and lost tackle in search of a narrow pool bound to score fish. Ziehler used a Chuck Booker designed 1/3 oz' spinner to managed a 13" trout in the deep pool. This would prove the winner of event #2.
The third event was a trip to a new spot for the MFL. The Pigeon River north of Vanderbilt (MI) proved perfect for Nathan Waters as his first casts scored a 13.5" trout that was the beauty of the trip. His win scored him great prizes from Panther Vision, Vic Coomer Lures, and @MFYD Baits. It also put him 2 points behind Ziehler heading into the MFL Cup on the Foote Dam.
The MFL Cup on the waters below the Foote Dam was to be the bounty of the trip. Steelies ranging from 5 to 12 lbs. were caught there and the anglers had that catch in mind. Well, while the big steelhead and Atlantic didn't cooperate the small browns, brooks, and rainbows sure did. Ziehler hit a spot across from the Foote Dam bridge to score a run of fish that the entire field cashed in on. Over 200 fish were caught in 4 hours including some with 50 plus to their total. Dave Schaller's 10.5" steel head was edged by a 12" brown caught by Ziehler. This secured the MFL Cup for Ziehler and a great conclusion for all in the MFL.
Pete Ziehler 398 pts
Nate Waters 394
Dave Schaller 393
Ken Carter 392
Josh Nelson 98
*** Incidentally Dave Schaller's 398 points moved him from 10th to 8th all time in NAPRA career Points passing vets Chris Fetterman and Tim HIll. Ziehler's 3 wins put him as the 2nd angler in NAPRA history to reach 20 wins. His 22 are still 38 behind the legend of NAPRA, one Karl Halley (60 career wins).
ELITE #1 TROY KORTIS DODGES BULLETS (LITERALLY) TO WIN NORTH #1
The word "Troy" is usually thought of as a name, a place in Greek lore, or the main character from High School Musical. In the NAPRA World it means smile to Steve Kortis. The two time Wade War champion fished his home waters to perfection to win the first of the double bill in Troy. Steve dodged high water, tough bites, and yes buck shot (Jeff Erwin too) from an angry landowner to score 56.5" of fish and win the event. Second in the event was Marvin Reynolds with 47.25" including scores of rock bass, a consistent catch for all. Third in the event was rookie Ralph Evans whom won the tie breaker over Jeff. Both had 47 inches.
ELITE #2 Troy KORTIS WIN A LUNKER AND A SECOND WIN
Kortis continued the hotstreak and fished his way to a second victory with an impressive 69" to best the competition by over 15". His bag included a MASSIVE 19" bass to pretty much seal the deal. Rookie Ralph Evans scored a nice 54" of bass to edge Marvin Reynolds for 3rd. Fourth was Pete Ziehler with 47" of fish.
NAPRA ELITE #3 Results:
Reynolds wins North #3
On the strength of a few immediate fish Marvin Reynolds paced himself to a 62.5" bag and his first win of the 2020 season. Fast charging was Steve Kortis with 56.26 followed by Pete Ziehler with 54.5. The waters of the Stillwater at Old Springfield was warm, the fish were biting, and a super time was head.
NAPRA ELITE #4 Results
REYNOLDS ON A TEAR!
"You know he's doing fine when he has time to take pics of you fishing!," stated North Elite Angler Pete Ziehler talking about Marvin Reynolds. "He yet again patiently worked his lures and pace to another victory! Way to go Mavin!". Reynold's 69.25" included a nice 15" bass good for the second biggest caught in the competition. 2020 Rookie Ralph Evans continued to be a force to reckon with on the strength of a second place finish (64.5") including the big fish of the day at 16.25". Ziehler finished third with 57.5" followed by Steve Kortis at 57.25". Marvin's win was his second in a row heading into the North Elite's #5 stop in Piqua/Troy July 12th.
NAPRA ELITE NORTH #5 KORTIS HITS CREEK TO REGAIN TOP SPOT
Christmas and Santa. Coke and Jack. Kortis and Covington. Three things that go together so well. Well, the extreme drout looked to douse any excitement from the North Elite field as they hit the Stillwater at Covington July 12th for their 5th of 7 stops. "Don't look good!" was the universal sentiment at that offset. Four hours later Kortis proved that if you can find them you can dominate. He caught 69 inches of fish and well over 40 fish to edge Dave Schallers 60.25" to win the event. Steve consistently caught fish and couldn't be stopped. Finishing third was Ralph Evans with 60" of fish including the big bass of the event, a 17.75" monster!
NAPRA NORTH ELITE #6 RESULTS:
REYNOLDS WIN MAKES LAST EVENT WINNER TAKE ALL
With the victory at the LMR-Bellbrook site Marvin Reynolds tied up Steve Kortis for the North standings heading into the final event August 2nd. Marvin's 1st cast scored a 14" keeper and set the pace for his 56" day. Marvin used a FITT Premium Lures swimbait on the day! 2020 Rookie Eric Burris finished his best on the year with a nice 54.5" bag edging Steve Kortis by half an inch (54"). Current leader in the ROY standings Ralph Evans finished 4th with 44.5".
NAPRA CEO and angler Pete Ziehler continued to fall victim to the "Curse of the T Property" as last year he broke a wading shoe and this year a rod and and reel in a course of a half an hour. "It happens! That is why you just shrug it off and be ready for the next event."
The final event will be August 2nd from 730-1215 on the waters of the GMR in Piqua, Ohio.
NAPRA ELITE NORTH #7 Results
KORTIS HITS BIG FISH AND WINS EVENT AND CLAIMS TRAIL
Steve Kortis was off in the distance fishing from fellow North Division anglers Pete Ziehler and Eric Burris and you can hear him scream "Yes!" when he ran into some big fish and secured his top spot in the event. His 72" included 3 fish over 15" to outpace second place finisher Dave Schaller (51.5"). Dave caught the big fish of the day, a 17" lunker. 2020 Rookie Eric Burris finished with a flourish to claim third with a nice 47.5" day.
Steve's first place finish broke the tie with Marvin Reynolds and puts him as a leading contender heading into the 2020 postseason next week.
SOUTH #1 TWIN CREEK
HITZMAN SCORES VICTORY IN TWIN BILL on TWIN
Hitzman's 59" of fish was enough to win the South Elite's #1 on the waters of Twin Creek. His big bass, a 14" was enough to separate himself from the field. Bobby Tribbey finished second with 42.5" including a nice 14.25" bass. David Craig, a 2020 rookie, finished with a nice 30.5 total including big bass of the event at 16.5"
SOUTH #2 TWIN CREEK
HITZMAN AGAIN ON SOUTH ELITE #2
Tough bite event #2 for the South Elite. While numerous anglers couldn't secure a keeper Mike Hitzman's 39" beat rookie Kati Semones and her 13.25" for the victory. "Hitzman is one of the most consistent, precise anglers in the history of NAPRA," stated NAPRA CEO Pete Ziehler when given the results. "He's good. Plain and simple." Bobby Tribbey finished 3rd in the event.
HItzman goes 3 for 3 in 2020 (SOUTH #3)
OK, 2020 has brought us a lot of changes but Hitzman being on hecka of an angler proved again true as he rolled off the 3rd stop on the 2020 South Elite Trail. His 65.5" of fish included a nice 17" bass to seal the win. 2020 Rookie David Craig was just a fin behind with 64" followed byTravis Lakes with 52.75".
SOUTH ELITE #4
LAKES Edges Craig by Tiebreaker to win South #4
You know its impressive when the top 3 of the South Elite caught over 200" of fish. Travis's 17.75" behemoth was the tiebreaker of David Craig as both caught an amazing 76.75" of fish. What a battle! The smallest keeper amongst the top two was 13". Many anglers would dream of a fish that size alone. Mike Hitzman, the current South points leader, finishes with an impressive 58.25" to finish 3rd followed by Bobby Tribbey's 52" for 4th.
SOUTH ELITE #5 HITZMAN SETS RECORD IN HIS WIN
Mike Hitzman, with the victory today in the South Elite's #5 at Paint Creek (Greenfield) scored his 17th NAPRA Elite victory and moved into first place all time. "Man, he is so good that you just know its Hitzman on the leaderboard!", stated NAPRA CEO Pete Ziehler when he heard the news. Hitzman and the South found a honey hole that produced some great fish. Second place finisher Bobby Tribbey caught 62" of fish and 2020 rookie Tony Herald caught 56.5 including a MASSSSSIVVVVVEEE 20.25" pig of a fish.
NAPRA SOUTH #6 Results
Lakes Beats Heat and the Field on the LMR
Travis Lakes fishing output was at hot as the blazing heat as the LMR was no match for his 75" of fish caught to secure the North #6 event win. "When you average 15" a keeper you are going to win!", stated NAPRA CEO Pete Ziehler when he received the report of the South's event. "Lakes was on fire and proved he will be a force to reckon with as we head to our playoffs in a month!". David Craig scored 50.75" of fish for 2nd place followed by fellow rookie Tony Herald with 50.25 including two 15+" fish as pictured below.
The South will conclude their regular season August 5th from 730-1215 on the water of Twin Creek west of Germantown(OH).
NAPRA NEWS: South #7
Lakes wins at Twin Creek
Travis Lakes fished his home river and managed a massive 19.5" bass to put himself in a good spot to win the event. His tally of 73" bested runner up David Craig (62.5"), Mike Hitzman's(53.5") and Bobby Tribbey's 43.75" .
With a consistent year Bobby Tribbey was able to claim the South Title! This is a first for Bobby! Way to go Bobby!
ROOKIE OF YEAR
1 David Craig 695
2 Ralph Evans 693
3 Eric Burris 684
4 561 Tony Herald
5 457 Chad Miller
6 282 Andy Long
7 186 Kati Semones
AOY PRESENTED BY LEE'S CHICKEN AND PAP'S JERKY
1 Steve Kortis 784
2 Travis Lakes 759
3 Marvin Reynolds 749
4 David Craig 718
5 Ralph Evans 710
6 Bobby Tribbey 705
7 Eric Burris 684 (Tie breaker, more 2nd place finishes)
8 Pete Ziehler 684
9 Mike Hitzman 677
10 Tony Herlad 563
11 Chad Miller 459
12 Jeff Erwin 475
13 Davea Schaller 396
14 Andy Long 282
15 Kati Semones 188
BIG BASS PRESENTED BY FRISCH'S BIG BOYOVERALL
1 Tony Herald 20.25 (S #5)
2 Travis Lakes 19.5 (S #7)
3 Steve Kortis 19" (N #2)
4 Travis Lakes 17.75 (S#4) and Ralph Evans (N #5)
5 Travis Lakes 17" (S#6) and Dave Schaller (N#7)
6 David Craig 16.5 (S #2)
NAPRA NEWS: REYNOLDS WINS NAPRA CUP
"WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FELLOW ANGLER CATCH A BIG FISH WAY DOWNSTREAM YOU KNOW HE'S HAVING A GREAT DAY!", STATED PETE ZIEHLER AS HE WATCH MARVIN REYNOLDS CATCH TWO NICE FISH TO CLAIM FIRST PLACE IN THE 2020 NAPRA CUP AND BE THE FAVORITE IN THE WADE WAR NEXT WEEK. MARVIN ADAPTED TO TOUGH FISHING CONDITIONS AND CHANGED HIS PRESENTATION MULTIPLE TIMES TO SECURE A 60" LIMIT TO WIN HIS 2ND CAREER NAPRA CUP AND 11TH CAREER WIN. 2020 AOY STEVE KORTIS CAUGHT TONS OF FISH BUT COULDN'T MATCH REYNOLD'S TOTALS. STEVE CAUGHT 55" OF FISH TO FINISH 2ND FOLLOWED BY DAVE SCHALLER WHOM CAUGHT 51.25".
1) 60" MARVIN REYNOLDS
2)55" STEVE KORTIS
3) 51.25" DAVE SCHALLER
4) 51" TONY HERALD
5) 46" MIKE HITZMAN
6) 41" BOBBY TRIBBEY
7) 27.5" TRAVIS LAKES (TIE BREAKER)
8) 27.5" RALPH EVANS
9) 19.5" DAVID CRAIG
10) PETE ZIEHLER (SCRATCHED~ ILLNESS)
NAPRA NEWS: Craig wins Wade War 7
2020 Rookie of the Year David Craig used a ned rig to outpace the competition to win the 2020 Wade War. Craig's 5 fish limit, the only limit caught on a tough day, netted him his 1st NAPRA victory ever. What a way to earn y our first win. His 66" limit was earned craftily wading upstream at the Big Darby/Little Darby confluence near Grove City. "I saw David come upstream and he said he knew he was in good shape as he had 2 fish in the first moments of the event. He proved it with one heck of a day. Very proud of David. Quite an accomplishment!", stated NAPRA CEO and Host Pete Ziehler.
The Wade War, sponsored by White Castle, Panther Vision, Get Hooked Plastics, Rod Bender Baits, Pap’s Beef Jerky, FittLures and more was held in Grove City, Ohio.
Finishing 2nd was Marvin Reynolds with 40.5' followed by Bobby Tribbey's 39.25".
Final Results as follows:
1st David Craig 66"
2nd Marvin Reynolds 40.5"
3rd Bobby Tribbey 39.25"
4th Ralph Evans 22.25"
5th Dave Schaller 32"
6th Mike Hitzman 32"
7th Travis Lakes 28.75"
8th Pete ZIehler 25"
9th Steve Kortis 10"
10th Tony Herald 0"
This concludes NAPRA's 15th season. Thanks to all participants, sponsors, hosts, and colleagues!