Topeka siblings capture junior state title; Chapman, Mains win high school division
Legacy Christian's Mason Chapman, Ryder Mains take high school title
Call it family bonding.
A pair of Topeka siblings captured the state title in the junior division, while the high school anglers looked to leave a strong legacy for their younger relatives during the 2021 Kansas Student Angler Federation/The Bass Federation State Championships on April 25 at Melvern Reservoir in Osage City.
Brothers Nick and Kyle Herrman posted 15.62 pounds of fish in the junior division, giving them a 10-plus-pound margin of victory over second-place Gage Mains and Carter Coad (5.13 pounds) and a chance to fish in the 2021 TBF Junior World Championship from July 28-30 on the Mississippi River in Quad Cities, Ill.
On the high school side, meanwhile, Legacy Christian's Mason Chapman and Ryder Mains tallied a 14.80-pound bag for their own state championship, knocking off Kickback Club's Peyton Force and Jackson Opheim, who finished second with 13.00 pounds. The win qualifies them for the 12th annual High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship, which run concurrently from June 30 to July 3 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C.
For the Herrmans, who fished in the high school division on the Kansas BASS Nation trail this year, winning a junior state title meant stepping out of their comfort zone a bit.
“We could not catch a keeper, so we decided to fish a spot we didn’t fish in practice," Kyle Herrman said. "That spot is where we caught four of our five keepers.”
His brother, Nick, said they were excited to get to fish against some of the world's best this summer.
"It is exciting to be able to get this experience," Nick said. "This is the first time we have won this tournament. We can’t wait to see what will happen at nationals.”
The twins' boat captain and father, Tate Herrman, was happy to be along for the ride, as well.
"I’m so proud of the boys," Tate said. "They have been working so hard this year. Things have not gone our way. This event, we found some fish in practice. But the day of the tournament, we could only catch nonkeepers on those spots. So, we kept moving until we found a bank that held keepers. The twins showed a lot of patience."
The family connection was notable on the high school side, as well, as Ryder is the older brother of Gage Mains, while Chapman — the son of professional bass angler Brent Chapman — is the cousin of Coad.
The elder Mains expressed gratitude for everyone who had helped him reach this point in his fishing career.
"First I want to thank TBF for putting on the event," Ryder Mains said. "Second, I want to thank the other anglers who participated. The skill at the high school and youth level is ever increasing and it’s an honor to win such a tournament.
"I would also like to thank all my sponsors, specifically Royal Coatings and Wholesale Batteries. Wholesale Batteries provided last-minute battery assistance that contributed to our success. And of course I’d like to thank Mason Chapman for being such a great teammate and friend."
Buhler's Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover, back-to-back Kansas BASS Nation High School Anglers of the Year, finished third in the high school division with 10.87 pounds. Manhattan's Tyler Bean and Owen Rausch were fourth with 7.62 pounds, followed by the Cougars team of Jacob Macey and Jake Disney.
In the junior division, the Herrmans’ Topeka Jr. Hawgs teammates, Avery Bowen and Laiken Emanuel, finished third with 2.81 pounds, with Basehor-Linwood’s Drake Wilson and Nathanael Meitler taking fourth with 2.25 pounds. The Bobcats' Cydney Hutchinson and Joey Batesel didn't weigh a fish.
KANSAS SAF/TBF STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Results April 25 at Melvern Reservoir
Anglers, club ... Pounds of fish
1. Mains/Chapman, Legacy Christian ... 14.80
2. Force/Opheim, Kickback ... 13.00
3. Fideldy/Gover, Buhler ... 10.87
4. Bean/Rausch, MHK ... 7.62
5. Macey/Disney, Cougars ... 4.35
6T. J. Comba/L. Comba, Basehor-Linwood ... 3.33
6T. E. Tripe/A. Tripe, Basehor-Linwood ... 3.33
7. Co. Hutchinson/Blackburn, Basehor-Linwood ... 2.34
8T. Jackson/Baker, Bluestem ... 0.00
8T. Youngblood/Belodrajdic, Basehor-Linwood ... 0
Results April 25 at Melvern Reservoir
Anglers, Club ... Pounds of fish
1. K. Herrman/N. Herrman, Topeka Jr. Hawgs ... 15.62
2. G. Mains/Coad, Legacy Christian ... 5.13
3. Bowen/Emanuel, Topeka Jr. Hawgs ... 2.81
4. Wilson/Meitler, Basehor-Linwood ... 2.25
5. Cyd. Hutchinson/Batesel, Basehor-Linwood ... 0.0