Blair pair outcatch competition for state crown - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm / Updated at 10:32 am
OUTDOORS
Blair pair outcatch competition for state crown
Nebraska High School Fishing Tournament Results
1. Matt Neiburg and Zach Madsen, Blair. Four fish, 9.01 pounds. Boat captain: Bill Warrick, Blair.
2. Drew Urbanovsky, Roca, and Ian Malmstrom, Lincoln. Three fish, 5.82 pounds. Boat captain: Ryan Pashby, Lincoln.
3. Eric Soe and Payne Ahrens, Gretna. Two fish, 4.75 pounds. Boat captain: Frank Soe, Gretna.
4. Dijon Roberts and Tel Pyzer, North Platte. Two fish, 4.67 pounds. Boat captain: Kent Priel, North Platte.
5. Noah Katt, Omaha, and Hayden Renter, Bennington. Two fish, 3.93 pounds. Boat captain: Kyle Branecki, Omaha.
6. Dillon Thompson and Kylan Rhodes, Papillion. One fish, 1.82 pounds. Boat captain: Bryan Shaw, Omaha.
7. Colten White and Jacob White, Kearney. One fish (Died. Team penalized one-half pound), 1.55 pounds. Boat captain: Steve White of Kearney.

Other participants:
>> Drew Bailey and Corbin Baumfalk, North Platte. Boat captain: Kelley Bailey, North Platte.
>> Jarrod Cox and Jay Thayer, Fremont. Boat captain: Kevin Cox, Fremont.
>> Adam Diehl and Ashley Armstrong, North Platte. Boat captain: Camron Armstrong of North Platte.
>> Cole Luetkenhaus, Ashland, and Lee Luetkenhaus, Wahoo. Boat captain: Alan Luetkenhaus, Wahoo.
>> Blake Mumm, Omaha, and Logan Johnson, Bellevue. Boat captain: Jeff Mumm of Omaha.
>> Tanner Nielsen and Alex Nielsen, Plattsmouth. Boat captain: Lee Wubbles of Lincoln.
>> Grant Pavelka and Tyler Rowland, North Platte. Boat captain: Ben Pavelka of North Platte.
>> Connor Pudenz and Andrew Phelps, Papillion. Boat captain: Bruce Dreessen, Papillion.
>> Jacob Zimbelman and Trevor Lee, North Platte. Boat captain: Doug Zimbelman of North Platte.

TEKAMAH, Neb. — The ingredients were all there.

Summit Lake, one of the best bass fishing sites in the region.

Sixteen motivated, two-person teams from across the state competing in the second Nebraska High School Fishing Championship.

A break in the summer's siege of 100-degree temperatures.

The result: A tough day on the water for just about everyone — except Zach Madsen and Matt Neiburg of Blair.

The Blair High School seniors won the state championship Saturday with a four-fish total weighing 9.01 pounds. They outdistanced runners-up Drew Urbanovksi of Roca and Ian Malmstrom of Lincoln, who weighed in three fish, by 3.19 pounds.

“It was a tough day,” Neiburg said. “Normally this lake is a lot better and you catch a lot bigger fish. Pretty slow.”

The fishing buddies won the tournament on fish caught with crankbaits. They lost one that Neiburg estimated weighed more than 3.5 pounds on a Wacky Worm, a soft plastic lure.

“We caught all the small fish on Wacky Worms,” Neiburg said. “No keepers there.”

Summit Lake is a flood-control reservoir built in the hills above Tekamah in the 1970s. The fishery was renovated in 2001 and now includes bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, walleye and channel catfish.

It consistently rates as a top spot for largemouth bass. Sixteen Master Angler largemouths have been reported out of Summit since 2009.

Neiburg said he caught an eight-pound, 23- to 24-inch bass at Summit during the spawn two years ago.

Don Gabelhouse of Lincoln, the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission fisheries administrator, blamed a weak cold front that passed through the area Friday for the change in fishing fortunes.

“Chalk it up to changing weather,” he said. “This was a tough bite. Kids who pre-fished this and did well, didn't do too well today.”

Last year's inaugural state champions, Drew Bailey and Adam Diehl of North Platte, split up and fished with different partners this year. Their teams didn't catch one fish big enough to weigh in.

They weren't alone. Nine of the 16 teams didn't qualify for the weigh-in.

Tournament rules followed size regulations for Summit Lake. Anglers could only keep fish at least 15 inches long. No more than one could be longer than 21 inches. Team members were allowed to possess five fish apiece in their boat's live well and weigh in the five heaviest.

“There's strategy involved,” Gabelhouse said.

An hour into the tournament, Gabelhouse and Game and Parks fisheries staffers Tony Munter of North Platte and Jeff Schuckman of Norfolk canvassed the lake boat to check on fishing success.

“We're a late-hour team. Come back at noon,” hollered Kent Priel of North Platte, who was at the helm of the boat with teammates Dejon Roberts and Tel Pyzer, both of North Platte.

By mid-morning, however, Pyzer already had a 16-incher to show off. The team eventually finished fourth, just a few ounces out of third place.

Down the shoreline, Bruce Dreessen of Papillion gave a pep talk during the morning lull to the anglers in his boat — Connor Pudenz and Andrew Phelps — that was loud enough for other competitors to hear: “We're soon to be state champions! See you on the podium!”

Across the lake, Urbanovsky pulled in his first keeper of the day, a bass a bit longer than 15 inches caught with a Baby Brush Hog lure along a rock jetty.

Nearby, Madsen and Neiburg were quietly fishing in seven feet of water over a hump in the lake bottom.

Gabelhouse said the commission is optimistic that an annual state high school fishing tournament would recruit more young people to the sport. Participation in fishing among young people has been declining across the nation.

The commission's introductory Family Fishing Nights in communities across Nebraska are popular, but mostly among families with young children.

“We've noticed that high school kids avoid Family Fishing Nights like the plague,” Gabelhouse said. “Kids that age like to compete. This gives them an opportunity to do that and do something new.”

The tournament was organized by Game and Parks and Nebraska members of The Bass Federation.

Madsen and Neiburg's victory qualifies them to compete in the regional tournament in October.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1127, david.hendee@owh.com

Contact the writer: David Hendee

david.hendee@owh.com    |   402-444-1127

David covers a variety of news across Nebraska, particularly natural resources and rural issues and the State Game and Parks Commission.

Williamsen, Mavericks limit Creighton offense in win
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Strong second half leads SkyHawks past Gretna
Mavs’ Elsasser tosses no-no in sweep of North Dakota
Reetz leads Norris over Westside in showdown of top-ranked teams
Hurdlers give Huskers solid foundation
Doniphan native Lemek captures MVC title
State regulator tells 2 ride services eyeing Omaha, Lincoln to cease and desist
Proposed 5% hike in cab fares meets reluctant state transportation official
Google signs deal with MidAmerican Energy to power Bluffs data center
Chasers earn series split with Nashville
Inmate van driver convicted of killing Lincoln woman in crash to be sentenced in June
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Tom Brewer shakes up campaign staff, optimistic about race with Adrian Smith
Supreme Court conflicted on Aereo’s streaming TV service
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
'Being frugal counts': Student pays for college with pennies
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Archives: So many wonderful old Omaha photos
2nd District House race: After 8 terms, Lee Terry knows how D.C. works — and doesn't
Bellevue man is killed at Minnesota dance hall after South Sudanese basketball tourney
The best bar/restaurant patios in the Omaha area
Trial date set for man accused of threatening students
Nebraska man gets 50 years for trying to kidnap ex-wife
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
ON TWITTER »

VIDEO »
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Steam-A-Way Carpet Cleaning
$50 for 3 rooms and a Hallway up to 600 square feet
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Blog: Dirk's 'Mad Chatter'
Dirk Chatelain offers his thoughts on the latest news from around the sports world, complete with links to the best articles, opinion columns, YouTube videos and more.
Civic Auditorium Timeline
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel asked readers for their favorite memories of the Civic Auditorium. We combined their submissions with a few key events or moments in the auditorium's history.
CWS: Banner Years
The College World Series historical database, a growing home for historical information about past NCAA baseball championships, which have been played in Omaha since 1950.
Downtown Omaha event map
Discover the area surrounding the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha -- including restaurants, arts & entertainment venues, hotels and local retail outlets.
Facebook: Tom Shatel's page
Get Tom Shatel's sports columns delivered straight to your Facebook feed.
Follow Tom Shatel on Twitter
Get instant analysis and commentary from World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel on Twitter.
Nebraska high school basketball's greatest night
Four elite teams. Two buzzer-beaters. One packed house. On March 11, 1989, the stars aligned and produced the best night in Nebraska high school basketball history.
Shatel's blog
Check out the latest from World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel.
Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports
Get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's book "Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports."
Super Bowl: Through the years
The Super Bowl is a yearly media madhouse. See how The World-Herald sports section's front pages portrayed each of the Super Bowl victories won by those players celebrated in our Mt. Rushmore of Super Bowl QBs.
Talk sports with World-Herald reporters
World-Herald reporters log on to talk about the latest news surrounding the Huskers, Jays, Mavericks, high schools sports and more. Check out the upcoming chat schedule or replay the latest discussions with the fans.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
The Nebraska 100
In an historic 2005 series, The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes. In a new web exclusive, see the digitized collection for the first time.
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »