BASS notes: 2022 Bassmaster Classic site announced; Keeney, Hays team dominant at KBN 4-Man

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
Abby Keeney, right, of Gardner, holds up one of her two big bass from the two-day Kansas BASS Nation 4-Man/Team Series tournament March 27-28 on Melvern Reservoir.

Gardner's Abby Keeney earned a $500 payday for her back-to-back big bass jackpots on Day 1 and 2, while the Hays Bass Anglers Association team of Klint VonFeldt, Branden Garrison, Jason Leiker and Mitch Keeley dropped 42.27 pounds for a $2,200 first-place prize this past weekend during the Kansas BASS Nation's first 4-Man/Team Series of the year on Melvern Reservoir.

The Milford Lake Bassers team of Jake Calkin, Josey Morford, Jasob Lantz and Christopher Kirkley took second place with 34.91 pounds, earning $1,000, followed by the team of Drew and Terry Blackwood, Justin Harris and Chris Brimager in third with 29.71 pounds, earning $700.

The fourth-place team of Timothy Merkh, Robert Jilka and Jerry and Jake Hoesli took the final paid spot, earning $500 for their efforts with 27.86 pounds.

Keeney, a former member of the Kickback Club high school fishing team who hauled in a 4.49-pound bass her first day and a 6.30-pounder her second, earned the big bass prize of $250 each day. Her team, which consisted of herself, her father Brian, Chad Wiley and Mark Byrd, finished sixth with 21.31 pounds.

“As the water was warming up, we started fishing shallow in hopes the big ones were moving up,” Abby Keeney said. “We weren’t having much luck anywhere else. All of the big bass I caught were in a 25-yard stretch.”

Locally, the Topeka team of Nick Butler, Mike Turner, Tate Herrman and Richard Heflin finished 10th with 9.58 pounds, just behind the 316 Elite Anglers squad of Chad Schmidt, Preston Hickert, Trevis Unger and Rob Graf (15.60).

Classic site announced

The "Super Bowl of Bass Fishing" is headed back to South Carolina.

On Tuesday, BASS announced that the Bassmaster Classic will return for a fourth time to Greensville's Lake Hartwell in 2022. The Classic will run from March 4-6, 2022, with takeoffs from Green Pond Landing & Events Center and daily weigh-ins at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at nearby Greenville Convention Center.

KANSAS BASS NATION 4-MAN/TEAM SERIES

Results March 27-28 at Melvern Reservoir

Team ... Pounds of fish ... Prize

1. VonFeldt/Garrison/Leiker/Keeley ... 42.27 ... $2,200

2. Calkin/Morford/Lantz/Kirkley ... 34.91 ... $1,000

3. D. Blackwood/T. Blackwood/Harris/Brimager ... 29.71 ... $700

4. Merkh/Jilka/Je. Hoesli/Ja. Hoesli ... 27.86 ... $500

5. Cornell/Smith/J. Maldonado/L. Maldonado ... 24.52 ... N/A

6. Wiley/Byrd/B. Keeney/A. Keeney* ... 21.31 ... N/A

7. C. Barrett/Crank/VanRiette/D. Barrett ... 20.52 ... N/A

8. Jordan/Williams/Johnson/Porter ... 18.89 ... N/A

9. Schmidt/Hickert/Unger/Graf ... 15.60 ... N/A

10. Butler/Turner/Herrman/Heflin ... 9.58 ... N/A

11. Perry/Davis/Vielhauer/Mueting ... 8.95 ... N/A

12. D. Brown/G. Brown/Bricker/Newell ... 7.95 ... N/A

*Big Bass — Abby Keeney: Day 1: 4.49, Day 2: 6.30.