But he found enough fish in practice to lead the South Carolina TBF Team for the second year in a row and finish fourth overall.
It didn't hurt that Norman's bass made a very unusual move for that time of year. With temperatures hovering between 99 and 101 degrees, the fish moved shallow - and shallow fishing is one of Rikard's strengths.
"The locals told us the fish would go shallow," said Chuck Kinard, South Carolina's TBF president. "It was something we were not used to, but all those fish were suspended under docks with 17 feet of water on them, and then they moved shallow. They were virtually in no water."
That, Kinard said, played right into Rikard's hands.
"He started a significant move as ours started tailing away," he said.
Rikard found a pretty good pattern on his first day of practice. The next day, he went up the river and tried unsuccessfully to try to get away from the heavy boat traffic.
So, he returned to the mid-lake area the next day and found fish cruising the banks in shallow water.
"I was basically sight fishing. I'd see them and throw ahead of them," he said.
On the first day of the tournament, Rikard's draw partner had the front of the boat for the first half of the day, and Rikard caught only one bass. That afternoon, he took over the trolling motor and added three more, but he lost two nice fish, and the four he weighed in totaled only about 5½ pounds.
Craig Fredrychowski of Lexington held the tournament lead with a little over 10 pounds. In 2007, Rikard won the team championship, and Fredrychowski finished second, qualifying both to fish the National TBF Championship on Lake Wylie in late April.
As the top South Carolina fisherman, Rikard fished the angler division and finished 15th overall, but Fredrychowski took first place in the co-angler division. As a result, Fredrychowski will fish the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in August as a co-angler.
"After that first day, I felt I was out of it, but I got a good night's sleep and said I was going to go back and do the same thing I did in practice," Rikard said.
He weighed in a 13-pound stringer, the heaviest of the tournament, and surged back into contention, just 2½ pounds out of the lead. On the last day, Rikard managed only 8 pounds, 7 ounces, but Fredrychowski walked up to him before he weighed in and asked how many fish he'd caught.
"I told him I had five, and he said, 'Congratulations,'" Rikard said.
Fredrychowski, who led the tournament on the first day and was second on the second day, only managed three fish that weighed 4 pounds, 2 ounces and slipped to second on the South Carolina team.
So, Rikard once again will compete in the nationals as a boater, and Fredrychowski will return as a co-angler. The 2009 TBF National Championship will be held next March on Bull shoals Lake near Branson, Mo.
"It has been déjà vu," Rikard said. "Craig surprised me. He is a great angler. I did not think I could bring in 8-7 today and be our state's winner."
Rikard's 3-day weight of 26 pounds, 9 ounces took the state title by 2 pounds, 4 ounces. The South Carolina team weighed in 199 pounds, 6 ounces for fourth place and $4,000.
Joshua Queen of Lincolnton, N.C., won the overall title with 32-10 and led the North Carolina Team to first place and $15,072 with a total of 247-3.
Howard wins ABA
Chuck Howard of Elloree did not get to practice for the American Bass Anglers Grand Slam Series tournament on Santee Cooper in mid-May, but his knowledge of the lakes and some timely tips from a friend helped him land 10 bass that weighed a whopping 48.70 pounds for a first-place check for $37,500.
Howard's local knowledge helped him fish through nasty weather and tough fishing conditions, and his friend and local guide, Ken Ellis of Bowman, advised him where not to fish.
Howard pitched watermelon- and mardi gras-colored trick worms at the bases of cypress trees in three to four feet of water to land 23.02 pounds on the first day. He entered the final round in second place. then bested his first-day effort by more than two pounds, weighing in 25.68 pounds for the win.
Meanwhile, Ellis finished second, more than nine pounds back. Ellis weighed in 10 bass at 39.69 pounds, including a 6.51-pound bass that was the big fish of the tournament, to win $3,693.
Rounding out the top five were: 2. Nelson Walker of Manning, 31.69 pounds, $1,411; 3. Norm Attaway of Clearwater, 27.41, $1,090; and 5. Derek Jones of Chicago, Ill., 25.85, $803.
Brent Waynick threw a toad-type bait on top and worked a Senko underneath to land six bass that weighed 22.28 pounds for first place in the amateur division and $1,636. He had big fish for the amateur division both days, including one at 8.58 pounds that was the biggest bass weighed overall.
The top five amateurs included: 2. Jeff Maddox of McDonough, Ga., 18.79 pounds, $740; 3. Rick Holmes of Manning, 15.45, $285; 4. Ricky Adrian of Birmingham, Ala., 14.04, $225; and 5. Tracy Welchel of Jasper, Ga., 14.03, $150.
Kelley wins BFL
Roby Kelley of Sumter weighed in five bass at 20 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Tournament on Lake Wateree June 16, taking home a check for $3,233.
Rounding out the top five boaters were: 2. Linwood Thornhill of Pineville, 18-2, $1,902; 3. Rusty White of Rock Hill, 16-14, $1,267; 4. Johnny Bihlear of Moncks Corner, 16-5, $824; and 5.Greg Rikard of Leesville, 16-5, $824.
Lonnie Fulmer of Batesburg had the big bass in the boater division, a 5-9 lunker worth $505 that he caught on a Charlie worm.
Shane Suddeth of Inman was first in the co-angler division and won $1,902 for a 5-bass stringer weighing 16-1 that he caught on a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were: 2. Steven Spivey of Whiteville, N.C., 15- 8, $951; 3. Jon-Michael Brock of Inman, 14-0, $634; 4. Donnie Davis of Greer, 12-12, $444; and 5. Clyde Whiteside of Forest City, N.C., 11-12, $380.
Suddeth earned $252 as the co-angler big bass winner with a 6-1 bass he caught on a green pumpkin Zoom Trick worm.
Rikard fifth in A-A
Greg Rikard of Leesville finished fourth in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark., May 31, with 14 bass that weighed 20 pounds, 6 ounces, winning $21,000.
Rikard was just six ounces off the winning weight of Shayne Berlo of Vienna, Va., who won $100,000 with 15 bass that weighed 20-12.
Allan Williams of Moncks Corner was fifth in the co-angler division with 11 bass that weighed 15-2, winning $6,000.
Benefit raises $1,700
Mike and Sarah Brehm of Rock Hill know the toll that cancer takes on friends and family, and they decided to do something about it, holding a bass tournament on Lake Wylie to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
"I have some friends who have lost their children to cancer. My husband's aunt and my aunt have cancer, so we have a lot of association with it," Sarah Brehm said.
With 29 boats participating, the Fishing for a Cure Bass Tournament on May 31 raised over $1,700.
Tommy Williams and Thomas Hardwick of York weighed in a 5-fish limit at 15 pounds for first place, winning $1,000.
The top six teams included: 2. Parks Jones and Daniel Hill of Lake Wylie, 14.95, $500; 3. Andrew Williams and Alex Simpson, 10.46, $300; 4. Ron Sarron and Mike Bushee of Rock Hill, $200, plus $290 for a 4-10 lunker that was big fish; 5. Thomas Richmond and Juan Mobley of Rock Hill, $100; and 6. Marsh Cassel of Charlotte, $50.
Lee, Caulder win Lake World tourney
The weather was hot on June 14, and the fishing was slow, but Terry Caulder of Little Mountain and Ben Lee of Lexington fished a combination of live herring on downrods and a cut-bait pattern for the winning weight in the annual Lake World Striper Tournament on Lake Murray.
Lee and Caulder weighed in five stripers at 33.05 pounds to win the first-place prize of $1,800. They also had the big fish at 16.85 pounds to win another $1,025.
"We only caught five keepers all day, and we caught our fish anywhere from 35 to 75 feet deep," Lee said.
Thomas Richardson, Ricky Quailes, Kreg Frady, and Caleb Richardson were second with five stripers that weighed 23.70 pounds, and Phil Gray and Ron Wade had five fish that weighed 23.50 pounds for third place.
The tournament donated $440 to the Mid-State Kyle Page Foundation, - which raises money to help local families who and a participant added $50 for a total of $490.
"Every year, we donate 10 percent of the entry fees to MSKP. It is a great foundation," said Dona Hall of Lake World bait and tackle.
The MSKP Foundation holds a bass fishing tournament on Lake Murray every spring to raise money for local families who have children with special medical needs.
N.C. fishermen hit 2 jackpots
Louie Hull of Casar, N.C., and Chuck Montgomery of Grover, N.C., not only had the winning catch in the Carolina Anglers Team Trail Lake Wylie Spring Final on May 17, they were fishing from Hull's 2007 Stratos Boat, so their first prize of $2,668 was matched by Stratos, and they took home a whopping $5,336.
Hull and Montgomery had a 5-fish limit that weighed 18-11 and included a 6-4 big fish worth $919. The rest of the top five included: 2. Donnis Hanshaw and Todd Moss of Gaffney, 14-1, $1,360; 3. Doug Gilmer and Tom Russell of Charlotte, 13-15, $700; 4. Gene Webster of York, 13-8, including second big fish at 4-4, $642; and 5. Hugh Moss and Joe Estes of Gaffney, 13-5, $250.
Other bass tournaments
Carolina Anglers Team Trail,
Lake Wateree, May 24, 2008
1. Alan Fletcher-Danny Johnson (Hartsville), 5, 13-15, including second big fish, $917; 2. 2. Bubba Shuler-Jeff Hartfield (Lugoff), 5, 13-11, $320; 3. Jimmy McFarland-Calvin Griggs (Hartsville), 5, 13-8, including 5-1 big fish, $389; 4. Chad Gainey-Cleve Yarborough (Hartsville), 12-5, $150; 5. Ray Dowey-Joey Outlaw (Lugoff), 5, 11-7, $100.
Carolina Anglers Team Trail,
Lake Wateree, May 31, 2008
1. Mike King (Sumter), 5, 16-7, $650; 2. Cleve Yarborough-Chad Gainey (Hartsville), 5, 15-11, including 5-6 big fish, $390; 3. Donald Hinson (Lugoff)-Pat Clark (Camden), 5, 15-4, $125. Aaron Wolenburg won $51 for second big fish at 4 pounds, 11 ounces.
Carolina Anglers Team Trail,
Lake Wateree, June 7, 2008
1. Travis Kelly (Camden)-Mickey Hayes (Kershaw), 5, 18-3, $805; 2. Skeebo Kelly-Joseph Kelly (Hartsville), 5, 17-3, $300; 3. Jimmy McFarland-Calvin Griggs (Hartsville), 5, 16-1, including second big fish, 5-4, $278; 4. Brad Keels-Stephen Lynch (Darlington), 5, 15-4, including 6-1 big fish, $332; 5. Steve Phillips (Lugoff), 5, 15-1, $100.
National Bass, Southern Division,
Lake Murray, June 8, 2008
1. Chris Daves (Columbia)-Darryl Starkey (Little Mountain), 5, 12.92, $1,050; 2. Billy McIntosh (Wedgefield)- Gene DuBose (Sumter), 5, 11.96, $680; 3. 3. Chris Sample-Mike Duke, 5, 11.95, including 4.06 second big fish, $425; 4. Doug Lown (Newberry) and Beau Dixon (Leesville), 5, 11.67, including 5.03-pound big fish, $429..
Fishers of Men, S.C. Upstate,
Clarks Hill, May 3, 2008
1. Bobby Gaston (Evans, Ga.)-Greg Lovelace (Bostic, N.C.), 5, 15.13, $977; 2. Wayne Frierson (Manning)-Ronnie Mueller (Prosperity), 5, 13.81, $558; 3. Lyle Burns (Bishop, Ga.)-Mark Burns (Good Hope, Ga.), 5, 13.10, $418; 4. Tony Richardson (Eastanollee, Ga.)-Daryl Huntsinger (Hartwell, Ga.), 5, 11.94, $335; 5. Donnie Moore-Thomas Moore (Simpsonville), 4, 11.35, including 6-13 big fish, $465.
Fishers of Men, S.C. Upstate,
Lake Russell, June 7, 2008
1. Tony Richardson (Eastanollee, Ga.)-Daryl Huntsinger (Hartwell, Ga.), 5, 21.08, including 6.01 big fish, $1,163; 2. Mark Hicks-Oscar Hicks (Cherokee, N.C.), 5, 14.49, including 4.99 second big fish, $682; 3. Greg Lovelace (Bostic, Ga.)-Bobby Gaston (Evans, Ga.), 5, 14.32, $418; 4. Bryan Cothran-Sam Osburn, 5, 10.45, $335; 5. Julious Lively Jr.-Anthony Lively, 5, 10.27, $279.
Fishers of Men, S.C. Upstate Legacy
Tournament, Hartwell, May 24, 2008
1. Bob Rutherford-Brad Rutherford (Livonia, Ga.), 5, 18.11, including 6.09 big fish, $468; 2. Darryl Huntsinger (Livonia, Ga.)-Logan Stetson (Royston, Ga.), 5, 12.76, $273; 3. Kevin Newman-Hunter Newman (Flat Rock, N.C.), 4, 11.71, $182; 4. Todd Stacy-Austin Stacy, 5, 10.96, $156; 5. Wade Hendricks-Brandon Hendricks, 5, 9.02, $117.
Fishers of Men, S.C. Lowcountry,
Clarks Hill, June 14, 2008
1. Brent Riley and Nathan Burgess of Summerville, five fish, 19.31 pounds, $1.095; 2. John Robert Jackson of Lexington and Daniel Andrews of Sumter, five fish, 18.94 pounds, including Big Fish at 7.53 pounds, $980.50; 3. Ronnie Mueller of Prosperity and Wayne Frierson of Manning, five fish, 11.18 pounds, $1,787.50; 4. William Young and James Mizell, five fish, 10.96 pounds, $466; and 5. Shannon and Shawn Jordan of Charleston, five fish, 10.47 pounds, $342.
Bassmaster Weekend Series,
Lake Hartwell, June 14, 2008
Boaters: 1. Christopher Powell, 5, 15.44, $5,000; 2. Ryan Bowman (Anderson), 5, 13.27, $1,055; 3. Mark Waller (Hartwell, Ga.), 5, 13.06, $703; 4. Randy Childers (Anderson), 5, 12.89, $492; 5. Travis Adams (Danielsville, Ga.), 5, 12.29, $422.
Co-Anglers: 1. James Anderson (Guyton, Ga.0, 3, 8.16, $1,009; 2. Matt Henry (Conyers, Ga.), 3, 7.53, $505; $505; 3. Donal Goode (Jasper, Ga.), 3, 7.29, $336; 4. Scott Sellers (Anderson), 3, 7.09, $235; 5. Dwayne Lee (Flowery Branch, Ga.), 3, 7.03, $202.
S.C. Crappie Association,
Lake Wateree, May 17, 2008
1. Martin Kennington-Sam Kennington (Kershaw), 10, 12.20; 2. Leonard Frick-Rena Frick (Leesville), 10, 10.80; 3. Gary Phillips (Leesville), 10, 8.96; 4. James Hinson (Lancaster), 10, 8.75, including 1.97 big fish; 5. Brett Davis-Brian Davis (Leesville), 10, 8.18.
Midlands Striper Club,
Lake Murray, June 21, 2008
1. Harold Alewine-Debbie Alewine (Rock Hill), 4 fish, 27-12, including 9-1 big fish; 2. Donnie Christopher-Justin Christoper-Skip Morgan (Rock Hill)-Danny Young (Sumter), 19-10; 3. Don Jackson (Lexington)-James Linder (West Columbia), 18-8.
Tournament directors: Send your schedules and your tournament results in the format shown as soon as possible after your tournaments. Be sure to include names, hometowns, number of fish caught, total weight, prize money and big fish information. Email to Pat Robertson: firstname.lastname@example.org.