Father and Son Duo are Crowned Triton Owner’s Tournament Champions
Joe and Allen Leonard claimed their first Triton Owner’s Tournament victory on June 2, 2018. The father and son team have fished the Triton Owner’s Tournament for the last five years with their highest finish being 11th place. This year, however, the pair stayed consistent both days weighing in a 15.94-pound bag on day one and a 16.79-pound bag on day two to give them an overall tournament weight of 32.73 pounds allowing them to be crowned the 2018 champions.
“We absolutely love the Triton Owner's Tournament, and we look forward to fishing it every year. I fish this event with my dad, and we make a vacation out of it. Since he isn't in the best of health winning this event was really special to me. During practice, we did not find as many schools of bass like we had in the past. What schools we were able to find were small, so I wasn’t sure if we would be able to win the tournament with what we found. I found these fish using the Lowrance Structure Scan, and without it, I do not feel like we would have won the tournament. My Lowrance allowed me to see where the fish were at and how they were stacked up. We went north out of Paris and found a spot that had a good school staged on it. There wasn’t another boat in sight, so we knew we got there at a good time. We believe the fish just arrived at this spot we were fishing which is why no one else was around us other than kayak fisherman. Each day we went back, the fish were pulled out into deeper water. We used a lot of different lures to catch our fish, but the main lures we used were a hair jig, swimbaits, and some big worms. I want to thank my sponsors Watson Marine, Killer Bass Baits, Lowrance and Mercury Marine. I also want to thank Triton Boats for putting on a great tournament as always every year, and I am looking forward to fishing next year" said Leonard.
Second place in the 2018 Triton Owner’s Tournament went to the team of Matt Robertson and Sherbert Vanmeter. Their two-day total of 31.72-pounds earned the team a check for $5000. Robertson and Vanmeter targeted ledges around the Paris Landing area and were able to capitalize on these spots by throwing spoons and big worms.
“I had the privilege of fishing with Sherbert Vanmeter. He is the owner of Renegade Marine and has been taking care of me and my Triton boat for a while now. We had a great couple of days on Kentucky Lake. The fishing was a little slower than usual for us, but we were able to gather up a limit on each day. We targeted ledges and was threw spoons and big worms at them all day. We only caught about 7 to 8 fish each day, but we were able to catch the right fish. We really enjoyed fishing the Triton Owner's Tournament, and we are looking forward to next year,” said Robertson.
The team of Kevin Meunier and Kenneth Heckel finished in the third-place spot with a total of 31.42-pounds winning $4500. The team targeted ledges as well and used numerous Strike King lures to secure their place at the top.
“We had thought about fishing down south, but it was muddy so we went north. We targeted ledges in 20-25 feet of water. We threw Strike King lures the whole time. We caught them using Strike King Shadalicious crankbaits and Strike King Tour Grade Naked Rage Blade lures. Prefishing was extremely tough for us, but we were able to find them during the tournament. We probably caught anywhere from 30-40 fish on day one with 20 of them being 4 pounds or bigger. We had a fun two days on the lake. I want to say thank you to my sponsors Strike King, Mercury Marine, Lews, Vicious Fishing, Duckett Rods, and Hall Marine. I also want to say a special thanks to Triton Boats and Kristin Malott and the ABA Crew for running a great tournament, and I am looking forward to next year," said Meunier.
The team of Brain and David Grigsby brought in the 8.88-pound big bass of the event. They only caught two fish for the event, but one of them was the right fish earning them the Big Bass prize of $3000.
“We caught the bass around 10:30 in the morning on day 2 of the tournament. We were fishing the channel swing in the bay. We were throwing 1 oz. homemade football jigs. A friend of mine made five different jigs for us, and we got lucky, and one jig worked. We enjoyed the tournament and will definitely be back next year. I was also in the final three for the boat draw. If I had won that, it would have been icing on the cake," said Brian.
The tournament payout totaled $77,000 and checks were awarded all the way down to the 77th place team. Complete results from the 2018 event are available at www.tritonboats.com.
The event began on the evening of Thursday, May 31st. The anglers were treated to dinner before the tournament briefing at Paris Landing State Park. Each team received a welcome bag that included event shirts and hats, along with products from industry sponsors such as Strike King, Power Pole, T-H Marine, Vicious Fishing, Star Brite and more. Event sponsors provided thousands of dollars in product that was raffled off at the briefing. Prizes included products from Mercury Marine, Lowrance, Bass Pro Shops, Maui Jim, Duckett Fishing, T-H Marine, Motor Mate, NightFishion, Dual Pro Chargers, Triton Apparel and more.
Each morning, the anglers were treated to sausage biscuits and coffee by the TritonBoats staff during boat check. The Paris Landing State Park crew did an excellent job getting 385 Triton Boats in and out of the water efficiently each day.
The entire TritonBoats staff was on hand to enjoy the event with the Triton Boat owners. Anglers were greeted each day by several different Triton Boats Pros as they approached the bump tank at the end of the weigh-in line.
After the final weigh-in was completed, there were more raffle prizes awarded, including a bike raffle for children of the tournament anglers. Ten anglers were drawn for the opportunity to walk away with the grand prize, but only one was able to claim the boat. Jimmy Trigg was the lucky angler to take home the beautiful brand new Triton 21 TrX boat powered by a 250 Mercury Pro XS outboard with Lowrance electronics, a Power Pole, NightFishion lit rubrail and T-H Marine products valued over $70,000.
“Any time I show up to see ABA is running the tournament, I know it is going to be a good one. I think the partnership between Triton Boats and ABA works great. I'm excited to know that they are going to continue to put on the Triton Owner's Tournament because it continues to be my favorite tournament. I’ve never had the experience of winning anything like a boat, and when I opened the envelope and it said boat, I almost fell out. I plan on selling my old boat and keeping my new one. I will be back fishing this tournament again next year in my new boat," said Trigg.
The other nine anglers did not walk away empty-handed. They won some great prizes from the tournament sponsors.
The 2019 Triton Owner’s Tournament will be held on May 30th - June 1st, 2019 at Kentucky Lake and launching from Paris Landing State Park. More information will soon be available for the 2019 event at www.tritonboats.com.