Tri-Cities angler knew the Columbia River’s bass secrets. Now he’s $10,000 richer

Bass fishing tips from a high school champ

Jason Felter, a 2-time state high school fishing champion who recently signed a national letter of intend for the Bethel University fishing team, gives five tips for how to become a better angler.
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Jason Felter, a 2-time state high school fishing champion who recently signed a national letter of intend for the Bethel University fishing team, gives five tips for how to become a better angler.

Kennewick’s Mel Williams used his home-field advantage to dominate the professional division of the Columbia River Pro-Am tournament Sunday at Columbia Point Marina in Richland.

The pro-am is part of this year’s Wild West Bass Trail circuit.

Williams placed first with 51.76 pounds of bass, which was six pounds ahead of runner-up Justin Campbell of Pasco (45.71 pounds).

For his efforts, Williams earned $10,000.

Williams told Westernbass.com that he stuck with his strategy of going after largemouth bass and staying away from the smallmouth version because they were moving around too much.

Jeremy Percifield of Kennewick placed third among the pros with 44.90 pounds.

The top amateur was Josh Roy, who netted 29.37 pounds of bass. He barely beat Ben Warren, who finished second at 29.26, and third-place finisher Brandon Hua with 27.77 pounds.

The event brought in an economic impact of $49,500 to the Tri-Cities, down from what was originally forecast as $225,000 a few months ago.

“The number of out-of-towners was down,” said Hector Cruz, of Visit Tri-Cities and the Tri-Cities Sports Council. “But they made an initial investment and they’re looking to come back next year. They may possibly move the event to August.”

The timing of the event made it hard for the competitors of the WWBT to get up to the Northwest from California and Arizona, where most of the professionals compete.

But it was the WWBT that decided to hold a tournament when B.A.S.S. elected to pull out of the Tri-Cities after originally scheduling a tournament this year, citing the distance competitors had to travel to compete.

“(WWBT) stepped in,” said Cruz. “And they’ll make a show on this event for the Pursuit Channel. So we’ll get some television exposure.”

Cruz said the show will likely be televised after the first of the year.

Prep football

It’s summer football camp, and it has no bearing on what happens this fall.

But these camps give teams an idea of what to expect when football practice begins in the fall.

So it was that Chiawana beat Cascade of Leavenworth in the championship of the Friday Night Lights at Eastern Washington University’s Team Football Camp in Cheney this past Friday.

The Riverhawks, defending Mid-Columbia Conference champions, won it on the last play of the title game when quarterback JP Zamora hit Kobe Singleton for the game-winning TD pass.

Singleton was named defensive back MVP of the camp, too.

Singleton, a senior this fall, has transferred from Tri-Cities Prep to Chiawana for his final year of high school.

• The East beat the West 37-6 at the Earl Barden All-Star Classic in Yakima on Saturday afternoon.

The football game pitted some of the state’s best small-school (Classes 2A, 1A, 2B and 1B) seniors.

Royal quarterback Sawyer Jenks was 15 for 25 for 168 yards for the East. That included a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Royal teammate, receiver Angel Farias, caught 5 passes for 66 yards, including a 22-yard TD reception.

Liberty Christian’s Mason Knode caught 3 passes for 16 yards for the East squad.


The H1 Unlimited hydroplane season gets going in Alabama this coming weekend, June 26-28.

Right now, it looks like six boats are scheduled to compete in the Southern Cup in Guntersville, Ala.

They are:

• The U-6 Miss HomeStreet Bank, driver Jimmy Shane;

• The U-7 Spirit of Detroit, driver Bert Henderson;

• The U-11 J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tools, driver Tom Thompson;

• The U-12 Graham Trucking, driver J Michael Kelly;

• The U-98 Graham Trucking American Dream, driver Corey Peabody;

• And the 440 Bucket List Racing, driver Dustin Nichols.

Notice the U-1 Jones Racing team and driver Andrew Tate are missing. It doesn’t look like the defending Southern Cup and national high points champions are making it back east to open the season, thanks likely to no major sponsors.

Lori Jones, co-owner of the boat, said last month the U-1 will definitely race in the Tri-Cities at the HAPO Columbia Cup on July 26-28.

After the Southern Cup, the fleet moves on to Madison, Ind., for the APBA Gold Cup, July 5-7.

Pro/semipro roundup

• The Tri-City Dust Devils finished their opening homestand last Thursday with a 3-4 record, and then traveled to Eugene, Ore., to take on the Emeralds in a four-game Northwest League series that was to end late Monday night.

The Dust Devils were 1-2 in Eugene through the weekend – losing 5-3 on Friday, winning 7-4 on Saturday, and losing 4-3 on Sunday – to enter Monday night’s play at 4-6, tied for second place in the Northern Division standings with Everett, and behind first-place Spokane and its 8-2 record.

After Monday’s game, Tri-City heads to Spokane for a three-game set Tuesday through Thursday, before returning home Friday to start a six-game homestand. Spokane plays three at Gesa Stadium on Friday through Sunday, before Eugene comes in for three July 1-3.

• Hector Magana scored the Tri-Cities Alliance’s lone goal on Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco as the home team lost 5-1 to the Seattle Stars in Evergreen Premier League men’s soccer play.

Quinn Fahling scored three goals for the Stars in the road win.

The loss drops Tri-Cities to 0-3-3 in EPL play, and the Alliance sits in last place in the five-team Cascade Conference standings.

The Alliance next travels to play Bellingham United at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

• The Tri-Cities Fire fell 52-20 to the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks on Saturday night in American West Football Conference play at the Toyota Center.

The Fire drops to 0-10 and is scheduled to play at Wenatchee Valley at 7 p.m. Friday.

Still no word on if a makeup date has been set for the June 15 Fire home game against the Reno Express, which was canceled after the dasherboards never arrived.

With the AWFC playoffs coming up, though, it’s highly unlikely that game will be made up.

At 0-10, the Fire will not make the playoffs of the first-year league.

Jeff Morrow is a former sports editor for the Herald.