Winning team of the “Top 8” tournament: Fall Creek Valley Bassmasters.

Morse and Geist reservoirs played host to the Indiana Bass Federation’s “Top 8” tournament the last weekend of April. Eight fishermen from 11 teams fished from 7 a.m. until weigh-in at 3 p.m. to find the largest bass in Morse and Geist reservoirs.

“A lot of these guys are weekend anglers that are probably some of the best fishermen in the world,” said Todd Hollowell, a professional fisherman who hosts Bass Dr. on the World Fishing Network. (The show airs at 10:30 a.m. Fridays and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays.)

Fishermen launched their bass boats at sunrise and matched up in a boat with a member of an opposing team. After receiving final instructions from the tournament organizer, they set out at 7 a.m. sharp to catch up to five bass at least 14 inches in length. At 3 p.m., they convened at the marina ramp for weigh-in with the hope of catching the most total weight.

Anglers from 11 different teams line up with their bass to be weighed at Geist Reservoir.

Dan Wise, a Geist Marina employee and Top 8 tournament director, organized and was host to the 88 competitors. He is a member of the Fall Creek Valley Bassmasters, this year’s winning team.

Shane Rees holds an 8.17 lb. bass he caught on Morse Reservoir, one of the largest caught in Indiana.

“Our guys come from all walks of life,” he explained. “They love to compete and take fishing seriously.”

On the first day of the tournament, Shane Rees snagged a bass weighing 8.17 lbs. on Morse Reservoir.

“That’s the biggest bass I’ve ever seen out of Morse,” Wise said. “It might be one of the biggest ever caught in Indiana.”

Rees ended up finishing in fifth place overall with 17.61 lbs. of fish.

On the final day at Geist, Craig Rogers caught a bass weighing 6.46 lbs., which catapulted him to fourth place overall in the standings with 18.26 lbs. of fish.

The overall winner was Josh McDermott of Fishers. He came in with 28.06 lbs., four pounds more than second-place finisher Jeff Wehner (24.05 lbs.).

“I just fished shallow all day and moved around to cover a lot of water,” McDermott said. “I love these conditions where I can stay along the shorelines and not have to go out into the open water.”

McDermott and nine others will go on to the Indiana state finals July 19–20 at Patoka Lake. If they keep winning, qualifiers progress all the way to the “World Series” of bass fishing: the Forrest Wood Cup, Aug. 14–17 in Columbia, South Carolina.

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“Top 8” qualifiers
  1. Josh McDermott
  2. Jeff Wehner
  3. Walt Wynn
  4. Craig Rogers
  5. Shane Rees
  6. Randy Buchanon
  7. Jamoni Harper
  8. Eric Poore
  9. Tim Cooper
  10. Cory Drake
  11. Ray Turner
  12. Greg Rude
  13. Doug Boniface
  14. Mat Temme
  15. Brian McWilliams
  16. Marvin Parton
  17. Roger Huffman