Kerry Rice is STBM’s 2008 AOY

In every year but one, a new and different Angler of the Year has taken center stage for the Southern Tier Bassmasters. And true to form 2008 was no different. Kerry Rice of Addison, NY is STBM’s 10th different AOY in 11 years.

Kerry started his tournament season with a 12th place finish at the Conesus opening point’s tournament in June. An 8th place at Cayuga coupled with a 3rd on Keuka, in August, put him within striking distance with one tournament left to go….an old nemesis Lake Erie.

“I’ve never done well on Erie and had a bad practice day”, he would say at the end of the final tournament. Oh, did we mention that he weighed in a whopping 18.95 pounds of smallies? Explanation, “I asked myself, what is my strength…the spinnerbait, so that’s what I did”. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, good choice.

His fish were caught in 2-16 feet primarily near the mouth of the Niagara River on the Canadian side. Then a small speed bump hit; engine trouble. Local guide Terry Jones came upon him drifting along and called Ted Barth, a fellow tournament competitor who began the day in 2 place overall. Terry towed Kerry to a marina, where they then loaded his fish into Ted's livewell who got him back to the weigh in site just under the wire. His limit won the tournament and vaulted him to the top of the pack. “My goal was just to make the top 6. I never expected to win it all,” he would say at the end.

Congratulations to Kerry Rice from all of us at STBM!

by Bob Green