The fourth year in a row, the final bag turned in for the Angler's in Action Big Bass Bash Tournament in Grove turned, was for a record-setting total. 

When the last boat had pulled into Wolf Creek Landing on Sunday, June 11, the winners were revealed with the top two finishing in a tie.

"The first time this has happened in 10 years," said "Big Al" Alan McCulloch, director of marketing and promotion with Midwest Fish Tournaments, the sponsor of the Big Bash Bash.

"This is how we work in the rule book if there is a tie," McCulloch said. "Both anglers weighed in at 6.02 pounds.

"When it comes to the over all, it is the first person who registered date wise. It is in the rules. So that being said we have Carl Johnson who registered on June 9, 2017 and Jim Kane who registered on May 16, 2017.

Kane, an angler from Wichita, Kansas, and Johnson, an angler from Cham

The two anglers that tied were Jim Kane from Wichita, Kansas and Carl Johnson from Champagne, Illinois.

Kane earned first place and $50,000, while Johnson placed second and earned him $15,000.

""It is great. I love it," said Kane. "I have been fishing the tournament for a number of years and I finally won one."

Kane said he caught his fish near a log jam in the Arrowhead South area of Grand Lake.

"My brother threw out first and caught a fish around three pounds and then I threw out and with a Berkeley power worm and caught him just a few minutes later," Kane said.

Johnson is an Oklahoma native who has a retirement home just blocks from Wolf Creek

"It feels good to finish this well in the tournament," Johnson said. "It was a lot of fun. A whole lot of fun."

Johnson caught his fish in the Elk River branch of Grand Lake using a Storm Wiggle Wort lure.

"Day one we didn't catch that we kept. But then today it was a whole lot better," Johnson added.

A second Kansas angler, Jason Boyett of Topeka, Kansas, won the $10,000 third prize with a fish weighing 5.92 pounds.

"I am very happy with my finish. said Boyett, adding he caught it near Arrowhead South on a ned rig bait. 

"Saturday was a struggle," Boyett said. "We used crank baits and I think I threw about everything in the box.

"The go to bait down there has been a ned rig. I threw the ned rig out and caught a pounder, threw the ned rig out and caught a pounder.

"I thought what can I do to catch a bigger fish. I thought how can I make this rig bigger. I used one hook and put two ned rigs on there. The first cast and bam that was it I caught this fish."

All the anglers said they love taking part in the tournament, because of it's organization. 

"This is the fourth or fifth one I have been to and the tournament here was great," Boyett said. "Everything was clean as far as the tournament was concerned. I was a really good tournament."

"I like what they have done here," Johnson said. "My retirement home is just a couple of blocks up the road and it is fantastic. They did a lot of work cleaning up before the tournament started and you could ask for a better place to have the tournament."

Johnson also had high praise for the lake and tournament.

"Grand Lake is about the best bass lake and I fish it all the time," Johnson said. "The town does great things to support the fishing. I just think it is a great atmosphere here."

Women's division

Grove angler Stephanie Talley took home first in the women's division, with a 4.16 bass. She won $500 in cash.

"This is fourth time to fish and second time to win the the ladies division," said Talley, declining to give specifics on where and how she caught her fish. 

McCulloch said he expects the tournament to continue to grow. 

"We are happy with the turnout over the years," McCulloch said. "The community here is great, the state is great we get a good turnout with the ladies and the kids.

"We have some new partnerships this is the first year for Cherokee Casino. They kind of wanted to put their toes in the water so to speak."

This is the fourth year the tournament has taken place in Grove. In the first year, it brought in 770 anglers. This year's attendance was at least 1,000.

"I see the future as 4,000 anglers a $100,000 fish and 50 spots paying out," McCulloch said. "That is my goal and Midwest Fish Tournaments goal.

"We have a great partnership here with the Grand River Dam Authority and the community. I see this only getting bigger and better."