ABA National Championship Tournament 2005
The third and final day of the ABA National Championship held some interesting turns in weights and position. The weather changed drastically from day one. With windy conditions and cooler temperatures. Ultimate Bass was lucky to have a couple of our members participating in the event. George Perez weighed bass all three days and proudly displayed our logo on his shirts and hat. Steve Alexander and Casey Smith were also participating in the tournament and gave a good show.
As each angler weighed in we were adding their weights to the previous days total. Ben Clemens came to the scale and had 5 bass weighing in at 10.31lbs. giving him a three day total of 25.81 and putting him in the lead. The top five anglers from the previous day were straggling in to the scales and on day one they weighed in their bass. Michael Murphy was the first. In second place at the end of day two, he came to the scales with only one fish for 1.37 giving him a total of 19.99 and would put him in 15th at the end of the day. JD Ward who was in 3rd at the end of day two came in next with a good sack. His bass weighed in at 6.81lbs giving him a three day total of 25.22lbs and holding his third place win. Marty Strickland the day two leader looked like he was the only one that could pull it off. He had 20.21lbs going into day two and was on fish. Marty had to have a weight of 5.60lbs to tie the leader. He came to the scales with four bass for a weight of 5.42lbs. not enough to take the lead but enough to secure second place.
The ABA National Championship Awards Banquet and Ceremony was held at the Shreveport Expo Hall. Mary Ann Tines from the Shreveport Sports Authority was there to make sure that everything ran smoothly. There were drawings for a number of prizes to include Lowrance Electronics, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Airrus Rods and ABA Gift Cards. Mike Kelly won the V&M Hooked Up Program. Mike Kelly will be invited to join the V&M Pro Staff along with having his 2006 entries paid by V&M Baits and receiving $200 in V&M Baits of his choice.
I spoke with Ben Clemens who took the Angler of the Year Title as well as the National Champion Title. "I fished one spot on a ridge with my trolling motor anchored in some logs all three days and had 5 fish by 10 or 10:30am each day." He was impressed with the character of the other participants of the tournament. He said "there were 2 or 3 other boats that seen where I was fishing and could have beat me there on the second and third day and they didn’t". He had great partners all three days and was most impressed with his CAST partner on day three. I asked him if he had any advice for the future Anglers of the Year and his response was "patients".
Today we seen far less bass coming across the stage. Many of the anglers weren’t able to manage a weigh fish, and some went looking for that one big bass. Big Bass was worth $3,000 each day and the over all big bass of the tournament was worth $3000 with bonus money for having Angler’s Advantage Insurance. Marty Strickland had big bass of the tournament and received a check for $3000.
Congratulations to the winners of the ABA National 2005 Championship. See you next year!