Ultimate Bass

Weekend Series Tournament Results

Story 1: Digh wins Tarheel opener on Lake Norman – Story 2: Wyatt cashes in on Lake Chickamauga – Story 3: Tenacious Bebber takes title on ‘Big Sam’ – Story 4: Cury dominates Kissimmee Chain tournament. Using local knowledge, Rob Digh started the season the right way by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series…

Using local knowledge, Rob Digh started the season the right way by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, North Carolina Division 5 tournament, held March 26, 2011, on Lake Norman.

With temperatures dropping to the low 40s on a breezy, overcast day, the Denver, N.C., angler threw a variety of lures at the bass. He returned to the scales with five keepers weighing 12.78 pounds to collect $2,110. He added a $210 bonus for catching the Boater Division big bass, a 4.04-pounder. “I’ve been living on this lake most of my life,” Digh said. “It was just my time to win. I caught them on a variety of baits including a craw, a jig and a senko. The big one hit a crankbait. I’m just happy for the win.”

The anglers launched out of Blythe Landing near Huntersville. The largest lake completely within North Carolina, Lake Norman covers about 32,000 acres on the Catawba River and offers anglers more than 520 miles of shoreline. Chad Eriksen roamed those shorelines looking for bedding fish. The Raleigh, N.C., angler used a craw to catch five keepers weighing 12.51 pounds with a 3.18-pound kicker.

“All but one fish came on beds,” Eriksen said. “In practice, I found 42 beds and went to about 30 of them. I found seven fish still there. I probably spent too much time on one big fish, but probably would have won if I had caught it.”

Taking third in the 42-boat division, Wendell Ireland of Saluda, N.C., brought in a five-bass tournament limit going 12.07 pounds with one weighing 3.51 pounds. Ryan McMurtury of Abbeville, S.C., took fourth with five bass at 12.06 pounds including one 3.83-pounder. Rounding out the top five boaters, Robert Walser of Lexington, N.C., landed five bass for 11.14 pounds.

In the Co-Angler Division, Steve Cannon of Wilkesboro, N.C., won with three bass going 7.31 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.10-pounder that topped the tournament big bass charts. For the victory, he collected $1,055 with a $105 bonus for the lunker.

“We found fish on small points,” Cannon advised. “Wherever we found a rock pile, we caught fish. Everything we caught hit plastic. I caught the big fish on a bank in six inches of water on a shaky head. Besides the shaky head, we caught fish on Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and floating worms. We didn’t get any bites deeper than eight feet.”

Jonathon Cone of Wilmington, N.C., landed in second for the co-anglers with a three-bass division limit weighing 5.92 pounds including one 2.15-pounder. In third, Greg Lineberry of Galax, Va., brought in three keepers for 5.82 pounds, followed by Moe Hill, Jr., of Lake Wylie, S.C., with three bass going 5.66 pounds. Chad Schroeder of Dallas, N.C., took fifth with three bass for 5.60 pounds with a 2.90-pound kicker.

For more information on this tournament, call Gary Conner at (256) 230-5627 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com. About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.

Wyatt cashes in on Lake Chickamauga

Tim Wyatt earned nearly $4,000 by winning the Boater Division of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Tennessee East Division 4 tournament, held March 26, 2011, on Lake Chickamauga.

Fishing the rainy 36,240-acre lake, the Crossville angler brought in five bass going 25.50 pounds to the scales at Chester Frost State Park. His biggest bass weighed 7.28 pounds. For the victory, he pocketed $2,755. As a Mercury outboard owner, he collected a $1,000 bonus.

“I had about 12 rods rigged up and caught a fish on half of them,” Wyatt said. “I caught my two biggest fish on a black and blue jig, one by flipping and one by swimming it. I fished pockets about one to three feet deep in creeks.”

Between Watts Bar Lake and Nickajack Lake, Lake Chickamauga runs 59 miles along the Tennessee River, giving anglers more than 810 miles of shoreline to fish. Jared McMillon of Ooltewah fished from two feet of water to 18 feet deep to catch five bass weighing 23.77 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 9.31-pounder to earn $1,377.

“The big one hit a jig around lunchtime,” McMillon explained. “It was a junk-fishing day. My most popular baits were jigs, rattling baits and a spinnerbait.”

Hot on McMillon transom, John Justice of Oliver Springs anchored his five-bass 23.59-pound bag with a 10.15 pounder that took big bass honors. He collected $918 for third place and a $325 bonus for the double-digit bucketmouth.

In fourth for the boaters, Chris McReynolds of Louisville, Tenn., landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 22.02 pounds. Taking fifth, Rogne Brown of Hixson brought in five bass going 20.73 pounds.

In the Co-Angler Division, Don Bible II of Knoxville hit it big with three bass going 14.27 pounds to take home $1,377. He anchored his bag with a 9.14-pounder that won division big bass bragging rights and $163.

“I caught four fish and the last one was the biggest,” Bible said. “I caught it at 3 p.m. The big fish hit a green pumpkin jig in about two feet of water. I caught two fish earlier on a Rat-L-Trap, but it was a struggle for the rest of the day.”

In second for the co-anglers, Danny Whaley of Kodak brought in three keepers for 14.06 pounds. Fishing his first BWS season, he collected $689. “I caught most of my fish on a green pumpkin jig or a clown jerkbait around shallow brush,” Whaley said. “I caught about six fish total.”

Another ABA rookie, Colton Oliver of Decatur, Tenn., landed a three-bass division limit going 12.66 pounds with one 5.53-pounder. He earned $459. “What I brought in was what I caught,” Oliver said. “Most of them hit a sexy shad Rat-L-Trap, but I caught my biggest on a chatterbait. I fished around stumps and could see the weigh-in from where I fished.”

James Erwin, also of Decatur, Tenn., finished fourth with three bass at 12.60 pounds. Jack Brown of Ooltewah, Tenn., followed in fifth place with three bass going 12.48 pounds.

For more information on this tournament, call Randy Sullivan at 256-230-5633 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com. About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.

Tenacious Bebber takes title on ‘Big Sam’

Charles Bebber opened the 2011 Southeast Texas Division 10 season in a big way by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, March 26 tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn.

On a gusty, warm day, the 36-year-old angler from Willis, Texas, concentrated on beds in shallow water. Despite the breezy conditions, he landed five bass weighing 24.74 pounds. However, a penalty knocked him back to an official tally of 25.24 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.73-pound kicker. Catching about 20 bass in all, he collected $3,353.

“The wind made it tougher to fish the beds, but I stuck with it,” Bebber admitted. “The Lord blessed me. I was able to see some of the bigger fish. I used a Big Bite Baits WarMouth, rigged Texas style. The Power Poles helped me in the wind because I was able to lock down on the fish and not get blown around or stay on the trolling motor.”

The anglers launched out of Umphrey Pavilion marina near Jasper. The largest lake entirely within the state of Texas bass, Lake Sam Rayburn spreads over about 114,500 acres on the Angelina River. “Big Sam” offers anglers more than 750 miles of shorelines.

Making a long run to the northern end of the lake, Nick LeBrun, 26, of Vivian, La., placed second in the 87-boat division with five bass going 21.39 pounds. He caught about 20 fish, but his biggest bass weighed 6.33 pounds, earning him more than $1,600.

“The key was finding grass that grew out to about three to five feet deep, especially around a point,” LeBrun said. “If the grass was healthy and green, that’s where I found the bigger fish. The wind helped me. I threw a Rat-L-Trap, a square-billed crankbait, a chatterbait and a spinnerbait. I kept the trolling motor running and covered a lot of water.”

In third for the boaters, Chris McCall, 40, of Jasper, Texas, landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 19.50 pounds. Catching about 30 fish total, he took home more than $1,000.

“I found one place that had some pre-spawn females on it,” McCall explained. “I caught a 7-pounder in practice. In the tournament, I lost a 10-pounder. I caught my fish on a Rat-L-Trap and a swim jig. The important thing was keeping the bait near grass.”

Kendall Kersh of Nacogdoches, Texas, landed in fourth place with five bass at 19.83 pounds including a 4.57-pound kicker. He actually brought in 19.33 pounds, but suffered a penalty.

Daryl Todd Littleton of Shreveport, La., returned to the marina with four bass weighing 17.36 pounds. He anchored his bag with an 8.25-pounder that won tournament big bass honors.

In the Co-Angler Division, Matt Gorum, 21, of Shreveport, La., caught three bass going 12.12 pounds to win the division and $1,670. He actually caught 12 keepers and several short fish.

“We caught fish on swim jigs, frogs — a little bit of everything,” Gorum said. “My partner was fishing for bedding fish. In the back of the boat, I had to find something productive to do when I saw bass chasing baitfish in open water. I picked up a topwater bait and they started biting. I had a lot of trouble getting bites on braid, so I switched to fluorocarbon and started catching fish.”

In second for the co-anglers, Chris Nequent of Buna, Texas, brought in a three-bass division limit for 11.52 pounds, followed by John Cropper of Beaumont, Texas, with three bass at 10.45 pounds including a 5.39-pound kicker. Craig Hay of Nacogdoches, Texas, landed in fourth with three bass for 10.31 pounds including one 4.36-pounder.

Thomas Martens of Austin, Texas, finished fifth with three bass going 10.24 pounds. He actually caught 11.24 pounds, good enough for third place, but suffered a penalty. Mitchell Mayo of Athens, Texas, finished seventh for the co-anglers with three bass at 10.19 pounds, but his 6.68-pounder took the division lunker title.

For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.

About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.

Cury dominates Kissimmee Chain tournament

By nearly 10 pounds, Phil Cury won the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Florida Division 6 tournament, held March 26, 2011, on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes south of Orlando.

Running out of Camp Mack’s River Resort near the town of Lake Wales, the anglers fished the 100,000-acre chain of shallow, natural lakes. The Jacksonville angler landed five bass weighing 25.60 pounds to earn $2,072. He anchored his bag with a 7.05-pounder.

“We fished Hatchineha and Cypress lakes,” Cury said. “In the morning, we caught fish on topwaters. Then, we threw worms. I had five bites and caught all five. I just got the right five. I caught my biggest one at about 1:30 p.m.”

In second, Nobel Willits of Altamonte Springs landed five bass weighing 16.81 pounds, despite losing the lower unit on his outboard. His biggest fish weighed 6.83 pounds. He earned $1,036 that could go toward motor repairs.

“I fished a junebug Ultravibe Speed Worm around lily pads,” Nobel said. “I caught about 10 fish. I had to adjust from practice when I was catching fish by swimming baits very fast. In the tournament, they didn’t want it fast. I caught the biggest one by flipping a junebug worm with a 3/16-ounce weight.”

Hojin Chang of Windermere landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 16.06 pounds to pocket $691. His biggest bass registered 8.50 pounds. “I fished a junebug speed worm in Lake Kissimmee,” Chang said. “I caught a bunch of fish and lost count of how many. I saw one that was probably about 12 pounds and stayed there about three hours trying to catch it. It just wouldn’t bite.”

In fourth for the boaters, Mike White of Saint Augustine returned to the marina with four bass going 14.55 pounds. However, he took tournament lunker honors with a 9.03-pounder.

“I caught the big one at about 9 a.m.,” White said. “I was fishing a 10-inch tequila sunrise worm.” Pete Saraf of Orlando landed in fifth place for the boaters. His biggest bucketmouth weighed 6.44 pounds.

For the Co-Angler Division, Jason Miranda of Orlando topped the competition with three bass at 12.48 pounds to take home $1,009. He anchored his bag with an 8.78-pounder that won the division big bass title and a $95 bonus.

“I had a good day,” Miranda said. “We fished on the south side of Kissimmee and caught them on soft plastics. I culled quite a few. My biggest bass came off a watermelon red worm. The rest hit swim baits in watermelon red or watermelon gold. I couldn’t have done it with my ultralight Colmic rods, which are very sensitive.”

Fishing with Nobel Willits, Ken Willits of Mount Dora landed a three-bass division limit weighing 11.88 pounds to earn $505. His biggest bass of the day tipped the scales at 7.53 pounds.

“Since we lost the lower unit, we stayed on the trolling motor all day,” Ken said. “We couldn’t go very far, so we just fished. We caught them on speed worms.”

John Stahl of Wesley Chapel took third with three bass at 11.58 pounds. Fishing Lake Kissimmee, he anchored his bag with a 4.50-pounder and earned $336.

“Most of my fish hit a junebug speed worm or a frog around grass and pads,” Stahl said.

In fourth for the co-anglers, Michael Otway of Saint Petersburg landed three bass for 11.31 pounds with one 4.42-pound kicker. Rounding out the top five co-anglers, James Stephens III of Osprey brought in three bass going 10.91 pounds with one 5.73-pounder.

For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.

About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit

www.americanbassanglers.com.



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