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News - AFT

Rogersville, Ala. native serves aboard USS Ronald Reagan

(Military Spotlight)

by Lt. j.g. Christopher Hanson

SAN DIEGO – A 2002 Winter Springs High School graduate and Rogersville, Alabama, native is serving on one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Parker Rountree is an aviation electronics technician aboard the San Diego-based ship, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and one of only ten operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today.

“I work in aviation maintenance, working on navigation and communications equipment and troubleshooting for the aircraft on board the carrier,” said Rountree

Named in honor of former President Ronald Reagan, the carrier is longer than 3 football fields, at nearly 1,100 feet long. The ship is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at nearly 35 mph.

As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, Rountree said he is proud to serve his country aboard an aircraft carrier.

“I love the people and wonderful experiences. My opportunities to travel and see places outside growing up in the South are amazing,” said Rountree.

Rountree also said he is very proud of the work he is doing as part of USS Ronald Reagan’s nearly 3,000-member crew, helping protect America on the world’s oceans.

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News - WBS

Robertson Takes Kentucky Opener

Matthew Robertson of Central City, KY won the Kentucky division opener of the Ram Weekend Bass Series on March 29th, 2015 at Kentucky Lake. Robertson weighed in a 25.25 pound limit to win $1727 and $420 from the High Stakes Option Pot. He used a Rat-L-Trap and a square bill to catch his fish off of secondary points.

Carlisle pro David Gnewikow of Mount Juliet, TN finished in second place with 18.49 pounds including the 7.40 pound boater Big Bass of the event. Gnewikow won $876 for second place and $250 for Big Bass. He stated that his pattern from the previous day fell through and he ended up catching his fish on a Strike King spinnerbait.

Carlisle pro Mickey Beck of Lebanon, TN finished in third place with 17.80 pounds winning $592 and $280 from the High Stakes Option Pot. Beck caught a few on topwater, but the majority of his fish came swimming a 3/8 ounce Hoppy's Flippin Jig.

David Carroll of Manitou, KY won the co-angler side of the event with 9.49 pounds including the 4.66 pound co-angler Big Bass. Carroll won $872 for first place, $125 for Big bass, and $213 from the High Stakes Option Pot. He said that he did not get a bite until after 1;00 pm. His fish all came on a Chatterbait.

William Walsh of Bon Aqua, TN was the second place co-angler with 6.58 pounds winning $443 for second and $128 from the High Stakes Option Pot. Walsh caught his fish later in the day with a chrome/blue Rat-L-Trap.

David Leever of Mount Orab, OH finished in third with 3.54 pounds winning $300 for third and $85 from the High Stakes Option Pot.

Complete result can be found at this link

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News - AFT

Ray Neighbors Wins D47 Tournament at Hamilton


Story by John Simonof

The American Fishing Tour, Division 47 of American Bass Anglers held its final one-day Divisional Tournament of the 2015 season on Lake Hamilton on March 28, 2015. A recent cold front had knocked the water temperature down a few degrees but it didn't seem to affect the fish too much. Eighteen anglers produced 59 fish, including ten five fish limits, for a total weight of 111.72 pounds.
Ray Neighbors topped the field with a five fish limit that weighed 18.18 pounds. John relied on a Rat-L-Trap to catch his fish. Ray earned $590 for his efforts on the day.
Bill Cerrato earned $288 for second place. He too hauled in a five fish limit that weighed 10.91 pounds all caught on a Carolina-rig.


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News - AFT

Jason Dies Wins on Old Hickory Lake


Athens, Al - Jason Dies, of Lebanon, TN, won the American Fishing Tour Tennessee Central division 31 tournament with five fish weighing 12.15 pounds held on Old Hickory on 03/29/2015.

With a beautiful day free of snow and rain, the angler came out to run for AOY. The Morning started out in the mid-20s but ended with a windy 65 Degree day.

In second among the competitors, Clark Cowley, of Lebanon, caught five bass weighing 12.00 pounds. He pocketed a check for $163.
Taking third place, Billy Throne, also of Lebanon, caught five bass weighing 8.50 pounds. In Fourth place, Fred Needham, of Portland, Tennessee, caught three bass weighing 8.15 pounds. Alvin Pannell, of Indianapolis, Indiana, rounded out the top five competitors with 2 bass weighing 5.60 pounds.


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News - WBS

Robicheaux Takes Title at Atchafalaya Basin

Tommy Robicheaux of Erath, LA won the second Louisiana RAM Weekend Bass Series event of the season on March 28th, 2015 at the Atchafalaya Basin. His winning weight of 11.80 pounds was worth $1644 and $330 from the High Stakes Option Pot. Despite a breakdown on Friday, Tommy pulled out his win by fishing the backs of canals looking for mixed water. "It was very tough today, but I had to grind it out and I got a couple of good bites to help me," said Robicheaux.

Brett Sellers of Denham Springs, LA  finished in second place with 9.95 pounds winning $838.

Leroy Keating of Ponchatoula, LA won the co-angler side with 10.50 pounds and the co-angler Big Bass weighing 3.98 pounds. Keating won $651 and $85 for Big Bass. His fish came on topwater and plastics.

John Jacobs of Mansura, LA finished in second on the co-angler side with 6.71 pounds winning $332 and $150 from the High Stakes Option Pot.

Complete result can be found at this link

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News - WBS

RAM Weekend Bass Series at Guntersville This Saturday

The Alabama North division of the RAM Weekend Bass Series will have its first event of the season on Saturday, April 4th at Lake Guntersville. Alabama North anglers will be launching from Guntersville State Park for the event. Onsite registration and safety briefing will be held at the Guntersville State Park Lodge Camellia Room on Friday, April 3rd. Registration will be from 4:00-6:30pm CST and the safety briefing will follow promptly at 7:00pm CST. All participating anglers must be registered by 6:30pm CST on Friday, April 3rd in order to participate in this event. Anglers can register for this event online at or by calling ABA at (256) 232-0406. More information on this event can be found at this link or by calling tournament manager, Kristin Malott at (256) 771-3709.

This event is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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News - WBS

Two in a Row for Taylor

Brock Taylor of Pendleton, SC won his second South Carolina RAM Weekend Bass Series event of the year on March 28th, 2015 at Lake Hartwell. Taylor weighed in a 21.37 pound limit for the win, as well as, the 6.09 pound boater Big Bass of the event. He won $1,785 for first place finish. Taylor used a jerkbait in 10 feet of water near ditch lines for his win. He also won the first event of the year at Murray and he said, "I hope my luck keeps going."

Brian Gunn of Savannah, GA finished in second place with 19.80 pounds winning $905 for second place, $280 from the Big Bass Pot, and $350 from the High Stakes Option Pot. "I started on the Georgia side and caught a limit there. I was primarily fishing shallow, cranking and throwing a Chatterbait targeting docks and bank cover," said Gunn.

Vince Smith of Westminster, SC finished third with 17.71 pounds winning $612. "I was mid lake around Andersonville Island and I caught all of my fish bedding, except for my big fish that came on a Senko," said Smith.

Charles "Chuck" Padgett of Greenwood, TN won the co-angler side of the event with 11.59 pounds and the 4.67 pound co-angler Big Bass. He won $719 for first place, $90 from the Big Bass Pot, and $225 from the High Stakes Option Pot. "We were fishing mid to lower lake targeting spawning pockets and we figured out that the fish were pulling out. We started running docks in pre spawn pockets to find the fish. I’d just like to thank the good Lord for letting me fish," said Padgett.

Robert Lytton of Moncks Corner, SC finished second with 7.45 pounds winning $366 for second place and $100 from the High Stakes Option Pot. "We were in the mid lake area. I caught my biggest fish on a shallow running square bill and the rest on a Shakey Head," said Lytton.

Clint Jackson of Seneca, SC finished in third place with 7.33 pounds winning $248. "We were fishing mid lake to down lake. I caught two on a jerkbait early. We fished docks the rest of the day and I caught a couple more on a jig," said Jackson.

Complete result can be found at this link

This event was hosted by Visit Anderson.

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News - AFT

Co-Angler Wins on High Rock

Athens, Al - Tyler Heuple won the RAM American Fishing Tour division 14 tournament on High Rock Lake in Lexington, NC with three fish weighing 6.00 pounds held on 03/28/2015.

Tyler Heuple of Gainsville, Va. is one step closer to the RAM American Fishing Tour National Championship with a first place win on High Rock Lake this past weekend. Heuple weighed in three bass, which weighed 6.00 pounds. Second place went to Charles A. Whitaker of Troutman, NC with two bass weighing 5.91 pounds. Third place went to Lee Busque of Olin, NC with two bass weighing in at 5.38 pounds.

At launch time the temperatures were in the upper 30's with clear skies, and north northwest winds at 10 to 20 mph. The day’s post frontal conditions continued with high pressure, blue bird skies, and temperatures topping out in the low 50's. Water temperatures were in the mid to upper 50's.

The winning pattern was cranking rocky points in 8 to10 ft. of water. Tyler was very gracious and thanked his boater for putting him on the winning fish, which led to a victory in his very first Ram American Fishing Tour event. Congratulations!

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News - CPL

Lance Nunley & Shannan Swafford win on Chickamauga Lake


Athens, Al. Lance Nunley and Shannan Swafford won the American Bass Anglers - event on Lake Chickamauga out of Chester Frost Park with 5 fish weighing 19.72 lbs..

Lance Nunley and Shannan Swafford weighed in the only 5 fish limit of the day which total 19.72 lbs. and included the the womens big fish of the tournament , a nice 4.35 lb. largemouth. Lance and Shannan reported catching most of their fish on rattle baits on the breaks.  Jerry Last and Brittant Scott took 2nd place honors with 4 fish weighing 13.52 lbs.  Ray Bohlman and Donna Barbee finished a close 3rd with 4 fish weighing 13.19 lbs. which included the men's big fish of the day, a 7.14 lb. largemouth.

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News -

Bunyon and Rudd Win Triton Boat at Kentucky Lake

The team of Bunyon Rudd and James Van Dyke won the first TN/KY event of the RAM 100% Team Tour on March 28th, 2015 at Kentucky Lake. The team caught the winning limit weighing 27.87 pounds winning a 2015 Triton 17TX with a Mercury 60hp four stroke outboard, Garmin Echomap units, Odyssey Batteries, Motorguide trolling motor, Power Pole, and a host of T-H Marine products valed at $22,000. The team also qualified for $1500 from Mercury/Motorguide. The team fished in Big Sandy Creek all day targeting shallow windblown chunk rock banks. They used Rat-L-Traps, Chatter Baits, and spinnerbaits to catch their limit. "Today was junk fishing at its best," said Dyke. "We probably had 30 rods on the deck between the both of us. Thank the Lord for putting the fish in the right spots for us," said Rudd.

Second place went to the team of Troy Davis and David Young with 24.10 pounds worth $3500. Davis and Young fished south of Paris targeting shallow gravel banks with a Red Eye Shad in Sexy Shad color and a Strike King Brauer Jig in black/blue. Their first didn't come until 11:00 am and they didn't catch their fifth keeper until 2:30 pm. "We would like to thank ABA for putting on a great event and allowing us the opportunity to fish. The payouts and prizes at this event have been great," said Davis and Young.  

Third place and the Leer Big Bass Award went to the team of Steve Mull and Tim Staley with 23.60 pound limit containing a 10.88 pound "Kentucky Lake Monster". The team took home $2500 for third place, $1500 from the High Stakes Option Pot, and the $500 Leer Big Bass award. Mull and Staley fished the south end of the lake below Danville. They focused on points and ditches just off of the main channel. Their baits of choice were a Strike King 1.5 in chartreuse/black and a one ounce "Texas Red" Excalibur lipless crankbait. The 10.88 Leer Big Bass came off the edge of a ditch in 5-6 feet of water "pumping" the Excalibur bait.

Complete result can be found at this link

The next TN/KY RAM 100% Team Tour event will be held on April 25th, 2015 at Old Hickory Lake, launching from Sanders Ferry. More info on this upcoming event can be found at this link or by calling ABA tournament manager, Kristin Malott, at (256) 771-3709.

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News - CPL

Susan and John Mills Win on Lake Hartwell
The 35 degree morning did not deter 18 teams from participating in the American Bass Anglers Couples Tournament on Lake Hartwell.   The chilly March 28 Saturday morning gave way to a sunny and pleasant afternoon.  All of the couples brought fish to the scales.
Susan and John Mills took first place honors with a 5 fish limit weighing 15.1 pounds.  Susan's 3.7 pound largemouth was the Ladies Big Bass.  Her winning fish came pitching a Texas rigged green pumpkin worm to a dock.  Susan said that they saw the fish, and it saw them, as they went by a dock the first time.   They moved away for a few minutes, then came back and cast the worm to the dock from a distance, and the fish took the worm.   The Mills are from Leesville, South Carolina.
Gary Heinly claimed Mens Big Bass.  It topped the scales at 5.2 pounds.  Gary was using a green pumpkin trick worm by a dock.  Gary and Beverly Heinly are from Chapin, South Carolina.

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News - WBS

Hahne Takes Oklahoma Opener

Darren Hahne of Ottawa, IL won the Oklahoma division opener of the RAM Weekend Bass Series at Lake Tenkiller on March 21st, 2015. Hahne weighed in a 14.79 pound limit to take the win and claimed $3000 for first place and $563 from the High Stakes Option Pot. He used a Megabass jerkbait in 10-12 feet of water around the mid lake area to catch his limit of smallmouth. "I had a good time and a great co-angler. It was a lot of fun, especially since I haven't fished Tenkiller in 23 years," said Hahne.

Mark Johnson of Weleetka, OK finished in second place with 12.41 pounds to win $1351. "It was really tough with slick water and no wind. I keyed in on dirty water in the mid lake area using a red craw pattern medium crankbait," said Johnson.

Brandon Mosely of Choctaw, OK finished third with 11.76 pounds winning $910 for third place and $286 from the High Stakes Option Pot "I started in a clear water pocket with 50-51 degree water using a jerkbait and couple a couple of fish. Later, I moved to a dock line where I caught some fish with a spinnerbait on Friday. My first pass on the docks produced nothing, but I caught them on the second pass," Mosley.

Don Turner of Wagner, OK caught the boater Big Bass. His 5.99 pound bass and 10th place finish was worth $852.

Anthony Harris of Westville, OK took home the co-angler trophy for catching 7.17 pounds and the 4.46 pound co-angler Big Bass. He collected $1129 for hid day's work. "I caught my first one right off the bat and I didn't catch another one for six hours. My Big Bass came on a jig, but I did use a jerkbait as well throughout the day," said Harris.

Steven Houchin of Oklahoma City, OK finished second with 6.91 pounds winning $491. "We went way up river, started flipping, and I caught one there. Then, we moved back to the main lake and threw a jerkbait. I used a Missile Baits D-Bomb and a Texas rig while flipping," said Houchin.

Justin Newell of Muskogee, OK finished in third with 4.62 pounds winning $332 for third place and $212 from the High Stakes Option Pot.

Complete result can be found at this link

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News - AFT

Reid McGinn Wins the AFT Qualifier on Lake Murray


Athens, Al - Reid McGinn of Fort Mill, SC won the American Fishing Tour South Carolina - Greenwood division 96 tournament with five fish weighing 23.80 pounds held on Lake Murray running out of Dreher Island State Park near Prosperity, SC.

Our winner, Reid McGinn had five fish for 23.80 pounds for the win. His limit was anchored with a 7.26 pound kicker. He was fishing jig on docks around the middle part of the lake. Reid's first place finish and option pot earned him a payback of $810.
Gene Parker finished second with five fish weighing 19.83 pounds. Gene was bed fishing on the lower part and caught his fish on a Brush Hog rigged on a shakey head and a pig and jig. Gene earned $504 with second place and the option pot.


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News - AFT

Brad Fowler wins on Lake Hartwell


Athens, Al - Brad Fowler of Pendleton,SC won the American Fishing Tour South Carolina - North East division 25 tournament with 5 fish weighing 20.75 pounds held on Hartwell on 03/15/2015.


Top 5 Anglers

Pl Name Fish Total Points
1 Brad Fowler 5 20.75 194
2 Mike Strickland 5 16.12 193
3 Chris Sample 5 15.55 192
4 Larry Martin 5 13.19 191
5 Phillip Anderson 5 13.18 190

Big Bass winner: Mike Strickland 7.23pounds

Next Event for the South Carolina - North East division 25 -

Next event is on Clark Hill Lake launching out of Dorn Boating Facility on April 19th,2015


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News - AFT

Tim Wiltfong wins on Falls Lake


Athens, Al - Tim Wiltfong of Wake Forest, NC won the American Fishing Tour North Carolina East division 15 tournament with 5 fish weighing 16.16 pounds held on Falls Lake on 03/21/2015.

Running out of Ledge Rock Landing near Creedmoor, NC, the Wake Forest, NC, angler caught 5 bass weighing 16.16 pounds. Tim took home a check for $195.00. Tim caught his fish on worms crank baits jigs and spinner baits.

In second among the competitors, Jason Taylor of Richlands, NC, caught 3 bass weighing 7.14 pounds.   

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