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News - AFT

Larry Vaughan Wins at Lake Ouachita!



Story by John Simonof

Athens, Al - Larry Vaughn won the American Fishing Tour Arkansas division 47 tournament with five fish weighing 17.13 pounds held on Ouachita on 12/13/2014.

Twenty-two anglers were greeted to a cool, damp, overcast morning at the second stop of the American Fishing Tour, Division 47 held on Lake Ouachita. A rule change, no umbrella-type rigs, for the 2015 American Fishing Tour season caught many fisherman by surprise as they showed up to register for the tournament. Although no umbrella-rigs were allowed, plenty of quality fish were caught using"traditional" late fall methods. 22 anglers fished today and caught 67 fish for a total weight of 135.51 pounds with 11 five bass limits crossing the scales.

Larry Vaughan brought in five bass for 17.13 pounds to take the win. Larry caught his fish on a jerkbait and took home $559 for his efforts.
Tony Usdrowski hauled in second place with a five bass limit that weighed 15.57 pounds and earned $331 for the day. Tony caught his fish on a jerkbait.
Russell Scalf rounded out the top three with a five bass limit weighing in at 13.65 pounds caught on a jerkbait.


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News - AFT

David Mock First Place at Lake Talquin


From Division 76 Talquin December 13, 2014 David Mock from Tallahassee, Fl. is one step closer to the ABA National Championship with a first place win and $303 in the American Fishing Tour Divisional Bass Tournament held on Lake Talquin this past weekend. David's five bass weighed in at 14.32 pounds. Second Place went to Rob Lawhon with a weight of 13.70 pounds. Third Place was David Boyd with a weight of 12.07 pounds.

These anglers are acquiring valuable points to insure their birth in the American Fishing Tour National Championship that will be held this fall. Their points are also being used to determine the divisional angler of the year. The top angler by points earned in this division will represent the division in the Angler of the Year final round.Big Bass winner: Big Bass went to Rob Lawhon with his 4.96 pound largemouth


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News - AFT

Rodney Chastain Wins With the Deep Bite on Lake Russell

Athens, Ala. Rodney Chastain of Fountain Inn, SC won the American Fishing Tour, presented by American Bass Anglers, South Carolina Division 96 qualifier tournament held December 14, 2014, on Lake Russell running out of the Hwy 72 Ramp near Calhoun Falls, SC. 

Our winner, Rodney Chastain was fishing the middle part of the lake working jigs and spoons in the timber as deep as 60 feet. Rodney had five fish weighing 12.38 pounds which included the 4.18 pound big fish of the tournament for the win and $733.
Franklin Ramey finished second with five fish weighing 11.99 pounds which included a 3.61 pound kicker. Franklin was fishing spoons and soft plastic around the deep timber up the Savannah River. Franklin earned $389 for his efforts.


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News -

Mercury Marine Renews Sponsorship with American Bass Anglers

ATHENS, Ala. (Dec. 12, 2014) – Mercury Marine, the leading manufacturer of outboard engines for more than 75 years, has renewed its longstanding sponsorship with American Bass Anglers.  Mercury is the exclusive engine sponsor of all American Bass Anglers tournament trails, which includes the Weekend Bass Series, American Fishing Tour, 100% Plus Team Tour, American Couples Series and the Annual Military Team Championship.

“The ABA is a great producer of quality bass fishing tournaments, and it provides Mercury an extremely effective connection with grassroots,” said Randy Caruana, vice president of sales and marketing at Mercury Marine. “We’re pleased and excited to renew our longtime affiliation with this great association.”

Morris Sheehan, president of American Bass Anglers, called Mercury “the leader in outboard technology and power – something anglers rely on to pursue their passion in the sport of bass fishing.”

“The Pro XS series of engines, with their extreme performance and tremendous fuel savings, has become the standard by which all outboards are measured,” said Sheehan. “Through this sponsorship, Mercury continues to show its support for the weekend angler, and we are proud to have them as a premier partner.”

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News - CPL

Michael DeRamus Takes First Place at Lake Mitchell 

From Division 1 Couples Central Alabama December 6, 2014 is one step closer to the ABA Couples National Championship with a first Place win and $450 in the American Fishing Tour bass tournament held on Lake Mitchell this past weekend. Five bass limit weighed in at 11.67 pounds. Second place went to Bo Hunter & Brandee Johnson with a weight of 11.56 pounds. Third place was Sean & April Brown with a weight of 10.71 pounds. Woman's big bass was awarded was to for catching April Brown a 2.93 pound spot. Men's big bass went to Eric Nelson with a 2.96 pound spot.
These anglers are acquiring valuable points to insure their birth in division's two-day champion and the American Fishing Tour National Championship that will be held this fall. Their points are also being used to determine the divisional angler of the year. The top angler by points earned in this division will represent the division in the Angler of the Year final round.

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News - AFT

Mike Dill's Big Fish Earns Win


Athens, Al - Mike Dill of Greenfield, MO won the American Fishing Tour MIssouri - Stockton division 126 tournament with four fish weighing 12.96 pounds held on Stockton on 12/06/2014.

With cool 40s air temperatures and upper 40s water temperatures, the bass proved to be plentiful for most of the 22 anglers who fished the ABA qualifying tournament on Stockton Lake December 6, 2014. Mike Dill of Greenfield, MO won with four fish weighing 12.96 pounds, anchored by big fish of the day, a 5.65 pound largemouth. Dill earned $770 for the days efforts.

Second place went to Matt Theil of Jasper with a five fish limit that weighed 12.07 pounds. In third place was Springfield angler, Jay Carter with five fish going 11.86 pounds. Kansas angler and 2014 AFT National Angler-of-the-Year, Eric Craft took fourth place with another five fish limit that weighed 11.66 pounds.


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News - AFT

Matt Baty First Place at Lake Seminole


Athens, Al - Matt Baty from Altapulgus, GA won the American Fishing Tour Florida - Seminole division 114 tournament with five fish weighing 21.53 pounds held on Seminole on 12/07/2014.

From Division 114 Seminole December 7, 2014 Matt Baty from Altapulgus, Ga. is one step closer to the ABA National Championship with a first place win and $405 in the AFT tournament held on Lake Seminole this past weekend. Matt's five bass weighed in at 21.53 pounds. Second Place went to Kevin O'Leen with a weight of 18.86 pounds. Third Place was Mitch Oldnettle with a weight of 12.85 pounds. 


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News -

Payback Keeps Increasing for the 100% Plus Team Trail

Athens, Ala. (December 03, 2014) – The new ABA Team Series “100% Plus Team Trail” has increased the payout thanks to the tour sponsors. The series, which kicks off in March 2015 on Lake Guntersville, guarantees 100% Plus payout at all events with first place being a new Triton Boat and Mercury Outboard rigged with Garmin Electronics, ODYSSEY Batteries, T-H Marine Accessories and Carlisle Tires valued over $20,000.

- LEER the leader in Truck Caps and Tonneau covers will be sponsoring the LEER Big Bass of $500 for each event.
- LEER will also be offering their LEER Cover Cash program and will pay $150 to the top finishing eligible angler and $150 to the second highest finishing angler.
- T-H Marine will sponsor the “Lucky Dog Award” that will award $200 in product to the team that is first place out of the money.
- T-H Marine also offers their Atlas Awards program that offers up to $1,800 to winners if the program guidelines are met.
- Triton Boats offers Triton Gold worth up to $7,000 to the winner if the program guidelines are met.
- Power Pole will offer their Captain’s Cash Rewards Program and pay $100 bonus if the program guidelines are met.
- Garmin will offer $1,000 to winner fishing from a boat equipped with Garmin fixed mounted marine electronics and they meet the Garmin’s “Grand Giveaway” program guidelines.
- Best Western will be drawing for a $100 gift card to a team that can produce a Best Western hotel receipt in their name from the last 30 days.
- Carlisle Tire will award a full set of Carlisle tires and Black Rock wheels to the top team from each division at the end of the season.  
- Local Triton dealers are also offering rewards. The Boat House in Athens, AL will be offering $1,000, Clark Marine will be offering $500 and Blue & Gray Marine will be offering $500 in contingency awards if the program guidelines are met. 

These programs can add more than $10,000 which increases the payout at each event to more than $70,000 in cash, prizes and contingency awards. The 100% Plus Team Trail means just that, paying more than 100% of the entries paid at every event.

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News -

T-H Marine Continues Sponsorship of American Bass Anglers

Athens, Ala. (November 25, 2014) – T-H Marine, a leading manufacturer of 1,000s of boat parts and accessories has renewed its sponsorship of the American Bass Anglers. The multi-year agreement will have T-H Marine sponsor and represented at all of the Weekend Bass Series, American Fishing Tour, 100% Plus Team Trail, American Couples Series, The Ray Scott Championship and the Annual Military Team Bass Anglers Tournament.

“T-H Marine has long been a leader in premium and innovative products used daily by both recreational boaters and anglers. While they make 1,000s of boating parts and accessories, most anglers know T-H Marine best for their fish care systems and products, performance products and safety systems.  T-H Marine offers special rewards for anglers that use their products through the Atlas Award program. We are proud to have T-H Marine as a partner and for their continued support of the weekend bass angler. ,” said Morris Sheehan, President of American Bass Anglers, Inc.

As part of this sponsorship T-H Marine will be offering a bonus program  ̶  Atlas Awards  ̶  for anglers who win events and  own and use T-H Marine accessories on their boats. Anglers can learn more about the program and sign up at WWW.THMARINE.COM/ATLASAWARDS. T-H Marine will also be sponsoring the Lucky Dog award in the 100% Plus Team trail. The first team out of the money at all 100% Plus Team Trail events will receive the Lucky Dog award a special T-H Marine prize package. To further fish care, T-H Marine will also sponsor weigh bags with mesh inserts at all Weekend Series and 100% Plus Team Trail events.

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News -

November Winners in the "Show your ABA Decal" Promotion

Bill Hunter, Bob Dean, Charles Collis and James Conner each won drawings for the "Show your ABA Decal" program. They each win their choice of an ABA T-Shirt or Cap and will be entered into the grand prize drawing of a fishing adventure at Ray Scott's Trophy Bass Retreat.
 Weekly - ABA Cap or T-Shirt (Your Choice)
Monthly Winners - A Cap or T-Shirt (Your Choice), a Livingston Lure, G-Juice, and a Gift from Carlisle Tire 
Grand Prize Drawing: Win a trip to Ray Scott's Trophy Bass Retreat. Grand Prize drawing will be held December 19. 2014

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News - AFT

David Howell First Place at Lake Talquin


Athens, Al - David Howell of Quincy, Florida won the American Fishing Tour Florida - Talquin division 76 tournament with five bass weighing 15.90 pounds held on Talquin on 11/22/2014. "I caught most of my fish on humps using a carolina rig," Howell said.

Second Place went to David Boyd with a weight of 15.19 pounds and third Place was Rob Lawhon with a weight of 12.07 pounds.
The top Six Anglers:
1. David Howel     15.90 Lbs.
2. David Boyd       15.19 Lbs. 
3. Rob Lawhon     12.07 Lbs.
4. David Heflin        9.92 Lbs.
5. Kyle Brooks         9.41 Lbs.
6. David Mock         8.51 Lbs.


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News - AFT

Curtis Sanders Wins Division 94 Savannah River Tourney


Athens, Al - Curtis Sanders won the American Fishing Tour South Carolina - Savannah River division 94 tournament with five fish weighing 11.68 pounds held on Savannah River on 11/15/2014.

Second place went to Lou Marrequin with a five bass limit weighing 9.49 pounds. Third place went to Travis Malphrus with five bass weighing in at 9.22 pounds and fourth place went to Joe McDonie with five bass weighing 8.86 pound.

These anglers are acquiring valuable points in an attempt to insure their birth in the ABA National Championship for the 2014 season.


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News - WBS

Weekend Bass Series Updated Schedules and Clarifications

November 24, 2014 Athens, AL.  - American Bass Anglers announced today updates to the Weekend Bass Series schedules and a rules clarification for the 2015 season. ABA works to eliminate as many conflicts as possible so our anglers have more choices. There are changes in several divisions and these are shown below.

Highlights for the 2015 Season:

Increased Payout: For 2015 the Weekend Bass Series will offer guaranteed first place boater money of:

  • $3,000.00 for 50 boats or more
  • $4,000.00 for 75 boats or more
  • $5,000.00 for 100 boats or more 

Co-anglers will also get the same guarantee first place money of:

  • $1,500.00 for 50 boats or more
  • $2,000.00 for 75 boats or more
  • $2,500.00 for 100 boats or more 

In addition, 20% of the field will receive a check in each event.

Linking: The antiquated linking concept, not created by ABA, and has been used to connect boaters and non-boaters to help equal the numbers.  This process has caused far too many issues and will no longer be used.  Registrations will be based on Package first, then the anglers date and time of registration to determine their status.

Boat on Boat Draw: The results of the linking process caused this issue and starting in the 2015 season there will be no boat on boat draws, instead polygraphs will be used as needed.

Late Fees: With today's economy the anglers need time to pay entry fees, therefore ABA is decreasing the late fee period prior for events from 10 days to 2 days.  Late fees will only be charged when signing up for events after 5pm on Wednesday the week of an event.  In addition, a late fee exemption will be given to boaters and co-anglers who sign up together through Friday 12 noon CST before the event.  To receive this exemption, you must call the office to register.  All onsite registrations will be charged a late fee.

(Updated) Emergency Exemption (Updated): Anglers tell us they want to compete in all 5 divisional events but so many run into an emergency situation that prevents this. One emergency exemption per year will be allowed for anglers that have signed up for all 5 divisional events. Angler must request exemption prior to Wednesday 12 noon central standard time the week of the event. If approved, the angler will receive credit for that event however, no points will be awarded.

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News - WBS

Three ABA Anglers Win Big With Triton Gold at Ray Scott Championship

Albert Collins of Nacogdoches, TX has won the largest payout in Triton Gold history after placing first in the 2014 Ray Scott Championship. Collins was awarded a whopping $50,000 from Triton on top of his first place prize of $100,000. After purchasing a new Triton Boat in 2013, Collins immediately registered into the Triton Gold contingency program. Collins currently owns a 2013 Triton 20XS and is looking at colors for a 2015 model.  "I think the Triton Gold program is one of the best programs out there for tournament anglers. After today's win, I have won almost $95,000 through the Triton Gold program in less than two years."

Second place finisher Cavin Young of Prince George, VA was awarded $5500 from the Triton Gold program. Young fished the event from his 2013 Triton 20XS. “I don’t see how you can afford not to run a Triton if you fish tournaments. No other boat company out there has a program that matches Triton Gold. Triton has the best handling ride of any boat that I’ve ever owned,” said Young.    

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News - WBS

Dean Wins Royal Purple Highest Finisher Award at Championship

Scott Dean of Terrell, TX has earned more Royal Purple Royal Rewards for the year, this time at the Ray Scott Championship. Dean was the highest finishing boater of the championship registered in the Royal Purple Royal rewards program. He has been the highest finisher in the program at the divisional level this year as well. Since Dean is a Level II member of the rewards program, he will receive two cases of Royal Purple outboard oil and a case of Royal Purple MaxGear gear lube for his highest finish. All Dean had to do to participate in the program was turn in receipts from his Royal Purple purchases made during the year. Purchase the brand of lubricants that gives back to ABA anglers, Royal Purple.

The Royal Purple Royal Treatment program was created as an incentive to ABA anglers that purchase Royal Purple products throughout the year.  Anglers can win Royal Purple products and even ABA entry fees in monthly drawings and for being the highest finisher in the Royal Purple Royal Treatment program at ABA events.

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Give them something wicked for the holidays!

ABA Member Special

Looking for a wicked great holiday gift for the angler in your life?

And if you get a chance, see me in action on the National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna.

Capt. Paul Hebert
Wicked Pissah

ABA Christmas Special!
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