Georgian title to be decided at Lanier
ATHENS, Ala. – The Georgia Division 8 of the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, will hold its two-day divisional championship Sept. 21-22, 2013, on Lake Lanier.
The competitors will launch at Laurel Park, located at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway in Gainesville, Ga. Anglers may begin fishing at 7:15 a.m. or safe light. The weigh-in will begin at 3:15 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Sept. 20. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=650.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass, each at least 14 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. For Georgia fishing license information, see www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes#Recreational_Licenses_and_Passes or call 800-366-2661.
About 40 miles northeast of Atlanta, Lake Sydney Lanier spreads over more than 38,000 acres of north-central Georgia. Built in 1956 near Cumming, the Buford Dam spans the Chattahoochee River, creating the reservoir. The Chestatee River enters Lake Lanier from the north, merging into the Chattahoochee. Together these two rivers and associated tributaries form myriad points along 692 shoreline miles.
One of the best bass lakes in the nation, Lake Lanier ranks Number 43 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. The lake holds good populations of largemouth bass, but many anglers fish it because of the Kentucky spotted bass. The lake record spot weighed about 8 pounds. The only reservoir in Georgia specifically managed to produce big spotted bass, Lake Lanier held the state record spot for 20 years.
“Lake Lanier is one of the premier spotted bass fisheries in the United States, particularly on size,” said Mark Menendez, a professional bass angler from Paducah, Ky. “I’ve caught several in the 5-pound range and have seen multiple fish swimming behind those fish that would make them look like guppies.”
Big spotted bass generally stay in the lower portion of the lake below Highway 369. Spots hold in deeper rocky areas and tend to school more than largemouths. Anglers often see schoolies at the mouth of coves. The big spots feed heavily upon blueback herring and threadfin shad so lures that resemble those baitfish might provoke good strikes from hungry spots.
During the June 18, 2011 BWS tournament on Lake Lanier, Robert L. Croxton lll, of Lilburn, Ga., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 16.52 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.63-pounder that took the Boater Division big bass title. Croxton caught most of his fish on a Fish Head Spin or a fluke.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Nicky C. Jenkins of Gainesville, Ga., landed a three-fish division limit going 9.21 pounds. He caught most of his fish on a green pumpkin jig dragged through about 40 feet of water. Kevin Topper of Woodstock, Ga., won the tournament lunker competition with a 5.16-pound spotted bass that hit a Spook topwater bait.
The top anglers from this division, plus those from the Florida, Alabama South, South Carolina and East Tennessee divisions advance to the two-day regional tournament, slated for Oct. 4-5, 2013, on Lake: Hartwell out of Gum Branch near Hartwell, Ga. After the four regional tournaments, the top anglers from those events will compete in the BWS National Championship tournament, scheduled for Nov. 6-9, 2013, on Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. The Boater Division champion will compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at 256-230-5632 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: 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, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.