Arkansas Division championship set for Ouachita
ATHENS, Ala. – The Arkansas Division 12 of the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, will hold its two-day divisional championship Sept. 21-22, 2013, on Lake Ouachita.
The competitors will launch at Mountain Harbor, located at 994 Mountain Harbor Road in Mount Ida, Ark. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Sept. 20. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=680.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. For Arkansas fishing license information, see www.agfc.com/licenses/Pages/LicensesFishing.aspx or call 800-364-4263.
One of the best bass lakes in the nation, Lake Ouachita ranks Number 45 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. Lake Ouachita can produce bass exceeding 12 pounds, but most run in the 2- to 6-pound range.
The largest lake completely within Arkansas, Lake Ouachita spreads over about 40,100 acres along the Ouachita River in the scenic Ouachita Mountains. The 1.6-million-acre Ouachita National Forest nearly surrounds the lake, severely limiting any development along its 1,000 miles of shoreline.
Considered one of the cleanest lakes in the nation, the reservoir dates to 1953. It averages about 50 feet deep, but some holes drop to about 200 feet deep in places. More than 200 islands and numerous creek channels offer bass abundant cover of many types including rock piles, deep bottom contours, matted weed beds, points and stumps.
“I’ve fished all over the United States and in many other countries and I’ve never seen a lake more beautiful than Ouachita,” said George Cochran, a two-time Bassmaster Classic champion from Hot Springs. “The entire lake is very good for bass at different times of the year. It has three rivers running into it. The rivers go for miles and each of them looks different. The middle of the lake is full of vegetation, timber and creek channels. The lower end near the dam is clear and deep.”
During the April 27, 2013, BWS tournament on Lake Ouachita, Hunter Fant of Kirby, Ark., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 20.11 pounds for a 4.02-pound average. He anchored his bag with a 5.38-pound kicker that took tournament lunker honors. Fant caught most of his fish on Lake Fork Tackle jig.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Sawyer M. Grace of Russellville landed a three-fish division limit going 8.90 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 3.38-pounder. Grace caught most of his fish on a Spro frog worked through shallow water. Evan L. Barnes of London, Ark., set the division big bass standard with a 4.14-pound bucketmouth.
The top anglers from the this division plus the South East Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas East divisions will compete in the two-day regional tournament, slated for Oct. 4-5, 2013, on Lake Fort Gibson out of Taylor’s Ferry Landing near Wagoner, Okla. The top anglers from the four regional tournaments will compete in the BWS National Championship tournament, scheduled for November 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 Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 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.