Giddens holds off competition for Eufaula win
ATHENS, Ala. – Marty Giddens held on to win the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Alabama South Division 2 two-day divisional championship, held Sept. 7-8, 2013, on Lake Eufaula.
Running out of Lakepoint Resort State Park near the town of Eufaula, Ala., the Alpine, Ala., angler finished with 10 bass weighing 30.56 pounds. On the first day, the division points leader held a slim lead by only one one-hundredth of a pound with 18.16 pounds including a 4.91-pound kicker. He added 12.40 pounds on the final day to seal the win. For the Boater Division victory, Giddens took home a check for $3,451.
“I fished down the lake,” Giddens advised. “I caught all my fish on topwater baits except my biggest one. It hit a jig under a dock. On the second day, I couldn’t find the fish at first. I started a pitching a worm and caught a 5-pounder late. I lost three good fish that might have helped. I caught most of my fish around rocks.”
In second for the boaters, Michael M. Smith of Laurel Hill, Fla., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits to finish with 27.05 pounds with a 4.03-pound kicker. Smith held fourth place with 14.88 pounds including his big fish on Day 1. On the final day, he jumped two places with a 12.17-pound effort to take home a check for $1,725. He also won a Triton Gold bonus.
“On the first day, I went shallow and caught a 3-pounder on a frog,” Smith recalled. “Later, I went up the river and had everything I needed by noon. I was cranking a 6XD. I lost three good fish flipping. On the second day, I started deep early, but caught my biggest one flipping.”
Dustin T. Connell of Clanton, Ala., took third for the boaters with 10 bass at 26.48 pounds. Connell sat in second place on Day 1 with 18.15 pounds including a 4.94-pounder. He brought in a second limit for 8.33 pounds on the second day to go home with a check for $1,150 in his pocket.
“I fished way up the river,” Connell said. “I caught a couple fish on frogs and a couple on top, but most of my fish flipping. Fishing was awesome on the first day. I was fishing in about five to six feet of water.”
David J. Pair of Abbeville, Ala., finished fourth among the boaters with a two-day limit of 10 bass going 25.33 pounds with a 5.64-pound kicker. He held 11th place after Day 1 with 10.22 pounds, but brought in the largest bag of Day 2, 15.11 pounds.
Right behind, Justin H. Hamner of Northport, Ala., rounded out the top five boaters with 10 bass at 25.06 pounds. Hamner held eighth place on Day 1 after catching 12.42 pounds. He jumped three places on the final day behind a 12.64-pound effort. Joey M. Aderhold of Birmingham, Ala., brought in the tournament lunker, a 5.93-pounder, to earn $240.
“The big fish hit first thing in the morning,” Aderhold explained. “It hit a Snag Proof frog worked through duckweed and lily pads. It hit like a 10-pound weight dropped into the water.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Randy G. Harris of Madison, Ala., came from behind to score a big win with a two-day total of six bass weighing 15.51 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 4.52-pound kicker. Harris held seventh place after the first day with 6.33 pounds. He brought in three keepers for 9.18 pounds on the final day, the biggest single-day bag for any co-angler, to take the win and a check for $1,582.
“We went up the lake both days,” Harris revealed. “I caught fish on the first day on shaky heads in 17 to 20 feet of water. On the second day, I caught one fish on a swimbait in a foot of water and two good ones on crankbaits in 12 feet of water off ledges.”
Day 1 leader, Michael J. Mora of Jemison, Ala., dropped to second place after catching two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 15.28 pounds. He did take the division lunker title with a 5-pounder. Mora brought in 8.53 pounds on Day 1. He added 6.75 pounds on the final day to collect $792 plus an extra $105 for the big bass.
“On the first day, I caught fish on just about everything, but mostly Carolina rigs,” Mora explained. “The big one hit a frog. On the final day, I caught most of my fish on shaky heads and Carolina rigs. I caught my biggest bass on the second day with my third cast at the first spot. It hit a shaky head.”
Eldred B. Lewis of Tuscaloosa, Ala., improved by one position to finish third with six bass going 11.86 pounds. On Day 1, Lewis caught 6.98 pounds to hold fourth place and added 4.88 pounds on the final day. For the effort, Lewis pocketed $528.
“On both days, I caught fish on shaky heads,” Lewis said. “I fished deep not far from the landing. I lost two fish that probably would have helped me on the first day. That’s how it goes with fishing.”
Willard A. Smith of Wetumpka, Ala., finished in fourth place among the co-anglers with six bass weighing 11.56 pounds. Smith brought in 4.19 pounds on the first day to hold 16th place. He vaulted 12 places on the final day with a 7.37-pound bag.
Jason K. Martinez of Phenix City, Ala., finished in fifth place with five bass at 11.56 pounds. He brought in 4.36 pounds on the first day for 15th place and added 7.20 pounds on the second day.
The top anglers from this division, plus those from the Georgia, South Carolina, Florida 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.