Nichols makes wire-to-wire win on Lanier
ATHENS, Ala. Dave Nichol brought in the largest sacks each day to make a decisive win during the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Georgia Division 8 two-day divisional championship, held Sept. 21-22, 2013, on Lake Lanier.
Running out of Laurel Park in Gainesville, Ga., the hometown angler caught a two-day limit of 10 bass weighing 30.89 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.09-pound kicker that set the lunker standard in the Boater Division.
Nichol took an early lead on Day 1 with five bass weighing 15.96 pounds including a 3.75-pound kicker, the largest single-day bag caught in the tournament. He sealed the victory on Day 2 with a 14.93-pound catch. For the Boater Division victory, Nichol took home a check for $2,868, plus an extra $180 for the big bass.
Its all about the herring on this lake, Nichol explained. Find the herring and find the bass. We probably fished 50 places a day, making three or four casts and then going elsewhere. Either the fish were eating at that spot or they were not.
In second for the boaters, Robert L. Croxton lll of Lilburn, Ga., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 25.39 pounds. He held second for the boaters on Day 1 with 13.58 pounds including a 3.73-pound kicker. On the final day, Croxton added another 11.81 pounds to collect a check for $1,434.
I caught my fish on a Lucky Craft Sammy 115 topwater bait in sexy shad, Croxton said. I fished the south end looking for schooling fish. I fished the humps, points and brush piles in about 25 feet of water. I caught fish in about three locations and just kept rotating.
Kip Carter of Loganville, Ga., finished third among the boaters with 10 bass going 23.07 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 3.77-pound kicker. Carter held 10th place on Day 1 with 10.06 pounds. He jumped seven spots on Day 2 with a 13.01-pound catch to earn $955.
I caught mostly spotted bass on the first day, Carter revealed. I caught fish on a little bit of everything. On the second day, when the sun came out, I threw a Bass Hound propbait all day long and caught eight fish on it.
In fourth for the boaters, Nick Ward of Fayetteville, Ga., finished with nine bass for 19.58 pounds including a 3.72-pound kicker. He placed ninth on the first day with 10.07 pounds including one 2.96-pounder. He brought in 9.51 pounds on the final day.
Scott Hayes of Newnan, Ga., rounded out the top five boaters with a 10-bass two-day tournament limit weighing 19.13 pounds. He placed seventh with 10.12 pounds, but brought in a 3.84-pounder, the biggest bass caught by a boater on Day 1. He added another 9.01 pounds on the second day.
In the Co-Angler Division, Donald S. Dills of Mineral Bluff, Ga., led the pack from the back with a two-day limit of six bass going 14.42 pounds. Dills held third on Day 1 with 7.34 pounds. On the final day, he jumped two places to seal his victory with a 7.08-pound sack. For the win, Dills pocketed a check for $1,507.
I caught all my keepers on a shaky head both days, Dills stated. I targeted rocks and laydowns. On the first day, they hit late. On the second day, they hit early and liked the shade.
Taking second for the co-anglers, Day 1 leader Chris Saunders of Locust Grove, Ga., brought in two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 14.08 pounds On Day 1, Saunders brought in 9.49 pounds, the largest single-day bag for any co-angler in the tournament. He anchored that Day 1 bag with a 6.62-pound lunker that won tournament big bass honors. On the final day, he brought in 4.59 pounds to take home $753 for second place and a $100 bucketmouth bonus.
On the first day, it was primarily a jig bite, but I caught one on a trick worm, Saunders said. I caught the big fish on a shaky head way back under a dock. She bit with about 15 minutes of fishing time left in the tournament. On the second day, I caught fish early on a topwaters and finished out my limit with a jig.
Phillip Ty T. Johnston of Jefferson, Ga., placed third among the co-anglers with five bass going 12.87 pounds. He held 15th place on Day 1 with 4.37 pounds, but vaulted 12 notches on the final day with an 8.50-pound bag. He earned $502.
On the first day, we fished near the dam, Johnston said. I threw a swimbait and a shaky head all day. I caught a bunch of fish, but only two keepers. On the second day, we went up river. I threw a shaky head and a jig and had a limit by 9:30 a.m.
Ben R. Waldrop of Hiram, Ga., landed in fourth place among the co-anglers with five bass for 12.72 pounds. Waldrop held second on Day 1 with 8.63 pounds. He caught 4.09 pounds on the final day.
Taking fifth for the co-anglers, James Draffin of Cumming, Ga., brought in two daily limits for six bass weighing 12.31 pounds. On Day 1, Draffin sat in fourth place with 7.23 pounds including a 3.58-pound kicker. He caught 5.08 pounds on the second day.
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.