Baker takes title in Oklahoma shootout
ATHENS, Ala. – Two solid daily catches gave Joel Baker the victory during the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Oklahoma Division 14 two-day divisional championship, held Sept. 28-29, 2013, on Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees.
Running out of Martin’s Landing at Monkey Island to fish the 46,500-acre impoundment as a cold front descended upon northeastern Oklahoma, the Talala, Okla., angler caught a two-day limit of 10 bass weighing 25.98 pounds. He held ninth place on Day 1 with 11.95 pounds. On the final day, he brought in 14.03 pounds to climb eight places into the winner’s circle. For the Boater Division victory, Baker took home a check for $4,653.
“At this time of year, the shad on this lake move into large flat pockets in the backs of creeks,” Baker explained. “I threw topwaters and Carolina rigs. With the clouds and rain on the first day, I stayed with a Pop-R topwater bait. Little points seemed to have more fish on them. On the second day, I used shaky heads with green pumpkin trick worms on 10-pound test line. I skipped them back under the docks and other shady areas.”
In second for the boaters, Christopher R. Stephens of Oologah, Okla., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 25.82 pounds. He held 12th place on Day 1 with 11.49 pounds and vaulted 10 spots on Day 2 with a 14.33-pound bag to collect $2,326.
“Most of the fish were around docks,” Stephens said. “I threw white and chartreuse flukes around the corners of docks on the main lake. I jerked it just like working a jerkbait. The trick was to use it on 25-pound test Seaguar line so it would sink more quickly. I caught several hundred fish during the weekend. I ran all over the lake hitting as many docks as possible.”
Nick W. Kincaid of Tulsa, Okla., took third for the boaters with 10 bass going 25.70 pounds. He held fourth place on Day 1 with 13.81 pounds and added 11.89 pounds on the second day to earn $1,551.
“With the changing weather conditions, I just had to play it by ear,” Kincaid commented. “I used a lot of different stuff to find the fish. On the first day, I caught fish around docks on a green pumpkin speed craw when it was bright and sunny in the morning. As the front came through and it got cloudy and rainy, I fished shallow, rocky banks with a Jackall square-billed crankbait.”
In fourth place, Clayton C. Coppin of Wagoner, Okla., brought in nine bass for 24.85 pounds with a 4.96-pound kicker. He held 24th place on Day 1 with 10.27 pounds. He caught the biggest bag of Day 2 at 14.58 pounds to leap 20 spots.
Brett Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., rounded out the top five boaters with a 10-bass limit weighing 23.85 pounds including a 4.90-pound kicker. He held 20th place on Day 1 with 10.46 pounds. On the second day, Brumnett brought in 13.39 pounds, moving up 15 places.
Don L. Turner of Wagoner, Okla., finished 23rd with eight bass going 17.99 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.29-pounder to take tournament big bass honors.
In the Co-Angler Division, Clay Waggle of Muskogee, Okla., led the pack from the back with five bass going 14.77 pounds. On the first day, he held fifth place with three bass at 8.17 pounds including a 4.61-pound kicker. On the second day, Waggle brought in 6.60 pounds to pocket a check for $2,326.
“Fishing was really tough,” Waggle revealed. “On the first day, I dragged a 5/8-ounce football head jig around points and fished some docks with a jerkbait. On the second day, I caught my big one up shallow on a crankbait and one on a green pumpkin wacky worm with red flakes. I caught about 35 fish, but only five keepers.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Brett M. Stearnes of Joplin, Okla., brought in two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 14.54 pounds. He held 13th place on the first day with 7.03 pounds and added 7.51 pounds on the final day.
Clinton W. Snipes of Barling, Ark., placed third among the co-anglers with a six-bass limit going 14.51 pounds. He sat in 10th place on the first day with 7.46 pounds and added 7.05 pounds on the final day.
In fourth place among the co-anglers, Richard Greene of Okmulee, Okla., landed five bass for 13.90 pounds. Greene led on the first day with a three-bass daily division limit for 9.16 pounds, the largest single-day bag caught by any co-angler. He caught 4.74 pounds on the second day, dropping three places.
Michael L. Bruce of Siloam Springs, Ark., rounded out the top five co-anglers with a two-day limit of six bass weighing 12.29 pounds. On the first day, he held 12th place with 7.37 pounds. On the final day, he caught 4.92 pounds.
Donny Murrell of Sapulpa, Okla., and Chris Martin of Tulsa, Okla., tied for division big bass honors. Each angler caught a 4.95-pounder. Murrell finished in 17th place with three bass weighing 10.02 pounds. Martin landed in 39th place with 6.89 pounds.
The top anglers from the this division plus the South East Texas, Missouri, Arkansas 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.