Bradford makes big payday in Alabama
ATHENS, Ala. – Michael D. Bradford pulled in a big sack on the final day to win the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series Southern Regional Championship, held Oct. 4-5, 2013, at Neely Henry Reservoir in Gadsden, Ala.
Running out of Coosa Landing near Gadsden to fish the 11,235-acre lake on the Coosa River, the Scottsboro, Ala., angler caught a 10-bass limit weighing 34.21 pounds. On the first day, he held sixth place with 13.98 pounds including a 4.67-pound kicker. On the final day, he caught the biggest single-day sack of the tournament at 20.23 pounds with a 5.35-pound kicker to climb five notches and seal the victory. For the Boater Division victory, Bradford took home a check for $10,803. In addition, he won a Triton boat and Mercury outboard package worth about $30,000.
“I did a little bit of everything,” Bradford admitted. “I just caught the right fish at the right time.”
In second for the boaters, Bradley Jones of Aragon, Ga., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 31.55 pounds. Jones held the lead on Day 1 with 17.11 pounds. He added 14.44 on the second day to drop one spot, but still pocketed a check for $5,402.
“I caught my fish on a black and blue jig fished around the grass and shallow docks,” Jones revealed.
Landon Lomax of Owens Cross Roads, Ala., took third for the boaters with a perfect 10-bass limit going 29.77 pounds. He held 14th place on Day 1 with 13.44 pounds and jumped nine places on Day 2 with a 16.33-pound bag. He went home $3,600 richer.
“We caught fish in a variety of ways,” Lomax recalled. “We caught fish on crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits. Mainly, I caught fish on a Mean Mouth Lures jig.”
Finishing fourth for the boaters, Troy J. David of Ventress, La., brought in 10 bass for 27.18 pounds including a 4.47-pound kicker. He held ninth place on the first day with 13.83 pounds. Fishing consistently, he added 13.35 pounds on the second day to move up five spots and pick up an extra $2,520.
Terry L. Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., rounded out the top five boaters with 10 bass for 26 pounds. On Day 1, Tucker brought in 13.78 pounds with a 4.08-pound kicker to sit in 10th place. He jumped five slots on Day 2 with a 12.22-pound sack to collect $2,161. Jeff Cannon of Douglasville, Ga., landed the tournament lunker, a 5.67-pounder, to pocket $1,645 for the big bass.
In the Co-Angler Division, Jeff K. Wheeley of Lafayette, Tenn., led the pack from the back throughout the event. He finished with six bass weighing 19.77 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 4.72-pound lunker that took the Co-Angler Division big bass title. Wheeley opened the tournament with 11.70 pounds including the big bass on Day 1. He brought in 8.07 pounds on Day 2 to cement the victory and earn a check for $5,402 plus an extra $823 for the big bass. He also won a Triton boat package worth $15,000.
“On the first day, we ran up the river about five miles,” Wheeley revealed. “We fished a 400-yard stretch of river all day long with 5/8-ounce Booyah jigs with a twin-tail trailer. We caught seven keepers. On the second day, we went down the lake in the morning and up the river later in the day and threw the jig all day long.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Clint D. Horton of Ripley, Miss., brought in two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 16.17 pounds. On Day 1, Horton also held second with 9.65 pounds including a 3.91-pound kicker. On the second day, he brought in a 6.52-pound bag to collect $2,701 for the effort.
Lewis LeCroy of Alexandria, Ala., held third throughout the event, finishing with six bass and 14.70 pounds. On the first day, he caught 8.48 pounds and added 6.22 pounds on the second day to earn $1,800.
“We fished up the river,” LeCroy said. “I caught my fish on a shaky head.”
Jeb Tate of Dora, Ala., moved up one notch to fourth place among the co-anglers with six bass for 14.41 pounds. He held fifth on Day 1 with 8.13 pounds. On the final day, he found three more keepers for 6.28 pounds. He went home with $1,260 in his pocket.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers, David B. Carroll of Manitou, Ky., finished with a six-bass limit for 13.72 pounds. He held seventh place on Day 1 with 7.71 pounds and moved up one spot on Day 2 with a 6.01-pound bag to win $1,080.
This event featured the top 40 boaters and co-anglers representing the North Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Central Tennessee divisions. After this regional event, the best anglers from this tournament will compete against the top anglers from three other regional events during the BWS National Championship tournament, set for Nov. 6-9, 2013, on Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. The Boater Division champion will compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
For more information on this tournament, call Kristin Malott, tournament manager, at 256-771-3709 or call 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.