Fowler takes the win on Lake Hartwell
ATHENS, Ala. – Brad Fowler moved up one place to win the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series Southeast Regional Championship, held Oct. 4-5, 2013, at Lake Hartwell.
Running out of Gum Branch Landing near Hartwell, Ga., to fish the 56,000-acre reservoir along the Savannah River on the Georgia-South Carolina line, the Pendleton, S.C., angler caught 10 bass for a 25.20-pound tally. Fowler held second on Day 1 with 13.79 pounds. On the final day, he eased up a notch with an 11.41-pound bag. For the Boater Division victory, Fowler took home a check for $8,860. In addition, he won a Triton boat and Mercury outboard package worth about $30,000.
“I caught fish on a topwater, a drop shot and a jig,” Fowler revealed. “I used various soft plastics from Wackem Baits. I also found my fish with the help of Lowrance HDS electronics. I lost a good fish first thing in the morning on the second day. I caught fish all day, but had some lulls during the day. It feels good to win. I’ve been close in some previous events. I had to split a boat with a partner once. It feels good to take one home by myself.”
In second for the boaters, Hojin Chang of Windermere, Fla., landed nine bass going 24.27 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.62-pound kicker that won the tournament big bass honors. On the first day, Chang sat in 10th place with 11.30 pounds. He added 12.27 pounds on the second day, the largest single-day bag of the day, to jump nine places and collect $5,668 including the big bass bonus. He also collected a hefty bonus from the Triton Gold program.
“On the first day, I caught most of my fish on a drop shot,” Chang said. “The drop shot bite turned off on the second day so I went to what I know best – flipping. That’s how I caught the big one.”
Anthony Revis of Dayton, Tenn., took third for the boaters after catching two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 23.06 pounds. He held ninth place on the first day with 11.53 pounds. On the second day, he also caught 11.53 pounds to move up six notches and pocket $2,954.
“I caught all my fish on a Redeye shad in six feet of water,” Revis explained. “I caught about three limits and culled down to what I brought in. On the first day, I started deep, but then moved shallow. I caught most of my fish from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the second day, I caught my two biggest fish early.”
In fourth place for the boaters, Randy A. Childers of Anderson, S.C., finished with a 10-bass limit for 22.58 pounds including a 3.17-pound kicker. He sat in 11th place on the first day with 11.23 pounds, but moved up seven spots on the second day with an 11.35-pound bag to win $2,067.
David H. Lowery of Milledgeville, Ga., rounded out the top five boaters with 10 bass at 21.68 pounds. He occupied the 13th place position on Day 1 with 10.28 pounds, but jumped eight places on Day 2 after catching 11.40 pounds to take home $1,771.
In the Co-Angler Division, Mark D. Cannon of Salem, Ala., won with a perfect six-bass limit going 11.19 pounds. On the first day, he held seventh place with 5.36 pounds. He added 5.83 pounds on the final day to move up six spots. For the victory, Cannon collected $4,291. He also won a Triton boat package worth $15,000.
“On the first day, I caught fish on a shaky head,” Cannon recalled. “On the second day, I caught my fish on a frog and a buzzbait. I had two really good partners.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Dan McGlohorn of Pomaria, S.C., brought in two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 9.66 pounds. He held 16th place on the first day with 4.53 pounds. He vaulted 14 places on the final day with a 5.13-pound bag to collect $2,146 for the effort.
“I caught every fish on a drop shot,” McGlohorn advised. “From the back of the boat, I watched the depth finder. Whenever I saw a good fish, I dropped down to it. I caught a few casting out. I broke off a couple fish on the first day.”
Clyde Whiteside of Forrest City, N.C., placed third among the co-anglers with five bass going 9.30 pounds. Whiteside sat in 31st place on Day 1 with 3.30 pounds. He caught a 6-pound bag with a 2.47-pound kicker on the final day to leap 28 slots to earn $1,430.
“On the first day, I caught my fish on a Texas rig and a drop shot,” Whiteside said. “On the second day, I caught fish on a propbait and a Spook.”
Day 1 leader Blake S. Campbell of Anderson, S.C., finished fourth with four bass and 9.19 pounds. On the first day, he set the pace with 6.86 pounds including a 3.02-pound kicker. He caught 2.33 pounds on the second day to drop three places, but still earned $1,001.
Ed Parker of Charlotte, N.C., finished in fifth place among the co-anglers with five bass at 9.15 pounds to earn $859. He held second on opening day with 6.47 pounds including a 3.32-pound kicker. On the final day, he fell three places after bringing in 2.68 pounds.
Bernie Binn won the Co-Angler Division lunker contest with a 4.62-pounder to collect $589. He caught the big fish on a worm in two feet of water at about noon.
This event featured the top 40 boaters and co-anglers representing the Alabama South, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and East 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 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.