Vires starts Mississippi season with a win
ATHENS, Ala. – Randy Vires started the season the right way by winning the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Mississippi Division 17 opener, held Feb. 1 on Pickwick Lake near Iuka, Miss.
Running out of J.P. Coleman State Park in Iuka, the Branch, Miss., angler caught four bass weighing 12.67 pounds to win the Boater Division. Bringing in the most keepers caught by anyone on the day and accounting for more than half of the keeper bass caught in his division, he won by more than 3.5 pounds on a slow day along the cold Tennessee River. Vires enriched himself by $1,410.
“I caught my fish on an Alabama rig,” Vires revealed.
In second for the boaters, Garrett Riles of Potts Camp, Miss., landed two bass going 9.13 pounds. He went home with $705 in his pocket.
Jade Keeton of Killen, Ala., took third for the boaters with two bass and 7.38 pounds. This included a 4.74-pound kicker. Keeton pocketed a check for $469.
“I caught one fish on a jerkbait and the other on a spinnerbait,” Keeton explained. “I had both by 9 a.m.”
Brandon Perkins of Counce, Tenn., finished fourth in the division with one bass going 5.77 pounds. It also set the tournament lunker title for the first divisional event of the season. He earned $330 for the catch. He caught it on a horny toad.
Scotty Allen of Mantachie, Miss., brought in one bass. His fish weighed 5.73 pounds, big enough to take fifth place among the boaters.
In the Co-Angler Division, Caylon McCulloch of Ridgeland, Miss., won with two bass going 5.79 pounds. For the win, McCulloch collected $705.
“I caught most of my fish on a Rat-L-Trap,” McCulloch advised. “I caught one short fish on a shaky head.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Jacob R. Holloway of Tishomingo, Miss., brought in one bass weighing 5.06 pounds. This fish also earned the division big bass title. He picked up $352 for second place and an extra $27 for the big bass.
“I caught all my fish on an Alabama rig,” Holloway said.
Jason McPhail of Savannah, Tenn., placed third among the co-anglers with two bass going 4.34 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 2.24-pound kicker to pick up $234.
“It was pretty tough fishing,” McPhail said. “I caught most of them on an Alabama rig.”
In fourth place, Matt E. Wooten of West Point, Miss., landed one bass for 3.94 pounds. Kevin M. Crum of Starkville, Miss., followed with one bass at 2.87 pounds.
Slated for March 15, 2014, the next divisional tournament returns to Pickwick Lake for the second seasonal event. At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money.
As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships.
At WBS events throughout the season, boater and co-angler competitors may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses.
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:
The Weekend Bass Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path to professional bass fishing and the Ray Scott Championship. 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 and the American Fishing Tour, The Weekend Bass Series, the American Couples Series or the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.