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News from the Weekend Bass Series
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2014-02-13 11:19:05

Tennessee anglers to fish Center Hill

ATHENS, Ala. – The Tennessee Central Division 3 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will hold its season opener March 1, 2014, on Center Hill Lake near Sparta, Tenn.

The competitors will launch at Ragland Bottoms Marina, located at 1423 Ragland Bottoms Road in Sparta. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at Hillcrest Market, located at 6980 Sparta Highway in Sparta. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=774.

To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits:

- No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series.
- No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries.
- Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers.
- Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field.

Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass in any combination of largemouth, smallmouth or Kentucky spotted bass. Each smallmouth must measure at least 18 inches long. Largemouths must measure at least 15 inches long and spotted bass at least 12 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass.

In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co-angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season 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.

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.

Center Hill Lake covers 18,220 acres on the Caney Fork and the Falling Water rivers. Dating to 1948, the deep, rocky clear mountain lake drops to more than 190 feet deep in places and offers anglers more than 415 miles of shorelines.

The lake can hold some big bass including spots exceeding five pounds. For largemouth bass, fish deep channels and shoreline cover with black and blue jigs or Texas-rigged plastics. Toss suspending jerkbaits around rocks and other shoreline cover. Look for minnows or other baitfish around shoreline cover. Anglers might find some spawning bass on sunny flats. Tempt them by dragging soft plastics through the beds.

For smallmouth and spotted bass, fish river current and current obstructions with soft plastics, spoons or topwaters. Drop-shot rigs might work in deep holes. Throw shad-colored square-lipped crankbaits or swimbaits upstream and work them downstream.

During a March 17, 2012, tournament on Center Hill Lake, Jeremy Ethridge of Nashville, Tenn., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 18.91 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.47-pound kicker. Ethridge caught most of his fish on spinnerbaits. Matt R. Stanley of Alexandria, Tenn., won the tournament lunker honors with a 6.33-pound largemouth he caught by flipping a green pumpkin plastic bait.

In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Brandon A. Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., landed a three-fish division limit going 11.90 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 3.82-pounder. Tramel caught most of his fish on spinnerbaits, jigs and a sweet beaver. Byran D. Cochran of Cookeville, Tenn., won the Co-Angler Division lunker competition with a 4.63-pounder that hit a jig.

Anglers competing in this tournament will need a Tennessee fishing license. For Tennessee fishing license information, see www.tn.gov/twra/licensefees.html or call 1-888-814-8972. 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 is committed to providing 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, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.

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