Smith scores big on Lake Guntersville
ATHENS, Ala. – Michael “Brandon” B. Smith opened the season with a big win during the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Alabama North Division 1 tournament, held Feb. 15, 2014, on Lake Guntersville near the town of Guntersville, Ala.
Running out of Guntersville State Park Landing, the Toney, Ala., angler caught five bass weighing 31.06 pounds for a 6.21-pound average. He anchored his bag with an 8.54-pound kicker that took the tournament big bass title. For the Boater Division victory, Smith took home a check for $3,033, plus a bonus for the bucketmouth.
“I caught everything on a white Alabama rig,” Smith said.
In second for the boaters, Gary Howington of Gadsen, Ala., landed a five-bass tournament limit going 30.28 pounds including a 7.43-pound kicker. He collected $1,516 for the effort.
“I caught my fish on a red rattlebait,” Howington revealed.
Don Cox of Russellville, Ala., took third for the boaters with five bass going 25.06 pounds. He earned $991.
“I caught fish on a black and blue jig and a crankbait,” Cox said.
Don T. Hill Jr. of Alexandria, Ala., finished fourth with a five-bass limit for 24.93 pounds topped by an 8.32-pound kicker. Damien K. Willis of Jacksonville, Ala., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 23.35 pounds. He capped his catch with a 7.22-pound kicker.
In the Co-Angler Division, Barry Woodward of Mobile, Ala., won with three bass going 14.58 pounds for a 4.86-pound average. He pocketed a check for $1,516.
“I caught my fish on a white Alabama rig in 18 feet of water,” Woodward explained.
Taking second for the co-anglers, Chad Cox of Crossville, Ala., brought in two bass for 12.54 pounds including an 8.07-pound kicker. He collected $758 for the effort.
“I caught both fish on an Alabama rig with shad-colored swimbaits,” Cox recalled. “I threw it all day.”
Trent Wright of Scottsboro, Ala., caught a three-bass division limit weighing 12.43 pounds and placed third among the co-anglers. He pocketed $496.
“I caught my fish on a jerkbait,” Wright said. “I only caught three bass all day.”
Jacob T. Hitchcock of Hiram, Ga., landed in fourth place among the co-anglers with three bass going 12.39 pounds. Ronald Ingram of New Hope, Ala., finished in fifth place with three bass at 12.07 pounds including an 8.22-pound kicker that won division big bass honors.
“The big fish hit a white swimbait,” Ingram said.
Slated for April 19, 2014, the next divisional tournament will be held on Lake Neely Henry out of Coosa Landing near Gadsden, Ala. 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: 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.