Florida anglers to fish Harris Chain
ATHENS, Ala. – The Florida Division 6 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will hold its second tournament of the season March 8, 2014, on the Harris Chain of Lakes in central Florida.
The competitors will launch at Hickory Point Recreational Facility, located at 27341 State Road 19 in Tavares, Fla. Anglers may begin fishing at 6:30 a.m. or safe light. The weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 7, 2014. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=794.
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, each at least 12 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers competing in this tournament will need a Florida fishing license. For Florida fishing license information, see http://myfwc.com/license or call 888-347-4356.
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.
The nine natural lakes of the Harris Chain span about 76,000 acres. Anchoring the system, Lake Harris covers 15,500 acres and contains some of the deepest water in the system. Some holes drop to about 20 feet deep. Really just a cove off the main lake, Little Lake Harris breaks off the southern shoreline of Lake Harris.
At its northeastern edge, Lake Harris connects to Lake Eustis through Lake Harris Dead River, a one-mile-long natural pass. Lake Eustis covers 7,806 acres and connects to Lake Dora through the Dora Canal. Haines Creek joins Lake Eustis with Lake Griffin through a long, winding channel partitioned by locks. North of Lake Eustis, Lake Yale covers 4,042 acres, but remains landlocked during periods of low water. At the eastern end of the chain, Lake Dora flows into Lake Beauclair. A cut opens between the southern shoreline of Lake Beauclair and Lake Carlton.
The lakes can produce many bass in the 2- to 7-pound range with some exceeding 13 pounds. Several 10-pounders show up every year. During a June 2010 tournament, Jeremy Smith and Joseph Seaman brought in nearly 41 pounds of bass. Fishing Big Lake Harris, Smith won the Boater Division with five bass weighing 27.18 pounds for a 5.43-pound average. His biggest weighed 7.80 pounds. Seaman won the Co-Angler Division with three bass going 13.69 pounds.
With little deep structure in the shallow, flat-bottomed lakes, many anglers flip flooded grass growing along the shorelines with creature baits, tubes or Texas-rigged worms. Anglers can also run crankbaits or jerkbaits parallel to grass lines.
During a March 24, 2012, tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes, Jason L. Burgess of Lake Butler, Fla., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 18.67 pounds. He caught most of his fish on a Carolina rig tipped with a 10-inch Berkley Power Bait in Haines Creek. Ronnie J. Seets lll of Davenport, Fla., won the tournament big bass title with an 8.65-pound bucketmouth.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Nik C. Kayler of Apopka, Fla., landed a three-fish division limit going 14.01 pounds for a 4.67-pound average. He anchored his catch with a 7.52-pounder that took the division big bass title. Kayler caught the fish by flipping pads on Big Harris Lake with a Yum Wooly Bully on a 1/2-ounce weight, but also caught some on a Rat-L-Trap.
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 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.