Hayes, Windham co-champs on Lake Sinclair
ATHENS, Ala. – Scott Hayes and Jim C. Windham tied for first in the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Georgia Division 8 tournament, held Feb. 22, 2014, on Lake Sinclair out of Little River Park near Milledgeville, Ga.
Hayes of Newnan, Ga., and Windham of Bonaire, Ga., both brought in perfect five-fish tournament limits weighing 16.94 pounds to lead the Boater Division. Hayes capped his catch with a 5.34-pounder while Windham’s top bass weighed 4.88 pounds. As the top boaters, each one earned a critical 250 points and took home a check for $1,536.
“I caught about 12 keepers,” Hayes advised. “I just fished grass, docks and rocks all day with a spinnerbait and a chatterbait. I lost one fish that might have helped me.”
“I started throwing a crankbait and caught a limit,” Windham revealed. “I changed crankbaits and culled another limit. I went down a bank and shad were going everywhere whenever I threw a bait up there. I went back down the bank with a spinnerbait and caught fish every other cast for 30 minutes. On my very last cast, I caught my biggest fish.”
Frank Kitchens III of Oxford, Ga., took third for the boaters with five bass going 15.86 pounds. For third place, he earned a check for $697.
“I fished in Beaver Creek,” Kitchens said. “I caught most of my fish on a spinnerbait, but some on a crankbait. I was fishing some rocks, but mostly shallow waters, about in two to three feet deep.”
Finishing fourth, Jay Carter of Warner Robins, Ga., landed a five-bass limit for 15.13 pounds including a 4.07-pound kicker. Right behind, David H. Lowery of Phenix City, Ala., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 15.12 pounds topped by a 5.37-pound kicker. Todd Lowe of Greensboro, Ga., landed the tournament lunker a 6.88-pounder.
“I fished the mid-lake area,” Lowe explained. “The big fish hit at about 10:30 a.m. I knew it was a big one as soon as I set the hook. She came to the top and jumped three times.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Frank Godwin Jr. of Bainbridge, Ga., won with three bass going 12.59 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 5.80-pound kicker that took the division big bass title. For the win, he pocketed a check for $1,030, plus another $54 for the big bass.
“I fished up the river and caught all my fish on jigs,” Godwin said. “I started with crankbaits, but wasn’t catching anything. I started throwing a jig and caught the big fish. Then, I caught three more.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Matt O’Connell of Brooks, Ga., brought in a three-bass division limit for 10.90 pounds including a 5.14-pound kicker. He collected $507 for the effort.
“I caught most of my good fish by flipping a jig,” O’Connell revealed. “We mainly fished the mid part of the lake. I caught a couple bass on a crankbait. I lost one good fish that might have bumped me up a bit.”
Seth D. Cagle of Milledgeville, Ga., placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 9.04 pounds. He pocketed a check for $348.
“We fished all over,” Cagle said. “I caught my fish on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. I culled twice. We’d catch a fish here and there.”
In fourth place among the co-anglers, Kevin Iler of Valdosta, Ga., brought in three bass for 8.52 pounds. Ronny D. Cantrell of Fitzgerald, Ga., finished in fifth place with three bass at 7.99 pounds.
Slated for March 29, 2014, the next divisional tournament will be held on Lake Oconee out of Sugar Creek Marina near Buckhead, Ga. 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 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.