Division 17 returns to Pickwick Lake
ATHENS, Ala. – The Mississippi Division 17 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will hold its second tournament of the season March 15, 2014, on Pickwick Lake.
The competitors will launch at J.P. Coleman State Park, located at 613 County Road 321 in Iuka, Miss. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 14. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=829.
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 bass must measure at least 15 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Pickwick Lake touches three states. An Alabama license allows anglers to fish from dam to dam. A Tennessee or a Mississippi license only allows anglers to fish certain parts of the lake.
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.
One of the best bass lakes in the nation, Pickwick ranks Number 20 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. It can produce largemouth bass exceeding 14.50 pounds, but many people think Pickwick Lake could produce the next world record smallmouth bass. It already produced smallmouth topping 8.5 pounds.
Pickwick Lake spreads across 47,500 acres and runs for 53 miles along the Tennessee River from Florence, Ala., to Counce, Tenn. The lake offers anglers 496 shoreline miles, including 85 island shoreline miles. Throughout the system, anglers may fish practically any cover type they wish from grassy flats to deep rocky ledges. Near Wilson Dam, the lake still resembles the old river channel.
“Pickwick is both a river and a lake,” explained Jimmy Mason, a bass pro and Pickwick guide from Rogersville, Ala. “At the upper part, from the Natchez Trace Bridge to Wilson Dam, it’s a river. From the bridge toward Mississippi, it turns into more of a typical reservoir. The lower lake has a phenomenal amount of ledges, grassy flats and structure.”
Although anglers can catch smallmouth bass from dam to dam, the area from the Natchez Trace Bridge downstream towards Mississippi more resembles a typical southern reservoir and usually holds more largemouth. For largemouth, many anglers concentrate on fishing the grass beds. Some better creeks to fish include Yellow Creek, Bear Creek, Indian Creek, Dry Creek, Second Creek, Coffee Slough, Colbert Creek and Panther Creek.
During the Feb. 1, 2014, divisional season opener held on Pickwick Lake, Randy Vires of Branch, Miss., won the Boater Division by catching four bass weighing 12.67 pounds. He caught his fish on an Alabama rig. Brandon Perkins of Counce, Tenn., landed a 5.77-pounder to take tournament big bass honors. It hit a horny toad.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Caylon McCulloch of Ridgeland, Miss., won with two bass going 5.79 pounds. McCulloch caught the fish on a Rat-L-Trap. Jacob R. Holloway of Tishomingo, Miss., landed a 5.06-pound bass for the division lunker title. It hit an Alabama rig.
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.