Brown wins big at Chickamauga opener
ATHENS, Ala. – Rogne Brown won it all during the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Tennessee East Division 4 2014 season opener, held March 1 on Lake Chickamauga.
Postponed from an early date because of severe weather, the tournament ran out of Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton, Tenn. When it was over, Brown, a guide from Hixson, Tenn., caught five bass weighing 29.24 pounds for a 5.85-pound average. He anchored his bag with a 10-pound kicker, easily taking the tournament big bass title. For the Boater Division victory, Brown took home a check for $1,400, plus a big bass bonus.
“We fished the lower end of the lake around main lake and secondary points,” Brown revealed. “We fished any kind of a point that a bar makes. There’s no substitute for time on the water to get a feel for where the big fish live.”
In second for the boaters, Haden Lamb of Harrison, Tenn., had a chance to win, but came up short. He landed a five-bass tournament limit going 24.86 pounds with an 8.32-pound kicker. He collected $734 for the effort.
“I fished the mid-lake region and caught most of my fish on a Tennessee rig,” Lamb said. “With about 30 minutes left to fish, I lost one that looked to be about nine to 10 pounds. I fished old dead grass beds, rocks and shell bars.”
Gabe E. Keen of Caryville, Tenn., took third for the boaters with five bass going 23.95 pounds. He earned $501 for the effort.
“I fished the lower end of the lake and threw a Rat-L-Trap and a jig,” Keen advised. “I was sitting in about 20 feet of water and going down the bank. I never lost any fish.”
Brandon Roop of Spring City, Tenn., finished fourth with a five-bass limit for 23.12 pounds. Anthony Revis of Dayton, Tenn., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 17.24 pounds including a 5.03-pound kicker.
In the Co-Angler Division, Jared Sullivan of Hixon, Tenn., won with three bass going 16.17 pounds for a 5.39-pound average. He sealed his victory with a 7.24-pound kicker that won the division lunker honors. For the win, Sullivan earned $700 and big bass.
“We fished the lower end of the lake,” Sullivan said. “I threw a Rat-L-Trap. I threw a few other baits, but didn’t get a bite on anything else. I lost one good fish. My boater said it would probably have weighed more than 10 pounds.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Gary R. Ash of Louisville, Ky., brought in a three-bass division limit for 13.33 pounds. Fishing with Brown, he collected $367 for the effort.
“We fished near the dam,” Ash said. “I caught four bass on four different lures. My biggest fish came on a Carolina rig. From 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., I didn’t get a bite.”
Jesse Bird of Pikeville, Tenn., placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 10.81 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 4.82-pound kicker to earn $251.
“I caught most of my fish on a spring craw redeye shad rattling bait,” Bird said. “I also caught some on an Alabama rig.”
Jonathan M. Ward of Johnson City, Tenn., landed in fourth place among the co-anglers with three bass for 10.50 pounds. Chris C. Walters of Dayton, Tenn., finished in fifth place with two bass at 8.84 pounds.
Slated for March 22, 2014, the next divisional tournament will be held on Watts Bar Lake out of Tom Fuller Park near Rockwood, Tenn. 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.