Benson wins Oklahoma season opener
ATHENS, Ala. – Andy Benson opened a new season with a win in the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Oklahoma Division 14 tournament, held March 29, 2014, on Lake Tenkiller near Cookson, Okla.
Running out of Chicken Creek Landing in Cookson, the Siloam Springs, Ark., angler caught five bass weighing 21.67 pounds for a 4.33-pound average. He anchored his bag with a 5.81-pound kicker to win the Boater Division.
“I caught everything on an Alabama rig with Zoom swimbaits,” Benson explained. “I focused on primary and secondary points and made slow retrieves. Fishing was slower than it had been. I caught about 25 fish. Every place I fished, I caught at least one good fish.”
In second for the boaters, Kevin Flurry of Roland, Okla., landed a five-bass tournament limit going 19.94 pounds. He fished creek mouths and secondary points.
“I found a little area in practice and fished there in the morning,” Flurry said. “I had a limit by 8 a.m. The bigger fish seemed to hold on windy points. I caught about 30 keepers and kept culling up. I used a Flash Mob Junior with some Big Hammer swimbaits. I caught a few keepers on a jig.”
Allen Rude of Paul’s Valley, Okla., took third for the boaters with five bass going 19.88 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 5.60-pound kicker.
“I mainly used a Terminator Alabama rig with five small swimbaits on fluorocarbon line,” Rude revealed. “I fished rocky banks near steep drop-offs. I caught five fish all day. I lost one 4.5-pounder right before weigh-in.”
Finishing fourth, Nick W. Kincaid of Tulsa, Okla., landed a five-bass limit for 19.70 pounds including a 5.33-pound kicker. Jeff Tolle of Bixby, Okla., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 19.66 pounds topped by a 5.14-pound kicker. Chuck F. Boso of Oklahoma City, Okla., won the division big bass race with a 6.09-pound mossback.
In the Co-Angler Division, Dustin R. Wrona of Tulsa, Okla., won with three bass going 13.60 pounds for a 4.53-pound average. He sealed his victory with a 6.50-pound bucketmouth.
“The front that moved in during the night slowed down the bite,” Wrona lamented. “In the afternoon, the action picked up a bit. I caught all my fish on Alabama rigs tipped with swimbaits. The fish were scattered, but we mostly fished the mid-lake area. I caught 13 keepers.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Steve A. Rutherford of Centerton, Ark., brought in a three-bass division limit for 13.42 pounds including a 5.91-pound kicker. Larry D. Johnson of Lavaca, Ark., placed third with three bass going 13.29 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 5.72-pound kicker.
In fourth place among the co-anglers, David L. Warrior of Bixby, Okla., brought in three bass for 12.77 pounds including a 6.96-pounder that set the tournament lunker standard. Nathan Christie of Glenpool, Okla., finished in fifth place with three bass at 12.38 pounds topped by a 6.47-pound kicker.
Slated for April 26, 2014, the next divisional tournament will be held on Lake Eufaula out of Eufaula Cove near Monkey Island, Okla. 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 Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 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.