Bradley takes the title on Lay Lake
ATHENS, Ala. – Foster “Chip” K. Bradley edged the competition to win the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Alabama South Division 2 tournament, held March 15, 2014, on Lay Lake.
Running out of Beeswax Creek Landing in Columbiana, Ala., the Bessemer, Ala., angler caught five bass weighing 18.58 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 6.10-pound kicker that set the tournament lunker standard. For the Boater Division victory, Bradley took home a check for $2,246 and big bass.
“We fished on the north end of the lake and I caught my fish on a swim jig,” Bradley explained. “I caught a few down in Spring Creek. I covered as much water as I could and concentrated on fishing any grass I could find. I had six bites and caught six fish.”
In second for the boaters, Josh Mims of Harpersville, Ala., landed a five-bass tournament limit going 18.33 pounds. The bag included a 4.22-pound kicker. He collected $1,123 for the effort.
“I caught my fish by swimming a jig,” Mims advised. “I caught six fish all day. I broke one fish off and that hurt. We fished upriver all day.”
Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Ala., took third for the boaters with five bass going 16.28 pounds. He earned $749 for the day.
“I fished the mid-lake area to just above the Narrows,” Stracner said. “I flipped docks with a jig. I caught eight keepers, but lost two fish. I don’t think they would have helped me.”
Finishing fourth, Marty Giddens of Alpine, Ala., landed a five-bass limit for 15.98 pounds. Bo A. Hunter of Gardendale, Ala., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 15.07 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Michael K. Donaldson of Thorsby, Ala., won his first event ever with three bass going 9.71 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 4.46-pound kicker to pocket a check for $1,112.
“We fished the south end of the lake,” Donaldson revealed. “I caught all my fish on an Alabama rig worked through stumps. I had five bites today. I lost one fish right at the boat. It might have helped me a little.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Mark D. Cannon of Salem, Ala., brought in a three-bass division limit for 9.23 pounds. The 2013 co-angler points leader collected $556 for the catch.
“We fished the mid-lake area and caught fish on swimbaits and jigs,” Cannon said. “We fished deep. I didn’t lose any fish.”
William T. Jinks of Childersburg, Ala., placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 9.20 pounds. He collected $371 for the effort.
“I caught my fish on a worm,” Jinks explained. “We fished up toward Childersburg. I had one break off, but I don’t know how big it was.”
In fourth place among the co-anglers, Barry D. Jones of Verbena, Ala., brought in three bass for 8.70 pounds including a 4.35-pound kicker. Rodney Graham of Childersburg, Ala., finished in fifth place with two bass going 7.61 pounds. He topped his catch with a 4.57-pound kicker that took division big bass honors that earned a check for $61.
“I caught the big bass by swimming a jig just under the surface,” Graham advised. “It hit at about 1 p.m. When it jumped, I knew it was a good one.”
Slated for May 17, 2014, the next divisional tournament will be held on Lake Eufaula out of Lakepoint Resort State Park near the town of Eufaula, Ala. 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.