Jaye opens season with a win
ATHENS, Ala. – Kelley W. Jaye won the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Alabama South Division 2 season opener, held Feb. 11, 2012, on Lake Martin.
Running out of Wind Creek State Park Marina near Alexander City to fish the 44,000-acre-acre impoundment, the Dadeville angler caught five bass weighing 15.28 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.10-pounder to seal the Boater Division victory.
“I caught my bigger fish in the middle of the lake,” Jaye revealed. “I caught four keepers on a suspending jerkbait. My last weighing fish hit a 1/2-ounce jig fished around shallow brush. I got more bites in the morning, but caught better quality fish later.”
In second for the 90 boaters, Tim Windsor of Prattville also brought in a five-bass tournament limit on this cold day. His five bass weighed 15.17 pounds with a 4.35-pound kicker.
“I caught my fish on shallow-diving crankbaits and spinnerbaits,” Windsor explained. “I fished the mid-lake area in water less than three feet deep. I lost one 2-pounder.”
Richard C. Messer took third among the boaters with five bass going 14.63 pounds. The Opelika angler anchored his bag with a 4.17-pound bucketmouth.
“I fished shallow water in the mid-lake area,” Messer recalled. “I stayed in less than five feet of water and caught every fish I weighed on a crankbait.”
Placing fourth among the boaters, Todd F. Rooker of Woodstock landed five keepers for 13.38 pounds. L. J. McCollough of Valley followed with five bass going 12.57 pounds. Jimmy Bahakel of Birmingham landed the tournament lunker, a 6.37-pounder.
“I caught the big one on a square-billed crankbait,” Bahakel said. “It was in about 18 inches of water around clay and hit on the fifth cast of the morning.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Vernelle L. Quinnie of Tuscaloosa took all the honors. He landed three bass weighing 9.44 pounds to win the division. He anchored his bag with a 4.43-pounder that took the division big bass title.
“I caught fish all over all day on several different lure combinations,” Quinnie said. “I caught some shallow and some deep. We looked for the right combination of rock and wood that held water in the 55- to 56-degree range. The lower the temperature, the slower we fished.”
Herbert Harrell of Alexander City took second. He brought in three bass weighing 8.72 pounds and anchored his bag with a 3.21-pound kicker.
“I fished the mid-lake area in less than five feet of water,” Harrell said. “I caught most of my fish on a crankbait, but did catch one by pitching a creature bait.”
Chadwick K. Boutwell of Enterprise took third with a three-bass division limit. His fish weighed 7.98 pounds.
“I fished all over and used everything from a jig to a Fish Head Spin,” Boutwell said. “The fish were really shallow.”
Landing in fourth place among the co-anglers, Chris Studdard of Sylacauga brought in three bass for 7.41 pounds. Bill L. Smith of Ocean Springs, Miss., took fifth with three bass going 7.27 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, seewww.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide 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 and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.