Womack wins Oklahoma opener on Tenkiller
ATHENS, Ala. – After a three-hour fog delay, Chad A. Womack finally won the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Oklahoma Division 14 season opener, held March 24, 2012, on Lake Tenkiller.
Running out of Chicken Creek Marina near Cookson on a chilly day, the 35-year-old angler from Porum, Okla., caught five bass weighing 14.18 pounds. Fishing his first ABA tournament, Womack landed a total of six bass and earned $3,176.50 for the Boater Division victory.
“I found this place about a year ago when the water was really low,” Womack said. “I finesse fished with a watermelon green Yum twin-tail Gonzo grub with some orange flakes on a Spot Remover. I just bounced it off the bottom really slowly on 10-pound fluorocarbon line. I caught one fish on an Alabama rig.”
In second for the 85 boaters, Brandon Pedigo, 27, of Stillwater, Okla., landed four bass for 12.82 pounds with a 4.79-pound kicker. He went home with a check for $1,587.76.
“My go-to bait was an Arkie roundhead jig with a four-inch green pumpkin grub,” Pedigo advised. “I dragged it through pea gravel flats on the main lake. The fish wanted it slow, barely moving along the bottom. The key was getting away from the small fish. The big fish were on the bottom off by themselves.”
Jason Horton, 35, of Eucha, Okla., brought in four bass for 11.38 pounds. Fishing his first tournament in Oklahoma after recently moving from California, Horton anchored his bag with a 4.80-pound kicker to pocket $1,058.50.
“I threw an Alabama rig with Yum Money Minnows and a hand-tied jig,” Horton said. “I located fish in 15 to 17 feet of water, but many bass moved up. I spend half of my time in the tournament fishing shallow. In the afternoon, I sat in about 30 feet of water and threw up into about 15 feet of water off a point. It had a few brush piles on it. I caught most of my fish out of the brush.”
Mike W. White of Garfield, Ark., landed in fourth place among the boaters with four bass at 10.93 pounds. John L. Soukup of Agra, Okla., took fifth place with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 10.84 pounds. Rodney L. Faulkenberry of Talihina, Okla., set the tournament lunker standard with a 5.72-pound bucketmouth.
In the Co-Angler Division, Nick L. Milligan, 51, of Muskogee, Okla., brought in three keepers for 10.02 pounds. He anchored is winning bag with a 3.53-pounder to collect $1,607.75. Scoring his first win in any tournament after taking up competitive bass fishing about a year ago, he landed nine bass, but his first three of the day weighed enough for the Co-Angler Division win.
“The fog delay really concerned me because when pre-fishing, I caught several good fish before 9:30 a.m.,” Milligan lamented. “I threw an Alabama rig with large Storm swimbaits off points in about 10 to 15 feet of water. I caught one fish on a spinnerbait and one on a crankbait.”
Wade J. Dalton of Cameron, Okla., landed a three-bass division limit going 8.65 pounds with a 3.60-pound kicker. Jim Marsh of Prague, Okla., caught three keepers for 8.40 pounds, followed by Mance W. Fowler of Fort Smith, Ark., with three bass at 7.69 pounds. Rounding out the top five co-anglers, Tyler J. Pipher of Oklahoma City, Okla., landed two bass going 7.59 pounds with a 4.07-pound kicker. Jared Whitten of Hartshorne, Okla., only caught one bass, but it took division lunker honors at 5.29 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, seewww.americanbassanglers.com.
-- John N. Felsher
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.