Hollingshead takes it all at Percy Priest
ATHENS, Ala. – Jeff Hollingshead won the big bucks during the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Tennessee Central Division 3 tournament, held April 28, 2012, on Percy Priest Lake.
Running out of Fate Sanders Marina near Smyrna, the Murfreesboro angler caught five bass weighing 16.50 pounds. The Percy Priest defending champion capped his catch with a 4.85-pounder that won Boater Division big bass bragging rights. For the Boater Division victory, Hollingshead pocketed $2,131. On March 19, 2011, Hollingshead won at Percy Priest with four bass going 14.54 pounds for his first ABA victory.
“In the morning, I caught fish on top with a Spook,” Hollingshead said about the 2012 tournament. “I had to throw it almost up on the bank to get bit. I was really upset. I had three keepers in the boat and had two big ones get off. One was about a 4-pound smallmouth. The other was a largemouth at least 5 pounds. I thought I was done. As the sun came up, I started catching fish on crankbaits in about nine feet of water off a main point. I caught some others by flipping.”
In second for the boaters, Ryan L. Haykal of Hendersonville brought in a five-bass tournament limit weighing 14 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 3.73-pounder.
“It was a grind just to get a limit, but I caught fish on a little bit of everything,” Haykal said. “I culled one 12-inch spot at about 2:30 p.m. I caught them early on top. I also caught some on a Carolina rig and some on Texas rigs with green pumpkin plastics. The smallmouth were in about three to five feet of water. I lost one keeper.”
John G. Hopkins of Hendersonville landed in third place among the boaters with five bass weighing 13.83 pounds.
“I caught fish on everything I tried,” Hopkins said. “I caught fish flipping, on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Everywhere I stopped, I caught keepers all day long. I did lose a big one in the morning. It broke off after hitting a Spook.”
In fourth for the boaters, Anthony “Jack” J. Nichols of Murfreesboro landed a limit going 12.67 pounds with a 4.12-pound kicker. Brandon A. Eddings of La Vergne rounded out the top five boaters with four bass for 11.62 pounds including a 4.71-pounder.
In the Co-Angler Division, John Howell of Murfreesboro set a high standard after fishing his first ABA tournament. Leading the pack from the back with three bass weighing 11.40 pounds. Howell anchored his catch with a 5.87-pounder that won tournament big bass honors.
“The big fish was my first fish of the day,” Howell revealed. “I caught him about 15 minutes after I left the landing. We didn’t run far. Within the first 35 minutes, I had a limit. I finished with eight keepers. I caught my fish by flipping a black and blue chatterbait up really shallow. If the bait didn’t land within two inches of the bank, the fish didn’t bite.”
Darryl G. Humphrey of Murfreesboro finished second among the co-anglers with a three-bass division limit going 9.76 pounds. His biggest bass weighed 5.40 pounds.
“I threw a spinnerbait in coves and the backs or creeks,” Humphrey said. “I had my limit within 45 minutes and culled once. The fish were right on the banks with chunk rock and pea gravel. I caught about 20 bass.”
Jeff K. Wheeley of Lafayette finished third with three bass and 8.67 pounds.
“I started with a crankbait and caught a few keepers within 30 minutes,” Wheeley explained. “For the rest of the day, I threw a Carolina rig. With the Carolina rig, we fished in about 15 to 20 feet of water. I tipped it with an 8-inch lizard.”
James “Jim” E. Gunn of Nolensville landed in fourth place among the co-anglers with two bass at 7.87 pounds. William F. McKnight of Murfreesboro rounded out the top five co-anglers with three bass going 7.39 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Randy Sullivan at (256) 230-5633 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.