Hardin beats the best in South Alabama
ATHENS, Ala. – Mike Hardin went deep to win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Alabama South Division 2 tournament, held May 19, 2012, on Lake Eufaula.
Running out of Lakepoint Resort State Park near the town of Eufaula, Ala., the Robertsdale angler caught five bass weighing 12.68 pounds with a 4.31-pound kicker. For the Boater Division victory, Hardin took home a check for $2,600.
“I caught my first two fish on a senko in midlake,” Hardin said. “I caught the rest of my fish on deep structure at the lower end of the lake with Carolina rigs.”
In second for the boaters, Steve Graziano of Phenix City returned to the marina with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 12.58 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 3.78-pound kicker to earn $1,300.
“I fished everywhere and caught most of my fish deep,” Graziano explained. “I caught some on a flutter spoon and a jig. I caught fish all day long.”
Scott Montgomery of Eufaula brought in five bass for 12.34 pounds and third place. He went home with an extra $867 in his pocket.
“I went to the other end of the lake and back,” Montgomery admitted. “I threw 8-inch Big Bite Baits finesse worm. I also threw a white spinnerbait and a crankbait.”
Richard C. Messer of Opelika finished fourth among the boaters with five bass going 10.71 pounds. Jack Tibbs Jr. of Eufaula rounded out the top five boaters with four bass going 10.64 pounds. He capped his catch with a 4.65-pounder that took the tournament lunker title.
“I only had four bites,” Tibbs lamented. “I caught the big one in about 18 feet of water on a river ledge. I used a 10-inch redbug worm.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Frank Chappell of Sterrett landed three bass for 9.08 pounds. He pocketed a check for $1,250.
“We fished up north around Grassy Creek,” Chappell said. “We caught some fish on a Carolina rigs and some on a white Stanley Ribbit Frog. I caught five keepers and culled twice. I caught my biggest fish at 2:15 p.m. on a frog.”
Hunter S. Ingram, a 17-year-old angler from Coker, landed a co-angler limit of three bass weighing 7.62 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.24-pounder to win the division big bass honors. For second place, Ingram collected $625 with an extra $139 for the bucketmouth.
“I caught two flipping and one on a frog,” Ingram said. “I fished the north part of the lake. I lost one good fish on a frog.”
In third among the co-anglers, Scott Lyerly of Helena landed three bass for 7.59 pounds. He collected $417 for the effort.
“I caught everything on Texas-rigged plastics in less than a foot of water,” Lyerly said. “I just pounded the water all day long.”
Anthony J. Gary of Phenix City landed in fourth place for the co-anglers with three bass and 7.41 pounds including a 3.31-pound kicker. Kenneth Robins of Birmingham caught three bass going 7.26 pounds to finish fifth.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.