Collins maintains lead on Day 3
ATHENS, Ala. – With another solid bag, Clifford Albert Collins extended his hold on the top spot during the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship tournament, operated by American Bass Anglers and held Nov. 7-10 on Lake Sam Rayburn near Jasper, Texas.
The 48-year-old angler from Nacogdoches, Texas, caught 11 keepers on Day 3 to bring in 19.70 pounds, increasing his lead to more than 10 pounds. In three days of intense competition, Collins caught 15 bass weighing 64.19 pounds including a 6.20-pound kicker. After catching the largest single-day bag so far at 24.53 pounds, he held the lead on Day 2 with 44.49 pounds. On Day 1, Collins held second with 19.96 pounds.
“I struggled in the morning,” Collins revealed. “By 10:30 a.m., I still didn’t have a limit. I was really getting anxious and had to start over. I finally got a limit and things started to pull together. I was throwing a 6-inch crankbait, E2 lizards and Texas-rigged worms. I fished creek ledges in eight to 12 feet of water. I also fished main-lake points.”
Remaining in second among the 175 boaters, David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, landed his third consecutive five bass daily tournament limit for 14.98 pounds on Day 3. In three days, he brought in 15 bass for 54.12 pounds. On Day 1, he caught 19.01 pounds for third place. On Day 2, he caught 20.13 pounds.
Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, stayed in third place with a three-day effort resulting in 15 bass weighing 50.70 pounds. On Day 1, he held eighth place with 17.19 pounds. He added 18.88 pounds on Day 2. On Day 3, Johnson brought in 14.63 pounds with a 6.21-pound kicker.
Remaining in fourth place, Jeffry L. Wade of Cabot, Ark., landed his third consecutive five-bass daily limit for a total of 45.91 pounds including a 3.83-pound kicker. He caught 16.33 pounds on Day 1 to hold 10th place and added 16.03 pounds on Day 2. On Day 3, he landed 13.55 pounds.
On the third day, John Hutchins of Warrenton, Va., moved up from eighth place to fifth place among the boaters with a 14.26-pound bag. After three days, he landed 15 bass at 43.58 pounds topped by a 7.08-pound kicker. On Day 1, he brought in 18.14 pounds and followed with 11.18 pounds on Day 2.
Brian R. Brown of Kuttawa, Ky., leads the tournament lunker competition with a 10.51-pounder he landed on Day 1. He dropped from 16th place to 39th place with eight bass weighing 22.62 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Richard Michalski of West Port, Ky., moved into the lead with a 6.47-pound bag on Day 3. In three days, he caught eight bass weighing 22.62 pounds. On Day 1, Michalski brought in 10.85 pounds. He held second on Day 2 after catching 5.30 pounds.
“I had never seen the lake until coming down to fish this tournament,” Michalski admitted. “We had to search to find fish. We fished crankbaits in about six to 10 feet of water. I used quite a few different baits. I caught about nine keepers and culled a few fish out.”
With the largest single-day catch from any co-angler, Sidney Weaver of Cherryville, N.C., vaulted from 74th place into second on the strength of a 13.52-pound Day 3 bag. In three days, he caught seven keepers for 21.25 pounds with a 6.70-pound kicker. On Day 1, he brought in 2.47 pounds and followed that with 5.26 pounds on Day 2.
Joe Dorcy of Smithville, Mo., also made a major leap on Day 3, jumping from 12th place to third with a three-day total of nine bass for 20.94 pounds including a 4.25-pound kicker. He caught 8.05 pounds on Day 1, 5.40 pounds on Day 2 and 7.49 pounds on Day 3.
Michael M. Smith of Laurel Hill, Fla., moved from 21st place into fourth with three consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 20.79 pounds. He caught 6.63 pounds on Day 1, 5.86 pounds on Day 2 and followed that with 8.30 pounds on Day 3.
Moving up one place, Derek J. Thurman of Collinsville, Okla., holds fifth with nine bass going 20.72 pounds including a 5.10-pound kicker. He caught 9.86 pounds on Day 1 and 5.01 pounds on the second day. On Day 3, he found 5.85 pounds of keepers.
On the third day, Keith A. Vann of Cedartown, Ga., unseated Travis Malphrus of Ridgeland, S.C., for the division big bass leadership with an 8.18-pound bucketmouth. On Day 1, Malphrus brought in a 7.24-pounder.
The event concludes Nov. 10. On the final day, only the top 25 boaters and co-anglers compete. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and could win up to $105,000 with bonuses from Triton Boats, Mercury Marine and MotorGuide. In addition, the winning boater will earn a chance to compete in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 22-24 on Grand Lake of the Cherokees near Grove, Okla. The champion co-angler will take home $50,000 and could grab up to $52,500 including sponsor bonus money.
The public weigh-in begins at 3 p.m at Umphrey Pavilion in Jasper, TX on Sam Rayburn Lake. For more information on this tournament, call ABA at (256) 232-0406. On line, see www.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.