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Bill Payton Takes First Place at Chickamauga

Bill Payton Takes First Place at Chickamauga

On a very cold snowy day from division 30, Southeast TN on February 2nd Bill (William) Payton from Cleveland TN. is one step closer to the ABA National Championship with a 1st Place win and $382.00 in the American Fishing Tour bass tournament held on Chickamauga Lake this past weekend. Fishing as a non-boater Bills 4 bass weighed in at 18.61 lbs. Second place went to Tim Bailey with a weight of 17.41 lbs. Third place also fishing as a non-boater was David Crider with a weight of 16.27 lbs. David also won Big Bass Honors for catching a 7.91 pound largemouth. One interesting note: Three of the top five finishers were non-boaters. This speaks loudly about these guys ability to be able to adapt and change up their presentations to catch fish that their boaters didn’t.

These anglers are acquiring valuable points to insure their birth in division’s two-day champion and the American Fishing Tour National Championship that will be held this fall. Their points are also being used to determine the divisional angler of the year. The top angler by points earned in this division will represent the division in the Angler of the Year final round.

The top five anglers were:
1. Bill (William) Payton  - 18.61 lbs.
2. Tim Bailey  - 17.41 lbs
3. David Crider  - 16.27 lbs
4. Don Lamb - 16.05 lbs
5. Jake Moses - 15.42 lbs

Conditions: Very cold in the morning with lows in the mid 20’s and snow showers periodically with snow accumulating up to an inch and half. Clouds gave way to some sunshine and temps in the mid 30’s for the daytime high. Water temps ranged from 44 to 45.5 degrees.
Winning Strategy: Bills fish were caught on a jig fished around deeper rocky banks with the fish holding surprisingly shallow in those areas.
Next Divisional Tournament: This division’s next tournament will be Feb. 9th on Nickajack Lake at Shellmound ramp.

For more information on this or any future event in this division contact Gary Carter at (706) 280-0711 or by email at:
The American Fishing Tour offers low cost, close to home bass tournaments that are designed for the weekend angler. All ABA anglers fish for money and points. The points advance the angler to their divisional championship and the top 500 anglers in the US are invited to the American Fishing Tour National Championship.

About American Bass Anglers
American Bass Anglers is the largest tournament organization for the weekend angler.  American Bass Anglers operates the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series and the American Couples Series.  Each tour is design specifically for the weekend angler offering low cost and close to home events so the anglers can qualify for larger championship.  For more information on American Bass Anglers visit


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