ATHENS, Ala. – By slightly more than a pound, Bobby W. Crisman took the lead on Day 1 of the 2013 American Fishing Tour National Championship tournament, operated by American Bass Anglers and held Oct. 23 on Clarks Hill Lake.
Running out of Wildwood State Park in Appling, Ga. to fish the 71,535-acre lake on the Savannah River, Crisman, of Bracey, Virginia, caught five bass weighing 17.87 pounds. He anchored his first day's bag with a 7.17-pound kicker, the second largest fish caught that day.
“We caught fish early and got a quick limit,” Crisman explained. “We went up the lake a bit, but didn’t go too far. I’m hoping the spot keeps productive through the end of the tournament, but that depends upon what the cold front does. I have a few other places to check. We fished shallow along the bank with spinnerbaits, topwaters and a few swimbaits.”
In second, Sean J. Lloyd landed a five-bass daily tournament limit going 16.79 pounds with a 6.88-pound kicker. Bobby W. Stanfill holds third with five bass going 14.17 pounds. He capped his first day catch with a 7.33-pounder, the biggest bass caught on the first day of the tournament. Keith Williamson sits in fourth place with five bass at 12.89 pounds. Rounding out the top five competitors after one day of action, Dave L. Holland brought in five bass going 12.55 poundsE
The action continues through Oct. 25. All competitors will fish all three days of the championship event. Anglers will head out of the launch at safe light each day and return to weigh their fish at 3 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 25. The public is invited to attend the free weigh-ins each day.
Nearly 200 of the best anglers from about 80 AFT divisions across the country came to Clarks Hill Lake to compete in the championship event. The winner will take home a fully rigged Triton 21XS bass boat powered by a Mercury 200-horsepower Pro XS outboard motor and a MotorGuide trolling motor. The package also includes a set of Carlisle trailer tires, Odyssey batteries and generous supplies of Royal Purple oil products. The entire package retails for about $60,000.
The rest of the top 15 percent of the field will receive cash prizes. In addition, some lucky angler will win a Triton 19XS boat package powered by a 150-horsepower Mercury outboard and equipped with a set of Carlisle tires and wheels, Odyssey batteries and a MotorGuide trolling motor in a special drawing of the anglers present.
The American Fishing Tour offers low cost, close to home bass tournaments designed for the weekend angler. The 2013 AFT National Championship tournament is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Royal Purple, Best Western Hotels, BioBor, Busch Beer, Livingston Lures, Raymarine, Carlisle Tire & Wheel, Odyssey Batteries, T-H Marine.
About American Bass Anglers: 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, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.