Army Team Beck/Anderson Won the 2018 Military Team Tournament
The Military Team Tournament is an annual team event where prior and active military meet to spend time with friends for a little healthy competition. This three-day event is not just for fun and fellowship, it’s also a big cash event and winners get a years’ worth of bragging rights. The Military Team Tournament was held on Old Hickory Lake launching out of Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville, Tennessee on May 9-11.
The annual 2018 Military Team Tournament had 64 teams competing to see who the best would be. The teams started showing up on the weekend before the event to start practicing on Sunday. Official practice days was Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday night anglers were greeted with a warm welcome from the Sumner County CVB, with a dinner, and numerous draw prizes from our tournament sponsors. During this time, anglers got the opportunity to fellowship with brothers they haven’t seen in a year. Sirius XM Prostaff Mickey Beck gave a demonstration using the Sirius XM Kiosk and helped us give away two Sirius XM Weather Receivers.
It was a beautiful morning for opening ceremonies as the branch colors stood high beside the great American Flag. As the national anthem was playing, Dave Cooper and the EQB Vies provided us with a drone flyby of the Nations flag in the twilight of the morning sky. Fishing was tough, and the competition was close throughout the three days. Anglers had to deal with hot humid days and rain throughout the competition and staying consistent was the key to winning the event on Old Hickory. We reached out to the top three teams to tell us more about their 2018 Military Team Tournament experience.
Mickey Beck and Pat Anderson took home the title of the top team this year. Both gentlemen served in the U.S. Army and they now hold the bragging rights for a year. On day one, Beck and Anderson weighed in 13.95 pounds putting them in the top 5 going into day two where they weighed 10.59 pounds. Their total weight after two days was 24.54 pounds putting them in the top 3 going into day three. On day three, Beck and Anderson brought in another five-fish limit that weighed 11.10 pounds giving them a three-day total of 36.36 pounds. Consistency was the key for Beck and Anderson to claim their victory. They earned a check for $4,000 for their efforts. Along with this $4,000, Beck and Anderson also took away $7,000 from Triton Gold, $1,000 from Mercury Motor, $1,000 Garmin Grand Giveaway $500 from TH Marine Atlas Rewards Program giving the grand total of $13,500.
“We drew out a later boat number so we changed our game plan instead of making a long run we decided to stay within a half-mile of the boat ramp. Pat caught first his fish within minutes of blastoff using a swimbait but the fish ended up being the wrong species. I started throwing a Hoppy’s ½ oz Shell Cracker and on my first cast, I caught a 5 pounder. We ended up catching a few more fish on that shallow hump and as the day went on we stayed shallow and fished in the weed beds. As we continued to fish the shallow humps, they started locking up on us which made fishing more difficult. The school of fish we were chasing was having a tough time coming active and we almost had to beg them to bite. On day two, we started off flipping in grass and fishing topwater. I decided to go to a place I haven’t fished in a couple years and we caught 3 keepers right off the bat on topwater. The Sirius XM and Garmin Interface played a serious factor in our day two fishing strategy. During the 2nd day, the Sirius XM and Garmin Interface helped me move around the storms cells that were popping up all day. The interface allowed me to see where the storms were coming from and which direction they were going. By following these cells, we were able to bring another limit. Going into the 3rd day, we agreed that we were going to start out by fishing topwater and then move to 6 ft humps. I pulled up to the first spot and caught one weighing about 2.75lbs. Pat missed one and quickly picked up a spinnerbait and caught a keeper. Afterward, I picked up a ½ oz Hoppy’s Spinnerbait and caught a keeper. We were near the boat ramp on the last day and we decided that since so many tournaments were going out of the upper end there was no need to run far when we knew we could get a good limit staying right where we were. During the tournament, I used a ¾ oz Hoppy’s Shell Cracker, a Hoppy’s ½ oz. Spinnerbait, and Brushbug of Hoppy’s. Its hard to beat using a Hoppy’s ½ oz. Spinnerbait in the weed beds this time of year on Old Hickory. Sometimes dropping down to 3/8 oz works well in the grass. All in all, it was a blessed tournament and we are very appreciative of the American Bass Anglers for honoring the military in a tournament like this especially a Nashville tournament. We are looking forward to fishing Lake Eufaula next year,” Beck stated.
Coming in second, was Jason Forsgren and Theo Corcoran. This unlikely duo was paired up after Forsgren’s partner got deployed a few weeks before the event. The duo proved that Air Force and Marines can get along. They were a worthy adversary in the chase for the top team but could not quit pull off the victory. On day one, they weighed in 5 fish for 12.61 pounds landing them in the top 5 heading into day two. On day two they weighed in another 5 fish limit for 9.35 pounds. This gave them a two-day total of 21.96 pounds keeping them in the top 5 going into day three where they stayed consistent and weighed in another 5 fish limit going 11.13 pounds giving them a 3-day total of 33.09lbs.
“We were fishing spawning pockets trying to find the warmest water we could find. On the first day we were fortunate enough to have two big topwater bites which helped us into the top 5. During the last 2 days, we pretty much caught a lot of our fish flipping a Nemesis Bullet Craw with a real lightweight up next to the bank. It stinks we came in 2nd place but we were fortunate because we never did have a big bite. We didn’t lose any fish that would have helped us out during the past 3 days so we are happy with our finish,” stated Corcoran.
Rounding out the top three was Brad Fuller and Aaron Commons. On day one, the team weighed in the biggest bag of the tournament with a five-fish limit going 17.54 pounds. They topped this off with a 6.35-pound kicker to take home the title of Big Bass in the tournament. Since they caught their bass using an Abu Garcia reel, they were given a new Abu Garci Revo X. On day two they weighed in another 5 fish limit going 8.42 pounds and on day 3 they brought 3 fish to the scales weighing 7.02 pounds giving them a 3-day total of 32.98 pounds.
“On day one, we caught our fish junk fishing. We were throwing spinnerbaits, Senko Wacky Rigs, and jigs. We just ran around and looked for spots that looked good to us. The shad spawn started to turn on, so this really helped us out. On day 3 we caught all our fish using spinner baits around floating logs and anywhere we saw the shad bubbling. The bite got a lot tougher as the week went on as we were trying to catch post-spawn fish. In practice, we were catching spawning fish that has just spawned out under docks and that went away as well. It was a tough week, we culled out a 1.5 pounder for the 6.35-pound kicker. If we could have got a limit on day 3 we could have closed out the win. We fished hard we just couldn’t get our 4th and 5th fish in the boat,” Fuller stated.
Slated for May 5-10, 2019, the annual Military Team Tournament will be held on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, AL hosted by Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce. Lake Eufaula is a 45,000-acre lake located on the Chattahoochee River that extends across Alabama and Georgia. This beautiful lake is nationally known for being a great bass fishery and its beautiful scenery. Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce has hosted numerous events for American Bass Anglers in which the anglers receive a warm welcome from the local community with its small hometown charm.
Learn more about the Annual Military Team Tournament on-line at www.MilitaryBassAnglers.com.
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