Beaver Wins Top 150 Solo At Eufaula
EUFAULA, Ala. – Rodger Beaver, Jr. won the first event of a second season in the American Bass Anglers Top 150 Solo Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, when the Southeast Division opened the competition at Lake Eufaula, Ala. on March 4-5, 2022.
Launching at Lakepoint Resort State Park near the town of Eufaula, Ala. for the two-day event, Beaver swapped standings with Day 1 leader Tony Couch. Fishing consistently, Beaver landed a two-day tournament limit of 10 bass weighing 35.51 pounds. Beaver banks $18,500 for the win.
On the first day, the Dawson, Ga. angler held third place with five bass at 17.55 pounds. He caught most of his fish on a 1.5-ounce spinnerbait. He fished deep honey holes around brush and hard, rocky ridges most of the day. Then, he switched to punching mats, but lost a good fish that might have elevated him into second place on Day 1. Soon after, he caught a 4-pounder in Cowikee Creek, somewhat easing the loss of the bigger fish.
On the final day of the tournament, Beaver added 17.96 pounds with a 4.86-kicker for the victory. He still caught all, except one fish offshore. He returned to his deep brushy and rocky spots and threw that big spinnerbait again. This time, however, he observed something with his Garmin electronics that he couldn’t possibly learn otherwise.
“The Garmin Livescope brings things to light,” Beaver advised. “On the second day, when I’d bring a spinnerbait up to whatever structure I was fishing, it would spook the fish. When I saw what was happening on the Garmin Livescope, I swapped to a big Texas-rigged Brush Hog and started catching fish. That Garmin is amazing! I caught one weigh fish by punching the vegetation.”
Fellow Georgian, John O. Bailey from Resaca took second among the 140 competitors with back-to-back 5-bass tournament limits to finish with 33.46 pounds. On the first day, Bailey held fourth place with 14.57 pounds anchored by a 4.12-pounder. Bailey took home $7,500 for second.
“On the first day, I did a lot of running,” Bailey said. “I caught some fish on a Rat-L-Trap early. Later in the day, I went to some grass growing in three to four feet of water and started throwing a swimbait I made myself. I caught four fish on the swimbait and culled four that I had caught earlier.”
Bailey upped his game on the second day. He brought in 18.89 pounds, the third-highest one-day sack to hit the scales in the tournament.
“I caught my fish on Grand Gizzard swimbaits that I make and a Rat-L-Trap,” Bailey elaborated. “I was fishing downriver around grass in the backs of wind-blown pockets. I was fishing shallow to mid-range depths. On the final day, I had a limit in 20 minutes. Then, I started hunting for big fish.”
Bailey found one of those big fish he hunted on the final day. He overcame Brent H. Barnes from Chattanooga, Tenn., the Day 1 lunker leader with a 6.47-pounder. Bailey landed a 7.36-pound bucketmouth, to set the new tournament big bass standard.
Tony Couch from McDonough, Ga. held the lead on Day 1 with the biggest single-day sack of the tournament, five bass going 22.35 pounds including a 5.60-pounder kicker. He finished third with a perfect 10 bass for 32.99 pounds. Couch earned $5,000 for the win.
“On the first day, it was a real slow bite,” Couch detailed. “I caught two in the morning. Then, I did not get another bite until about 1 p.m. In the last hour, the fish moved up really well and I whacked them. I caught all my fish up shallow on several different baits.”
During the second day, Couch found people fishing at some of his spots. He went downriver looking for grass, docks and other wood. He caught five bass for 10.64 pounds on the final day.
“On the last day of the tournament, I caught all my fish up shallow on a Chatterbait, a lizard and a Senko,” Couch commented. “Whatever cover I found, I threw something at it. I didn’t get an opportunity to fish all the places I wanted to fish.”
Michael David Meason from Newnan, Ga. finished in fourth place with 10 bass at 31.45 pounds. He held the 21st position on Day 1 with 12.15 pounds. Bringing in the second largest one-day bag of the event at 19.30 pounds on the last day, he vaulted 17 rungs on the leader ladder into fourth place. Meason won $3,200 for the win.
Also making a good jump, Baylor Pless of Cordele, Ga. leaped three places to finish fifth with 10 bass for 30.04 pounds. He sat in eighth place on Day 1 with 14.13 pounds. On the final day, he improved, bringing in a 15.91-pound sack and cashes a check for $2,900
Cole L. Phillips of Phenix City, Ala. held second on Day 1 with five bass going 17.76 pounds, including a 4.96-pound kicker. He flipped vegetation all day long going back and forth along one stretch of bank measuring about 200 yards. On Day 2, he landed five bass weighing 10.68 pounds. He dropped five places to finish seventh with 28.44 pounds.
Walter E. Ogle from Rockford, Tenn. occupied fifth place on Day 1 with five bass for 14.36 pounds including a 5.28-pounder. He ran from brush pile to brush pile fishing with a swimbait. At the end of the second day, he came in with five more bass and 11.65 pounds, dropping five spots to 10th with a total of 26.01 pounds.
The ABA Top 150 Solo Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, features two regional divisions – Southeast and Southwest. Each division will hold three tournaments. Both divisions offer big cash payouts and chances for anglers to advance to higher levels of competition.
The Southeast Division next heads to north Alabama to fish Lake Guntersville on May 6-7. The anglers wrap up the regular season on June 17-18 at Lake Chickamauga, Tenn.
The Southwest Division kicks off its new season March 18-19 at Lake Texoma in Pottsboro, Texas. From there, the division anglers will head north to fish the other Lake Eufaula near Eufaula, Okla. on April 22-23. The division wraps up its season on June 17-18 at Lake Sam Rayburn near Zavalla, Texas.
Anglers pay $600 to enter each tournament and everyone fishes alone both days. No more than 150 anglers can participate in any divisional event. If 150 anglers participate, the winner of that event will take home a guaranteed $20,000. If fewer competitors register, the top 20 percent of the field will each earn a portion of the prize money, based upon the number of entries.
Anglers could qualify for one of two post-season tournaments. The top 15 points holders in each division at the end of the regular season will qualify to fish the inaugural ABA Top 150 Solo Series Championship. The first Series Championship will be held on Kentucky Lake at Paris, Tenn. in October.
Conducted like the divisional events, the Tour Championship will involve two days of intense competition with the winner taking home $25,000. In addition, every angler in the field will receive a payout.
Additionally, anglers who did not qualify by points for the Tour Championship, but who fished all three of the qualifiers in their division, will be invited to a two-day wild card event slated for Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi on Sept. 9-10, 2022. From this wild card, the top five anglers will advance to the Tour Champion. Qualifying through their divisions by points and additionally from the wild card, the championship field will total 35 anglers.
Moreover, the top five anglers by points from each division after the Tour Championship can advance to the 2023 Ray Scott Championship, scheduled for April 2023 on the Red River in Shreveport, La.
For information on this tournament, call Floyd Vaughn, Southeast Division Tournament Manager, at (256) 230-5633. For more information or to register for any ABA Solo 150 event, see www.americanbassanglers.com/Top150 or call (256) 232-0406.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, Monster Energy, REKS Sunglasses, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.
This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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