Wagner Wins Close One On Center Hill Lake
SPARTA, Tenn. – In almost a photo finish where less than three ounces separated the top four anglers, Adam M. Wagner edged out the competition to win the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Tennessee Central Division 3 tournament, held March 26, 2022 on Center Hill Lake.
Launching at Ragland Bottoms Marina in Sparta, the Cookeville angler brought in a 5-bass tournament limit weighing 15.59 pounds.
“I found a couple schools of smallmouth in practice,” Wagner reported. “At this time of year, they gang up before they move up shallow. I caught them on gravel points upriver. I caught 10 keeper smallmouth and 15 more short fish. At the end of the day, I picked up a flipping stick and pitched a bait to a fallen tree and caught my best fish. Everything else I caught on a tail-spinner.”
In second among the boaters, Larry W. Holland from Murfreesboro also landed his 5-bass limit. Just off the pace, he put 15.49 pounds on the board, merely 1.6 ounces from the lead.
“For about the first 45 minutes, fishing was phenomenal,” Holland remarked. “I was catching fish with every cast. I caught two keepers in my first spot. I caught two more in my second spot. At noon, I still had only four fish until I caught a small Kentucky spotted bass. I carried him around until the last 45 minutes of the day when I caught my best largemouth by flipping and culled the Kentucky. I was flipping a Senko with a 3/8-ounce tungsten sinker around the base of the biggest trees I could find close to the river. I caught multiple fish on a Carolina rig. Three of my weigh fish came on a tail-spinner.”
Landing in third place, Eric Silverstrim from Indian Mound brought in five keepers going 15.47 pounds, only one-third of an ounce behind Holland.
“I started flipping and had a limit in 15 minutes,” Silverstrim said. “Then, I just culled through the small ones until about 1 p.m. After that I fished an Alabama Rig around points and made two key culls later in the day. The fish are in the flooded trees. The prespawn females are in the flooded trees by the points. The males are farther back.”
Right behind, Charlie E. Caplinger of Smithville finished fourth among the boaters with five bass at 15.46 pounds. Jay W. Melton from Murfreesboro landed five keepers for 14.79 pounds with a 2.93-pound kicker to land in fifth place in the division.
Anthony W. Nash from Quebeck finished sixth among the boaters with a 5-bass limit going 14.59 pounds. He anchored that catch with a 4.87-pound bucketmouth, the tournament lunker. For catching the biggest bass of the day, Nash pocketed $190.
“I caught that big fish on a 1-ounce Rat-L-Trap,” Nash said. “I threw that, a big spinnerbait and a jerkbait most of the day. I caught a bunch of fish, but only two good ones.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Ricky England of Sparta landed a 3-bass division limit for 6.65 pounds. He also brought in the division lunker at 2.90 pounds. .
“I had a great boater, Eric Silverstrim,” England commented. “I was frustrated because he caught a limit really fast and I could not get a bite. He finally loaned me one of his rods and told me to pitch a creature bait to a spot and I caught a fish. It was on from there.”
Recently from New York, but now a Nashville resident, Christopher DiBiaso finished in second among the co-anglers. He brought in his three keepers for 5.79 pounds with a 2.59-pound kicker. For second place, he picked up $250.
“It was definitely a grind,” DiBiaso said. “The weather change kind of shut them down. I caught all my fish flipping with a football jig worked really slowly along the bottom. It was tough to feel the bites. I lost one that could have put me in first place, but I could not feel the bites.”
Jeff K. Wheeley from Lafayette, Tenn., finished third for the co-anglers with two bass weighing 4.72 pounds One of them weighed 2.62 pounds.
“It was a tough day with all the winds,” Wheeley confirmed. “I caught my fish casting a Zoom Z-Craw on a Zoom shaky head.”
In fourth placed for the co-anglers, Ethan T. Wheeler came down from Mayfield, Ky. To catch a 3-bass limit going 3.50 pounds. Kevin Jones, Jr. from Fort Campbell, Ky. landed in fifth place with two bass for 2.84 pounds.
The division next heads to Kentucky Lake on April 30, 2022. The anglers will run out of Paris Landing in Buchanan, Tenn. To register for this event, CLICK HERE.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633. For more information about any American Bass Anglers tournament series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, 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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