Four Open Series Events Ready to Run, One Postponed
ATHENS, Ala. – Anglers will fish three events in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, on May 21, 2022, with one rescheduled.
South Carolina Division 9
The South Carolina Division 9 heads to the Santee-Cooper lakes on May 21 for its second event of the season. The anglers will run out of the John C. Land ramp, located on Log Jam Road in Summerton. To register for this event, Click Here.
Named for the Santee and Cooper rivers, two streams feeding into “South Carolina’s Inland Sea,” the sprawling system covers more than 170,000 acres. The system consistently ranks among the best lakes in the nation for producing giant bass with many largemouth in the 5- to 9-pound range, plus an occasional double-digit largemouth hitting livewells.
The largest lake in South Carolina, Lake Marion on the Santee River produced the South Carolina state record largemouth at 16.20 pounds. It spreads across about 110,600 acres or 174 square miles, at normal pool stage. Not fully cleared when the lakes opened in 1942, Lake Marion contains thousands of stumps, dead tree trunks, and many acres with live cypress trees growing in the shallow waters. Lake Marion stretches 14 miles at its widest point and averages about 10 to 12 feet deep. Some of the best bass action takes place in backwater ponds.
It’s sister to the southeast, Lake Moultrie on the Cooper River covers 60,400 acres. The third largest lake in South Carolina contains more open and slightly deeper water than Lake Marion. Lake Moultrie averages about 18 feet deep, but drops to more than 70 feet in places. Large patches of thick vegetation cover many sections in both lakes. A 6.5-mile-long diversion canal connects the two massive reservoirs.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Rodney Michael at (256) 497-0967.
Alabama South Division 2
The Alabama South Division 2 will hold its third event of the season at Lake Mitchell on May 21. The anglers will run out of Higgins Ferry Park, located at 11161 County Road 28 in Clanton, Ala. To register for this event, Click Here.
About 10 miles east of Clanton, Lake Mitchell covers 5,850 acres on the Coosa River. It offers anglers about 147 miles of shoreline. One of the best bass lakes in Alabama, Lake Mitchell holds both largemouth and spotted bass. Like many other Coosa River impoundments, it produces some huge spotted bass.
Impounded in 1922 for hydroelectric power, the lake still contains an abundance of materials and debris left over from the dam construction. These artificial reefs now make good fish attractors.
The very fertile lake contains an abundant shad population. Due to the copious forage in the impoundment, both largemouth and spotted bass grow rapidly and can reach lunker sizes quickly. The state stocked Florida bass into the system in the past. For big spotted bass, fish offshore structures like rock piles, humps and ledge edges.
During a March 20, 2021, division tournament, Michael Chris Rutland from Wetumpka, Ala. took the Boater Division victory with a 5-bass tournament limit for 15.66 pounds. One weighed 4.05 pounds, the largest bass caught by a boater.
In the Co-Angler Division, Dalton Chase Osborne of Phenix City won with a 3-bass division limit going 11.62 pounds. He also landed the tournament lunker, a bass weighing 4.51 pounds.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632.
East Tennessee Division 4
The East Tennessee Division 4 anglers will compete in two back-to-back tournaments on Watts Bar Lake. Both events will run out of Tom Fuller Park, located at 1360 Pumphouse Road in Rockwood, Tenn.
For the second tournament of the season, anglers will fish Watts Bar Lake on May 21. To register for this event, Click Here.
A second distinct tournament, NOT a 2-day event as in the ABA Top 150 Solo Series, will run May 22 on Watts Bar Lake. The originally scheduled division opener was supposed to take place March 12 at Lake Chickamauga. However, a snow and ice storm hit the area at that time, making driving and boating dangerous.
Therefore, for safety reasons, tournament officials rescheduled the tournament to May 22 and moved it to Watts Bar Lake. Since the division anglers will already be fishing Watts Bar Lake that weekend, they can save on fuel and living expenses with both events set for the same place as a doubleheader rather than move it to another venue.
Located on the Tennessee River about midway between Chattanooga and Knoxville, Watts Bar Lake covers about 39,000 acres. The lake runs from the Fort Loudon Dam in Lenoir City, Tenn., about 72 miles to the Watts Bar Dam near Spring City, Tenn. The Clinch River flows into the main channel near Kingston, Tenn. The lake offers anglers about 722 shoreline miles.
Several minor tributaries flow into the system. These include Poplar Creek and East Poplar Creek. Together, the two creeks drain an 82-square-mile watershed. Other tributaries include Caney Creek and White’s Creek. Anglers can also fish around several islands in the system. These include Thief Neck Island, Long Island, and Sand Island.
During a division tournament held on June 5, 2021, at Watts Bar Lake, Justin Freeman from Dayton, Tenn. won the Boater Division with a 5-bass tournament limit weighing 13.93 pounds. His biggest bass dropped the scales to 4.72 pounds, giving him tournament lunker honors as well.
In the Co-Angler Division during that event, Chris Seese of Ten Mile, Tenn. won with a division limit of three bass going 8.84 pounds. He also caught the biggest bass in his division at 3.72 pounds.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633.
Oklahoma Division 14
The planned third event in the Oklahoma Division 14 season was scheduled to take place on May 21 at Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Okla. However, flooded conditions made boating on the reservoir hazardous. For the safety of the anglers competing, tournament officials postponed the Fort Gibson event until June 26, 2022, and moved the venue to Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Grove, Okla., also known simply as Grand Lake. This event will now be the second in a weekend doubleheader at Grand Lake.
The originally scheduled fourth event in the division season will take place June 25, 2022, on Grand Lake. Both Grand Lake events will run out Wolf Creek Landing, located at 963 16th Street in Grove Okla.. These two tournaments will be separate events.
To register for the June 25 event, Click Here.
For more information about the Oklahoma Division 14 tournaments, call Tournament Director Chris Wayand at (256) 230-5627.
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