Dunaway wins first round at Watts Bar doubleheader

ROCKWOOD, Tenn. – Jack D. Dunaway won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, East Tennessee Division 4 tournament, held May 21, 2022, on Watts Bar Lake.

The angler from Kingston brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 12.42 pounds. He capped that catch with a 3.64-pound lunker to take the division big bass title..

“I caught them all on a jig,” Dunaway said.

In second among the boaters, Joseph S. Tallent from Knoxville also landed his 5-bass tournament limit. He put 10.83 pounds on the scales, topped by a 3.05-pound kicker. 

“I ran around and must have hit about a hundred spots,” Tallent detailed. “I was doing a little bit of everything. I lost two really good fish.”

Brian K. Holcomb of Madisonville placed third. He found five keepers for 10.36 pounds. Rodney L. Allen of Clarkrange found a limit for 9.33 pounds, good enough for fourth place. Rounding out the top five boaters, Jon L. Cruver from Dayton, Tenn., put three keepers on the scales for 8.61 pounds, including a 3.48-pound kicker, the second largest bass caught by a boater.

In the Co-Angler Division, Mark A. Pirkle of Cleveland, Tenn. landed a 3-bass division limit for 7.52 pounds. He anchored that bag with a 2.94-pound kicker. 

“I caught three fish on three different baits,” Pirkle revealed. “I caught the first one on a Spook. One on a Senko and one on a jig.”

Taking the second spot, Zachary B. Barnes from Chickamauga, Ga. landed a limit going 7.26 pounds. He also brought in the second largest bass caught by a co-angler at 3.03 pounds.

“I was fortunate to get paired with a good boater,” Barnes said. “We were around fish all day. We helped each other try to figure them out. We just weren’t catching the right ones. We caught bass on a worm, some on swimbaits, some on rattle baits and some on ChatterBaits. There really was no pattern.”

David L. Marr from Cleveland, Tenn. took third with two bass at 4.24 pounds, topped by a 2.17-pounder. Steven L. Coffey finished fourth with only one fish, but he made his 4.13-pound smallmouth count. That brownie gave him tournament bragging rights for the biggest bass of the day.

“I caught my only keeper at about 1:30 p.m.,” Coffey recalled. “I caught it on a little Ned Rig.”

This was the first of two East Tennessee Division 4 events to run back-to-back on Watts Bar Lake. A second distinct tournament, NOT a 2-day event, will take place May 22. The originally scheduled division opener was supposed to run on 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. Both events run out of Tom Fuller Park, located at 1360 Pumphouse Road in Rockwood, Tenn. The public is invited to attend.

The division next heads to Nickajack Lake on June 11, 2022. The anglers will run out of Marion County Park, located at 9696 US-41 in Jasper, Tenn. To register for this event, Click Here.

American Fishing Tour offers low-cost, close-to-home bass tournaments that are designed for the weekend angler. All anglers fish for both money and points. The points advance the angler to their divisional championship and the top 500 anglers in the US are invited to the American Fishing Tour National Championship this fall on Lake Eufaula in Alabama.   

American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, RT Outdoors, Sportsman Card, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments for the weekend angler and, at the same time, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. 

For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406

This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email info@americanbassanglers.com.

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© 2018 American Bass Anglers MBAA Since 1975 - All Rights Reserved American Bass Anglers, Inc Logos and other data within this website is the property of American Bass Anglers, Inc and may not be copied or reproduced without express permission of American Bass Anglers, Inc. American Bass Anglers, Inc PO Box 475 Athens, AL 35612 email: call us 256-232-0406. This web site is provided by ABA and resides on a server with 99.99% up time.