Conant Wins Big on Harris Chain

TAVARES, Fla. – Eric D. Conant took the Boater Division victory and $7,000 on a windy, chilly American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Florida Central Division 6 season opener, held Jan. 14, 2023, at the Harris Chain of Lakes northwest of Orlando.

Launching at the Hickory Point Recreational Facility in Tavares, Fla. the angler from Lakeland brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 21.25 pounds. He capped that catch with an 8.52-pound tournament lunker. That gave him an average of 4.25 pounds. Since more than 60 boaters participated in the event, Conant took home a winning check worth $6,000. He added a $1,010 bonus for the big bass.

“I went to Lake Eustis and fished offshore shelves in 10 to 12 feet of water,” Conant advised. “I went back to the same spot three different times. I threw a ChatterBait and a crankbait. I caught the big bass first thing at 7:30 a.m. on a ChatterBait. After that, it was a grind. I only caught five fish all day.”

In second among the 106 boaters, David A. Frost from nearby Mount Dora also landed his 5-bass limit. His bag weighed 19.49 pounds. That put $1,400 in his pocket.

“I set out to catch five fish by 9:15 a.m. and did it,” Frost commented. “I did a lot of running around and threw anything I could throw at them. I fished with a crankbait and a worm, anything we had. I didn’t lose any fish.”

Right behind, Timothy D. Van Dalen from Grand Island placed third among the boaters with five bass for 18.65 pounds. He collected $1,000 for the effort. 

“I fished eelgrass with a Jackhammer,” Van Dalen remarked. “I fished all over the place. I tried to stay away from the wind and spent all day running from it. It was tough.”

In fourth place for the boaters, Dylan Westhelle from Sanford found five keepers going 16.86 pounds including a 6.39-pound kicker. Just behind, Corey D. Smith of Clermont placed fifth with five bass at 16.85 pounds, topped by a 5.06-pounder. 

In the Co-Angler Division, Ronny Wiemer of Wesley Chapel landed his 3-bass division limit for 10.60 pounds. He anchored that bag with a 5.96-pounder that took the division big bass title. He won $1,800 for first place and an extra $350 for the big bass.

“We stayed in Lake Harris,” Wiemer reported. “I caught one each on a crankbait, a wacky rig and a jerkbait. I hooked a good fish. I never saw it, but it could have helped. I had a great time.”

Landing in second for the co-anglers, Terry L. Bonsell from Fruitland Park brought in three keepers. The only other co-angler to hit double digits, Bonsell’s bag weighed 10.13 pounds topped by a 4.39-pound kicker. He earned $700 for the effort.

“We fished Lake Dora with a swim jig,” Bonsell said. “I just slow rolled it. This was the first time I fished this circuit and I will be back.”

Deantre R. Burch of High Springs finished third among the co-anglers with a 3-bass limit going 8.85 pounds. His biggest bass weighed 3.62 pounds, enough to put $500 in his pocket.

“We stayed in Lake Harris,” Burch revealed. “I caught all my fish off a custom painted lipless crankbait. My sponsor gave it to me the night before the tournament and asked me to try it. I caught five fish, all on that bait.”

Sitting in the fourth slot, Brandon D. Blondeel from Orlando found three good keepers for 8.49 pounds including a 4.87-pound kicker. Carlos Rivera of Deltona rounded out the top five co-anglers with a 3-bass limit at 8.40 pounds capped by a 4.24-pounder. 

The division next heads to the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes on Feb. 4, 2023. The anglers will launch into Lake Tohopekaliga, better known as Toho, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park, located at 69 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee, Fla. To register for this event, Click Here.

For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632.

Boaters (Top 25) Full Results

PL Angler Fish Penalty Big Bass Total Points Payout
1 Eric D. Conant 5   8.52 21.25 250 7010
2 David Frosty A. Frost 5     19.49 249 1400
3 Timothy D. Van Dalen 5     18.65 248 1000
4 Dylan Westhelle 5   6.39 16.86 247 950
5 Corey D. Smith 5   5.06 16.85 246 900
6 Jason M. Brewer 5     16.79 245 800
7 Jeremy D. Smith 5     15.99 244 700
8 James Ford 5     15.67 243 550
9 Matthew Matt B. Wieteha 5     14.42 242 440
10 Shelton A. Smith 5   6.25 14.29 241 340
11 Jeremy M. Tate 5     14.18 240 300
12 Chad E. Schroeder 5   4.61 13.24 239 290
13 Kurt W. Diesing 5   5.45 13.22 238 280
14 Hojin Chang 5   7.46 12.71 237 260
15 Richard M. Teschendorf 5     12.68 236 250
16 Anthony J. Cilladi 5     12.43 235 240
17 Scott F. May 5     12.05 234 230
18 Jonathan R. Semento 5     11.80 233 220
19 Ed Tucker 5     11.73 232 210
20 Jacob D. Eaton 5     11.67 231 205
21 James Jim S. Kuca 5     11.66 230 200
22 Brandon T. Abston 5     11.37 229  
23 Nick B. Bowden 5     10.88 228  
24 Richard S. Newberry 5     10.76 227  
25 Anthony T. Ford 4     10.47 226  

Co-Anglers  (Top 25)

1 Ronny Wiemer 3   5.96 10.60 250 2150
2 Terry L. Bonsell 3   4.39 10.13 249 700
3 Deantre Deantre R. Burch 3   3.62 8.85 248 500
4 Brandon D. Blondeel 3   4.87 8.49 247 350
5 Carlos Rivera 3   4.24 8.40 246 300
6 Michael H. Pasternak 3     7.83 245 275
7 Patrick E. Miller 3     7.39 244 250
8 Larry L. Mullikin 2   5.59 7.32 243 225
9 Harvey H. Turner 3     7.14 242 200
10 Demetrius D. Hart 3     7.12 241 175
11 Ernie C. Johnson 3     7.02 240 150
12 Geoffrey Geoff S. Corah 3     6.99 239 125
13 Davis Dimauro 3     6.77 238 100
14 Tyler Nekolny 3     6.74 237 100
15 Elgin K. Owens 3     6.39 236  
16 Kyle A. Jones 3     6.13 235  
17 Dennis R. Marcinek 3     5.94 234  
18 Jesus A. Gutierrez 3     5.85 233  
19 Adam R. Sangster 3     5.71 232  
20 Blake A. Mead 3     5.68 231  
21 Irving I. Mercado 3     5.64 230  
22 Kevin R. Priester 3     5.62 229  
23 James D. Kash 3     5.60 228  
24 Robert Bobby E. Taylor Jr 3     5.51 227  
25 Michael Tyler T. Roberts 3     5.37 226  

Each ABA Open Series division offers four one-day qualifying events in a boater/co-angler format. Boaters pay an entry fee of $210 for each event while co-anglers pay $105. The top 20 percent of registered anglers in each tournament will receive cash payouts based on the total number of entries. If at least 60 boaters enter the tournament, the Boater Division winner will receive a minimum of $5,000.

In addition, anglers could qualify for bonus money offered by such tournament sponsors as Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, the T-H Marine Atlas Awards program and Power Pole. Anyone who qualifies for Caymas Cash rewards could receive up to $7,000 for winning any ABA Open Series event. If the winning boat carries a Mercury motor, the angler could receive an extra $1,000 in cash from Mercury Marine. See each manufacturer’s website for details, rules, and qualifications for more information on their contingency programs.

American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, 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.
 

American Fishing Tour - Latest News


Kemp Wins AFT Division 20 on Harris Chain

January 22, 2023, Eustis, FL., 24 launched from Buzzard Beach near Eustis, FL.  3 of those anglers brought back five-fish limits to the scales, but when the scales closed Vernon Kemp from Umatilla, FL took the victory with 17.12 lbs.  For the win, Vernon took home $600 in prize money.

Read More

Couples Series - Latest News


Weiss Lake Named As Couples Series Championship Venue

ATHENS, Ala. – American Bass Anglers announced that Weiss Lake in northern Alabama will be the venue for the 2023 ABA American Couples Series Championship tournament, Presented by Caymas Boats.

Read More

Open Series - Latest News


Florida South Opens Season On ‘Big O’

ATHENS, Ala. – The Florida South Division 7 of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, begins its new season on Jan. 28, 2023, on Lake Okeechobee.

Read More

Top 150 Solo - Latest News


2023 Top 150 Solo Series Opens Registrations Monday

ATHENS, Ala. – After a highly successful second season in which Rusty White, Jr. from Soddy Daisy, Tenn. won the inaugural American Bass Anglers Top 150 Solo Series Championship, Presented by Caymas Boats, anglers look forward to the 2023 season. Registration will open for all 2022 Season Contenders Monday, October 17, 2022. 

Read More

 

 

 

 

American Fishing Tour - Latest News


Kemp Wins AFT Division 20 on Harris Chain

January 22, 2023, Eustis, FL., 24 launched from Buzzard Beach near Eustis, FL.  3 of those anglers brought back five-fish limits to the scales, but when the scales closed Vernon Kemp from Umatilla, FL took the victory with 17.12 lbs.  For the win, Vernon took home $600 in prize money.

Read More

Couples Series - Latest News


Weiss Lake Named As Couples Series Championship Venue

ATHENS, Ala. – American Bass Anglers announced that Weiss Lake in northern Alabama will be the venue for the 2023 ABA American Couples Series Championship tournament, Presented by Caymas Boats.

Read More

Open Series - Latest News


Florida South Opens Season On ‘Big O’

ATHENS, Ala. – The Florida South Division 7 of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, begins its new season on Jan. 28, 2023, on Lake Okeechobee.

Read More

Team Events - Latest News


2023 Top 150 Solo Series Opens Registrations Monday

ATHENS, Ala. – After a highly successful second season in which Rusty White, Jr. from Soddy Daisy, Tenn. won the inaugural American Bass Anglers Top 150 Solo Series Championship, Presented by Caymas Boats, anglers look forward to the 2023 season. Registration will open for all 2022 Season Contenders Monday, October 17, 2022. 

Read More


Advertising Contact Privacy Terms of Use
Home Find Divisions Event Finder

© 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.

© 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.