Godwin wins Opener on Mitchell
CLANTON, Ala. – Noah Godwin won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Alabama South Division 2 season opener, held February 18, 2023 at Lake Mitchell.
Launching at Higgins Ferry Park in Clanton, Ala. the angler from Prattville, Ala. brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 16.09 pounds. That gave him a 3.22-pound average.
“I fished mainly the upper end of the lake,” Godwin revealed. “I caught mostly spotted bass, all by flipping a 1/2-ounce Crusher Finesse jig with a 2-inch Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog trailer. I concentrated on deep hard rock banks with strong current. My bigger bass hit where the current streams were pretty strong. The current really put the fish up tight against the banks. That made them easier to catch. I caught about 30 fish in all.”
In second among the boaters, Beau Browning from Hot Springs, Ark. also landed his 5-bass limit. The student attending University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala. brought in 15.78 pounds, about five ounces off the lead.
“I stayed down the lake and kept a spinning rod in my hand all day,” said the son of Stephen Browning, a Bassmaster Classic veteran. “I fished like I do back in Arkansas. I’m still learning this body of water. I just fished my strength. I targeted suspended and roaming fish in about five to 10 feet of water. I caught more than 60 bass.”
In third place for the boaters, Roger D. Shirey of Ashland, Ala. caught a limit going 13.08 pounds. He anchored that sack with a 4.45-pound bucketmouth that won the tournament big bass title.
“I caught five bass and brought in five,” Shirey said. “I had a limit by 9:30 a.m. and didn’t catch another fish after that. I caught three on a red SPRO crankbait and two on a swimbait. I stayed right around the airport all day. The big bass hit a swimbait right up on the bank.”
Patrick K. Dobbins from Opelika, Ala. placed fourth for the boaters with a 5-bass limit good for 13.04 pounds. He received a check for $400. Buford “Bo” F. Washam from Columbus, Ga. returned with five bass weighing 12.42 pounds, topped by a 3.61-pound kicker to take the fifth spot.
In the Co-Angler Division, Donathon M. Jacks from the hosting town of Clanton landed a 3-bass division limit for 4.93 pounds.
“I got my fish on a swimbait in the mid-lake area,” Jacks detailed. “I caught five keepers all day. I didn’t catch a fish until 12:15 p.m. It was a grind. We found one spot that had some clear water and that’s where we caught our fish.”
In second for the co-anglers, Justin A. Girdner from Wetumpka, Ala. found two keepers for 3.19 pounds.
“I caught my fish on a swimbait,” Girdner said. “I caught one short fish and lost one close to the end of the tournament.”
Michael Donaldson from Thorsby, Ala. also brought in two keepers. He finished third with 3.16 pounds.
“I fished on the south end with Beau Browning,” Donaldson remarked. “The first one came on a shaky head. The second one hit a fluke. I just pitched it out and twitched it back.”
Landing in fourth place, Michael D. Taylor came up from Navarre, Fla. He landed one 2.47-pounder that took the division lunker honors.
The division then goes to Lake Logan Martin on March 18, 2023. That tournament runs out of Lincoln Landing, located at 740 Travis Drive in Lincoln, Ala.
Anglers can sign up to fish ABA Open Series divisional events and a 2-day division championship. In a Pro/Am format, boaters fishing the Open Series pay $210 in entry fees for each divisional 1-day tournament. Co-anglers pay $105 per 1-day event.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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