Flanagan and Poggenpohl take the Lead
ANDERSON, S.C. – The team of Shaun Flanagan and Curt Poggenpohl jumped five slots to take the lead on Day 2 of the 32nd annual Military Team Bass Tournament, presented by American Bass Anglers and Caymas Boats, held May 4, 2023, on Lake Hartwell at Anderson, S.C.
Launching at Green Pond Landing in Anderson, S.C. for the 3-day event, Flanagan and Poggenpohl set the pace leading into the final day with two 5-bass daily tournament limits tallying 29.81 pounds. They hold the lead by a little more than a pound and a half with a 2.98-pound average per fish.
“On Day 1, we had some issues with the trolling motor batteries that prevented us from staying on our good spots,” Flanagan lamented. “We’re fishing well offshore.”
On Day 1, Flanagan and Poggenpohl held sixth place with 14.09 pounds. On the second day, the team scored the second heaviest single-day sack of the tournament at 15.72 pounds to capture the lead.
“We’ve been fishing consistently both days,” Flanagan reported. “On Day 2, we were able to milk everything we had. People fishing the banks can probably beat us in the numbers, but we’re catching better quality fish. In the first two days, we caught about 30 bass.”
Sitting in second among the 96 teams, Jason Cogar and Blake Morgan brought in a perfect two consecutive 5-bass daily limits for 28.21 pounds. The team held 12th place on Day 1 with 12.56 pounds.
“On the first day, we hooked a lot of fish, but we landed them on the second day,” Cogar quipped. “On Day 1, we had a bunch of good fish get off. We lost at least two fish in the 4- to 5-pound range.”
On the second day, Cogar and Morgan brought in 15.65 pounds, one of four single-day sacks to exceed the 15-pound plateau in the event thus far. That big bag pushed them up 10 places to second. They anchored that Day 2 bag with a 4.17-pounder.
“In the first two days, we caught about 30 fish a day and did quite a bit of culling,” Cogar advised. “We had one bass hooked and a bunch of spotted bass came up with it. One was about a 6-pound spot, but it didn’t bite. We’re catching a mix of spotted bass and largemouths.”
Danny Christ and Robert Gardner held onto their third spot with 10 bass at 27.61 pounds. On Day 1, they tied for third with five bass totaling 14.85 pounds. Christ and Gardner topped their Day 1 bag with a 4.40-pounder, the third largest bass landed on the first day.
“On the first day, the wind was our friend,” Christ commented. “I’ve never said that before. For what we’re doing, the wind is a necessity.”
On Day 2, the team brought in 12.76 pounds, capped by a 4.89-pound kicker. In the first two days, the team caught about 60 fish without losing any.
“We leaned on our spots pretty hard on the second day,” Christ explained. “We’re fishing a mixture of deep and shallow places. When the bite stops at one, we go to another spot. We’re letting the fish tell us what’s going on. We’re bouncing around about 12 spots.”
Holding fourth, the team of Joseph Cusimano and Adam Kremer caught two daily limits for 26.43 pounds. The team held ninth place on the first day with 13.33 pounds. They found five keepers for 13.10 pounds on Day 2 to move up five rungs.
Rounding out the Top 5 teams after Day 1, Bill Stines and Jason Turner caught a 2-day limit of 10 bass for 25.02 pounds. Stines and Turner held 11th place on the first day with 12.59 pounds including a 3.12-pound kicker. On Day 2, they added 12.43 pounds, topped by a 4.10-pounder.
Leading the second six, David Campassi and Mark Polomsky found 10 good keepers for 24.42 pounds. The team tied for third on the first day with Christ and Gardner. Each team had 14.85 pounds. The biggest bass caught by Campassi and Polomsky on Day 1 weighed 3.21 pounds. On Day 2, the team landed 9.57 pounds, dropping three rungs.
Right behind, Team Welton, Jarrett and Larry, hold seventh place with 10 bass going 24.15 pounds. The team sat in 21st place on Day 1 with 11.61 pounds. On the second day, they brought in 12.54 pounds to move up 14 slots.
Chris McMahon and Todd Buckham climbed two levels to eighth place with 10 bass weighing 23.95 pounds. On Day 1, they sat in 10th with 13.06 pounds. They brought in another 5-bass limit for 10.89 pounds the second day to make the move upward.
Occupying ninth place, Tim Schmitz and Keith Kranenburg scored two consecutive daily limits for 10 bass at 23.45 pounds. They sat in 22nd place on the first day with 11.21 pounds. They improved their bag on Day 2 to 12.24 pounds, vaulting them up 13 slots.
Capping off the Top 10 moving into the final day of action, Chris Sabo and Kendall Potter brought in 10 bass for 23.32 pounds. The sat in fifth place on Day 1 with 14.49 pounds. On the second day, they found five keepers for 8.83 pounds, dropping five levels.
The leaders on opening day, Thomas Allman and Marvin Howard dropped to 13th place with eight bass going 22.60 pounds. They still hold the single-day heaviest bag title after two days with 15.82 pounds as well as the biggest bass seen so far at 5.31 pounds.
On the second day Gary Gottschall and Chad Christopherson came close to taking the tournament lunker title from Allman and Howard after the first two days. They finished in 19th place with 10 bass going 21.38 pounds, but one of them weighed 5.30 pounds, the largest fish caught on Day 2.
The action wraps up on Friday, May 5, 2023. The public is invited to attend the free weigh-in at Green Pond Landing, located at 470 Green Pond Road in Anderson.
In the MTBT, teams of up to two anglers battle for their respective services’ bragging rights and cash prizes. Each person on the team must be on active duty or retired from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, National Guard, Reserve or Coast Guard. In addition, families of military members 16 years old or older who hold Department of Defense identification cards, veterans with an honorable or general discharge who possess a DD-214, and Department of Defense civilians, and military contractors may also compete in this event.
In 1975, the Military Bass Anglers Association was formed. This organization dedicated itself to providing bass anglers in the military opportunities to compete in tournaments with other military members. The Military Team Bass Tournament began in 1991 as a way to promote fishing and camaraderie among all the service branches.
In 2000, Morris Sheehan, a life member of MBAA who retired from the U.S. Army, bought the organization. He renamed it American Bass Anglers Inc., and relocated it to Athens, Ala. The Military Team Bass Tournament brings all service branches together for a fun-filled week of competition and ultimate annual service bragging rights.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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