Gregory takes win on Old Hickory Lake
GALLATIN, Tenn. – Greg T. Gregory won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Tennessee Central Division 3 third tournament of the season, held May 6, 2023, at Old Hickory Lake.
Launching at Flippers Bait and Tackle ramp in Gallatin, Tenn., Gregory from the hosting town brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 16.06 pounds. He capped that catch with a 5.08-pound bucketmouth to take the tournament lunker title. That big bass pushed up his average up to 3.21 pounds per fish.
“I caught most of my fish on a wacky rig or by flipping wood and rocks on steeper banks,” Gregory advised. “When the sun came out and warmed up the rocks, that helped.”
In second among the 22 boaters, Mickey L. Beck of Lebanon, Tenn. also landed his 5-bass limit. He finished with 13.80 pounds.
“I knew the flipping bite was on, but then the clouds killed me,” Beck remarked. “I stuck with it and caught my first keeper at noon. Then, I ran down the lake to a pocket. I popped one and missed one. Then for the next three hours, I barely moved. With the water falling in the lake, I knew the bass would be bedding on the first ledges out from the grass beds. That’s where I concentrated, in front of the wood and grass where the bottom dropped a bit and the fish backed out a little.”
Right behind in third for the boaters, Jonathan L. Newman of Hendersonville landed his 5-bass limit for 13.04 pounds. He anchored that sack with a 2.90-pound kicker.
“I caught every one of my fish by flipping isolated laydowns off the banks,” Newman said.
Taking the fourth spot for the boaters, Ron A. Perry from Gallatin came in with five keepers for 12.70 pounds. Kendale C. Roach of Lebanon placed fifth with five bass going 12.31 pounds including a 2.81-pound kicker.
In the Co-Angler Division, Ricky R. England from Sparta landed a 3-bass division limit to win with 8.70 pounds. He topped that sack with a 3.15-pounder. That gave him a 2.9-pound average.
“It was a good day,” England commented. “I had all my fish before 9 a.m. I was throwing a spinnerbait going around a point when my boater saw some rocks off the point. We pulled out to the rocks and started throwing shaky heads. We caught five keepers off those rocks including all three of my weigh fish. I caught five during the rest of the day, but couldn’t upgrade.”
Defending division Angler of the Year on the co-angler side, Jeff K. Wheeley from Lafayette, Tenn. found three keepers for 8.60 pounds, less than two ounces off the pace. He topped that sack with a 3.96-pound mossback to take the division big bass honors.
“It was a tough day,” Wheeley admitted. “I only caught five fish all day. The big one came on a 1/8-ounce Line Stretcher Lures shaky head. The other two weigh fish came on a Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog. Cover didn’t matter as long as it was super shallow.”
Jake J. Short from Cookeville took the third spot for the co-anglers. He landed a 3-bass limit for 6.52 pounds.
“I used a really light Texas rig and dragged it around the shallows,” Short said. “We stayed shallow all day. I also caught a couple fish flipping with soft plastics, but I just couldn’t get the big bite I needed. I caught some off rocks, some off grass and some by laydowns. The fish were everywhere up shallow, just not the big ones.”
In fourth place, Christopher DiBiaso of Nashville brought in three bass at 5.52 pounds. Ethan M. Hall from Sparta found two keepers for 4.69 pounds and fifth place among the co-anglers.
The division returns to Old Hickory Lake on June 24, 2023, for the regular season's final event. That tournament also runs out of the Flippers Bait & Tackle ramp at 200 Odoms Bend Road in Gallatin.
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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