Jackson Kayak® Avid Angler Division
After seeing the highest scores we had seen in both the Casual and Young River Bassers Divisions the crowd was eagerly awaiting the results of the Jackson Kayak Avid Angler Division because they knew someone probably caught them pretty good. They were right because all three anglers who came on stage had a good virtual stringer of bass. The top three anglers were Lance Coley (Calera, AL) John Japuntich (Americus, GA) and Richie Gudzan (Birmingham, AL). The slide show presentation (Results Show) was laid out as to where each angler’s smallest fish was shown and then the results from that round were displayed to the audience, then their second smallest fish was shown and their two fish totals displayed before moving onto the dramatic final round of fish.
Just like in a lake tournament where often the top anglers will be fishing the same area and with the same pattern it is no coincidence that all three of our top bassers ended up fishing the same creek and two of them were using the same crawfish jig (or plastic) pattern. They did their research and were onto a good pattern in a good location with good water clarity.
By the time the results were in Lance Coley took the title with three awesome Alabama spotted bass that totaled 56.25 inches (18.25, 18.5, 19.5)! Lance was so confident he had done all he could that he even showed back up to check in at 1:30pm, three hours early! He then went home, took a shower, had some dinner with his wife and then came back for the results show. What a story! John also arrived three hours early not taking any chances after getting a hefty 3-fish stringer of 53.25 inches. Richie placed third just an inch and a half behind John with 51.25.
Lance was using a Strike King jig tipped with a Paca Craw trailer by NetBait to catch his fish. He said he stuck them good and never really was scared they would come off during the fight. When asked about why he came in so early he just said he has fished that creek several times and felt he really couldn’t improve much on his length because those were about the biggest bass he’d ever caught there, and given the conditions that others were facing he didn’t want to risk something happening on the drive in. For his 1st place finish Lance was able to take home a brand new Jackson Kayak, a $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card, lures from Tru-Tungsten and a RiverBassin.com shirt. Lance also took home the NuCanoe big fish honors for his final 19.5 inch spotted bass. For that he was awarded 1 free oil change from Jiffy Lube, some Spro Lures, a Backwater Hand Paddle and a Ice Mule Cooler. The good news for Lance doesn’t end there because he is now the leader in the True North River Basser of the Year (RBOY) race with 180 points, thanks to his previous 4th place finish at the first stop in Atlanta.
Kokatat® Casual Angler Division
The Kokatat Casual Angler Division was the next to be scored via this new “virtual” slide show format. Tim Perkins, from Heflin, AL barely took the win by just an inch and a half over Kentucky’s Mickey Miller, who won the NuCanoe big fish award with his 17.25 inch spotted bass just like he did two weeks prior when he finished 3rd and won big fish in Sevierville. Mickey is getting used to being near the top in this division. David Camp, originally from AL, but now residing in Athens, GA, took 3rd place with 35.75 inches.
Tim and Mickey both found some relatively clear water even though one traveled far to the east and one went to the southwest. These scores were the highest average for this division of any tournament stop, so that is either a testament to the anglers or the Bama water, or both!
For winning the Kokatat Casual Angler Division Tim took home an Ascend Kayak from Bass Pro Shops as well as a $100 gift card, lures from Tru-Tungsten and a RiverBassin.com shirt. Mickey won a kayak paddle as well as the lures from Tru-Tungsten and a tournament trail t-shirt. For placing third David received lures from Tru-Tungsten, a Backwater Hand Paddle and a River Bassin shirt.
Backwater Paddles® Young RiverBassers Division
The Backwater Paddles Young River Bassers Division had a great turnout with three fine young anglers catching some nice fish in what most thought would be tough conditions. Appearing on stage were Evan Ewing (11), Carter Camp (15) and Hunter King (15).
Evan Ewing, from Pinson, AL, caught two very nice fish and was just one fish shy of really giving Carter and Hunter a run for their money. However, to even be up there with the older anglers is a testament to Evan’s skill and his father Jacky for really spending time teaching Evan the finer points about river bassin. In third place he walked away with a $50 BPS gift card as well as lures from Tru-Tungsten and a River Bassin Trail T-shirt.
Carter, from Athens, GA, also had a fine showing by catching a limit that placed him in second, where he took home a Kokatat PFD, $100 BPS gift card and a River Bassin Trail shirt. His father David, who finished 3rd in the Casual Division, said, “First time in his life that he out-fished his old man and I could not be prouder!”
Using some of his local knowledge to find some real nice spotted bass Hunter King, from Cleveland, AL, said this about his big fish, “It finally got hooked on my Zara Spook after the fish had missed it twice!” Hunter ended up with a whopping 3 fish total of 49.25 inches! That total compared to every angler in all divisions actually would put him in a tie for 4th, with only the top 3 in the Avid Angler Divison topping his total! It was a very impressive finish and Hunter walked away with a brand new Ascend Kayak from Bass Pro Shops, a River Bassin shirt and a Backwater Hand Paddle for winning the NuCanoe Big Fish award for his 17.75 inch spotted bass!
For more information about this tournament please visit: http://www.riverbassintrail.com/