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Posted By The Bass Hog

LEESBURG, Fla. — When Patrick Walters happened across a golden opportunity, the Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Summerville, S.C., stepped on the gas and sacked up a five-bass limit of 24 pounds to lead Day 1 of the Bassmaster Southern Open at the Harris Chain of Lakes.

Walters, who opened his 2021 season with a fourth-place finish in the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River, said he typically approaches Florida events by moving fast in practice to locate productive areas and then slowing down with methodical tournament execution.

Thursday saw him go off script.

“Honestly, sometimes, it’s just fluke luck,” Walters said of his unexpected morning events. “I started throwing a (lipless crankbait) on a spot, and I looked down and saw two of them chasing my bait.

“I said, ‘Okay, maybe there’s some fish here.’ I passed through there, turned around and started whacking them. I probably caught 30 fish there and had my weight by 10 a.m. and then I left.”

Committing his day to Lake Harris, Walters found those morning bass in about 6 feet of water. He attributed the attraction to the right mix of habitat and clarity.

“There’s a little bit of clear water, there’s some hard bottom, there’s some grass; it’s just that good mixture,” he said. “It’s also a little shallower than most people are fishing.”

With a cold front dropping overnight and tournament morning temperatures by about 10 degrees, Walters surmised that Thursday’s postfrontal “bluebird” skies had repositioned the shallow fish. The ones he was catching were postspawn fish that had pushed out from recent bedding areas and staged in a comfortable recuperation area.

“I should have had about 28 pounds (based on the length of the fish), but every single one of them was skinny as a rail,” he said. “I think they just stopped at the first feeding spot.

“The good thing is I caught them pretty well and I didn’t have to burn any of my other water. I didn’t touch any of the stuff I’d found in practice, so I’m going to go back tomorrow and ride this as long as I can.”

Noting that his spot is most productive in the morning, Walters said he caught his bass on a mixture of lipless baits and jerkbaits. Returning in the afternoon, he found a couple more bites that encouraged him to keep that spot in his Day 2 game plan.

“There was some dirtier water that moved in later in the day, so I may go there (on Friday) and not catch another fish, but I pulled in there around 2 and caught a couple more on a Zoom Mag Trick Worm,” he said.

Walters said his productivity belied a lean practice.

“My other spots were similar but a little different,” he said. “Practice was tough, but I thought I could catch a limit in (my spots). It’s a little different type of cover than what I fished today.

“The good thing is I didn’t have to fish those spots today. I had some good flipping bites in practice, but I didn’t get any flipping bites today.”

Scott Gibbs of Rome, Ga., is in second place with 21-5. Making his Harris Chain debut, he crafted a concise game plan of targeting hydrilla and eelgrass in Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris and stuck with it all day.

Gibbs caught his fish slow rolling a reaction bait.

“My plan was to hit some areas where I thought there’d be some good postspawn fish,” Gibbs said. “I had three key areas and I made a little milk run.”

Alex Wetherell of Middletown, Conn., is in third place with 20-11. He looked for shallow bed fish, but when that search came up empty, he moved offshore and used a combination of moving baits and slower presentations to target postspawn bass in deep grass.

“I looked for the thicker stuff, and the cleaner the water, the better,” he said. “Those were the only two good spots I had and I milked them all day. Thankfully, they had some good fish on them.”

Charles Proctor of Conway, S.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with a 9-0 largemouth.

JW Battle Jr. holds the overall lead in the co-angler division with 13-11, and Jeff Fellows holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with an 8-8 largemouth. Both anglers are from Orlando.

Besides prize money and a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, the anglers are fishing this week for valuable points that will count toward the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year title. The title, which was won last year by North Carolina pro Bryan New, carries a cash prize of $10,000.

This year’s Opens circuit includes three divisions — Southern, Central and Northern — with three events in each. The Top 3 finishers from each division’s points standings will receive an invitation to fish the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series, as will the Top 3 from the overall standings accumulated in all three divisions.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET from Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach) at 2:45 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando at 4 p.m.

Lake County and the City of Leesburg are hosting the tournament.

2021 Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor:

2021 Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2021 Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha

2021 Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Bass Pro Shops, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Marathon, Rapala

Courtesy of BASS, LLC Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Tom Bateman of La Plata, MD won the Maryland Division Ram Weekend Bass Series Two-Day Championship at the Potomac River on September 12-13, 2015. Bateman weighed in a two-day total of 29.75 pounds to take home $1381 and $300 from the High Stakes Option Pot. He used a Rico popper and a Senko in two feet of stained water for his win.

Jesepth Hughes of Stafford, VA finished in second place with a two-day total of 27.44 pounds winning $701. "I stayed in one spot for two days, grinding it out with a frog and a Senko, over the grass. I was using the Senko wacky style and Texas rigged," said Hughes.

Hart Hall of Alexandria, VA was the co-angler champion of the Potomac two-day event. Hall had a two-day total of 16.32 pounds and the 5.52 pound Co-angler Big Bass to win $691, $65 from the Big Bass Pot, and $150 from the High Stakes Option Pot. He also takes home the 2015 Co-angler AOY title of the Maryland division. Hart used a Spro Bronzeye frog, a 3/8 ounce white/chart. Z-Man Chatterbait, and a purple finesse worm in grassy areas with four feet of water. Most of his bites came during tide changes.

Thomas Mclean of Reston, VA finished in second place on the co-angler side with a two-day total of 14.07 pounds winning $350 and $100 from the High Stakes Option Pot.

Kenneth Henderson of Fredericksburg, VA was the third place co-angler with a two-day total 10.21 pounds winning $237. "I caught all of my fish both days on a wacky rigged four inch green pumpkin Senko on 10 pound test line in shallow water," said Henderson.

Jonathan Marlow (The Bass Hog) finished in fith place on the co-angler side and qualified for the Ray Scott National Championship in March 2016 at Lake Hartwell, SC.

Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Athens, Al - Richard Newton of Stafford, VA weighed in 5 fish tipping the scales at 16.67 pounds to win the Weekend Bass Series Maryland event 2014-07-19 on Potomac.

"I guess when it's your day it's just your day.  After a month of having these fish located all the conditions were just right to finally do well in the area I was fishing.  The tide and cloud cover made for perfect conditions to catch numerous big fish in the area I was fishing.  All my fish came on topwater frog baits.  Unfortunately, I am having issues with one of my livewells and by 9 AM I noticed my fish were is serious distress.  I decided to call it a day and called the tournament director to arrange for an early weigh in.  By the time I got back to the launch area my three smaller fish had died and one of my big fish was in trouble.  After only fishing for three hours I was extremely fortunate that my weight held up for the win."

The Stafford Virginia antique dealer weighed in five fish that weighed 18.17 pounds before penalties, including two fish over six pounds.

Rounding out the top 10 boaters were:

1 Richard Newton 5 16.67 250 $2014
2 Kermit C. Crowder 5 16.16 249 $ 920
3 Rodney Oberdick 5 16.00 248 $ 607
4 Jason M. Tibbetts 5 14.04 247 $ 422
5 Jessie D. Moore 5 14.03 246 $ 360
6 Jesepth R. Hughes 5 13.58 245 $ 190
7 Michael A. Callahan 5 13.25 244 $ 190
8 Daniel Jeffers 5 12.99 243 $ 190
9 Michael A Phillips 5 12.77 242

$ 0


Omari Hopkins Navies

5 12.19 241 $ 0

The Boater Big Bass was caught by: Richard Newton 6.48 pounds

Contact the tournament manger Gary Conner at 256-230-5627.

Courtesy of ABA/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Royal Purple Logo

(Athens, AL.) - American Bass Anglers announced today that Royal Purple, manufacturer of premium high performance synthetic oil and lubricant products, will continue its sponsorship of American Bass Anglers. As a tour sponsor, Royal Purple is the exclusive and official oil and lubricant products of the American Bass Anglers and will be represented at all ABA events.


For the past nine years, Royal Purple has supported anglers who fish the American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour, Weekend Bass Series and American Couples Series. By renewing its sponsorship, Royal Purple will present the Royal Treatment program, rewarding participants with its premium products and other prizes. Royal Purple will also provide highest placing program participants with win rewards, monthly drawings and year end rewards.


“American Bass Anglers is very proud to have a partner like Royal Purple supporting the grass root anglers and as a Top Level Tour Sponsor,” said Morris Sheehan, ABA President. “Royal Purple has been a dedicated supporter of weekend anglers for nine years and both anglers and consumers alike realize Royal Purple manufactures the best synthetic oil and lubricant products on the market. Royal Purple marine 2-cycle oil and Max-Gear consistently outperforms other lubricants by reducing heat and wear while increasing performance. Without a doubt Royal Purple is the best and we are proud to have them as sponsor of American Bass Anglers and to continue their support of the weekend angler.”

“We are pleased to partner with American Bass Anglers again this season. The organization and anglers have become strong brand ambassadors for Royal Purple throughout the years not only for our marine products, but our entire line of synthetic high performance products,” said Randy Fisher, Royal Purple Marketing Director.

Now available for boaters is Royal Purple’s fuel system cleaner and fuel stabilizer Max-Clean. As a fuel stabilizer, Max-Clean prevents emulsion and oxidation. It contains demulsifiers that allow already phase-separated fuel to be combusted without doing harm. Max-Clean also contains rust inhibitors that protect metals against corrosion and powerful detergents that will fully remove the deposits that form in fuel systems, regardless if the vehicle is used as a daily driver or stored during the off season.


For more details on how to participate in the Royal Purple Royal Treatment program, see For more information about ABA, call 256-232-0406 or visit

About Royal Purple: Royal Purple manufactures synthetic products for numerous industrial and consumer needs. Join Royal Purple on Facebook at and Twitter @Royal_Purple. For more information on Royal Purple or its products, contact Royal Purple via mail at One Royal Purple Lane, Porter, TX 77365; by calling 888-382-6300; or by visiting


Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog
The Maryland Division 21 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 tournament season March 29 on the Potomac River. The competitors will launch at Smallwood State Park, located at 5700 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 28 at Smallwood State Park. To register for this tournament, see enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers planning to throw an Alabama rig or other multi-bait rig in Maryland waters may only use up to two hooks. Anglers may use either a Maryland or a Virginia license to fish in most of the Potomac River. However, anyone fishing north of the Interstate 95 bridge must buy a Washington, D.C. fishing license. For a Virginia fishing license information, call 1-866-721-6911 or see For Maryland fishing license information, call 1-855-855-3906 or see For a Washington, D.C. license, call 800-855-1000 or see In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co- angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses. One of the best bass lakes in the nation, the Potomac River ranks Number 19 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. The Potomac runs 383 miles from the mountains of West Virginia to Chesapeake Bay. The river drains an area of about 14,700 square miles, making it the fourth largest river on the Atlantic coast and 21st largest in the United States. The river passes between Washington D.C. and Virginia, within sight of many national monuments and historic landmarks. The river produces good numbers of small fish and quite a few bass in the 3- to 8-pound range. Many anglers fish the thick grass mats. To fish the grass, anglers need to either go over or through the mats. Many anglers work buzzing frogs, senkos or flukes over the grass tops. If a fish blows up at a frog, but misses, immediately follow up with a more subtle Texas-rigged stick bait. Anglers also work the grassy edges with Texas-rigged worms or punch heavy jigs through the pads. Peg or glue the weight to a plastic creature bait or use a jighead rig. Drop the baits vertically between pads and bounce them up and down a bit before slipping it through another crack in the vegetation. Anglers also flip plastics under shady docks or work swimbaits parallel to grassy edges. During a March 23, 2013, tournament on the Potomac River, Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 19.35 pounds. He fished deep water near a small rock pile just off the main river channel with a 1/2-ounce jig. Christiana D. Bradley of Bealeton, Va., won the tournament big bass title with a 5.38-pounder. In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Anthony Lohr of Hamstead, Md., landed a three-fish division limit going 7.83 pounds. He capped his catch with a 3.39-pounder. Lohr caught most of his fish on rattle baits and chattering baits. David A. Zimmerman of Bristol, Pa., won the Co-Angler Division lunker competition with a 4.41-pounder. For more information on this tournament, call Gary Conner, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see Courtesy of ABA/David Hagood

Posted By The Bass Hog
ABA to offer Sponsorship into the Opens or Everstart to Champions. ATHENS, Ala. – The Virginia Division 19 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 season on March 22 with a tournament on Kerr Lake near Boydton, Va. The competitors will launch at North Bend Marina, located at 64 North Bend Drive in Boydton. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 21 at the Comfort Inn in South Hill. To register for this tournament, see To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co- anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits: - No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series. - No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries. - Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers. - Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field. - 2014 Champions will win sponsorship that includes Entry Fees and support in the either the 2015 Opens or 2015 Everstart! Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Since the lake borders Virginia and North Carolina, anglers may use a license from either state. For North Carolina fishing license information, see or call 888-248-6834. For a Virginia fishing license information, call 866-721-6911 or see In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co- angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses. At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships. One of the best bass lakes in the nation, Kerr Lake ranks Number 83 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. Officially called John H. Kerr Reservoir, but also known as Bugg’s Island Lake, the impoundment straddles the Virginia-North Carolina line and can produce bass exceeding eight pounds. The largest lake in Virginia dates back to 1947 with the construction of the John H. Kerr Dam on the Roanoke River, called the Staunton River in Virginia. Kerr Lake covers nearly 50,000 acres of Vance, Granville and Warren counties in North Carolina and Mecklenburg, Charlotte and Halifax counties in Virginia. The lake offers anglers more than 850 miles of shoreline. The Dan River and several smaller tributaries feed into the system. During a May 25, 2013, tournament on Kerr Lake, Rob Digh of Denver, N.C., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 14.18 pounds topped by a 3.57-pound kicker. Digh caught most of his fish on a chatterbait, a jig and a few on a topwater bait fished in water three to five feet deep. Kent “Goat” Medlin of Jacksonville, N.C., set the tournament lunker standard with a 4.50-pounder. Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.