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Posted By The Bass Hog

bass nation winner

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Jeff Lugar of McGaheysville, Va., only wanted for his sons to be able to say that their dad made it to the Bassmaster Classic.
And now, after Lugar’s win at the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Arkansas’ Lake Dardanelle, they can.
“At this point, it doesn’t even matter to me if I catch a fish in the Bassmaster Classic,” he continued. “Just the fact that I made it means everything.”
At the Classic, Lugar will be joining five other B.A.S.S. Nation anglers who qualified on Saturday after winning their divisions. They are Doug Thompson of Arkansas, Central; Paul Mueller of Connecticut, Eastern; Mark Dove of Indiana, Northern; Coby Carden of Alabama, Southern; and Tim Johnston of Montana, Western.
The six anglers will compete against the best anglers in the sport of bass fishing in February on Lake Guntersville in Alabama.
“I’m so thankful to the Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation for getting me here,” said Lugar, a member of the Rockingham Bass Anglers. “The Virginia chapter helped offset the cost of this trip, and the state president and secretary, Mike and Pam Bryant, came with me to Arkansas and have given me anything I could possibly need. They’ve been great.”
For his win, Lugar takes home the coveted Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial trophy and a Skeeter/Yamaha boat package worth $45,000. He also has earned an invitation to fish the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Lugar. “I’m still in shock and disbelief.”
Lugar won the tournament by fishing coontail grass in the lower end of the lake. “I had two main areas, Dardanelle Bay and Delaware Bay,” said Lugar.
He picked apart the grass with a chartreuse/white spinnerbait, a blue shad ChatterBait and a chrome blue Rat-L-Trap. Lugar relied on G.Loomis IMX rods, a Lew’s Tournament Pro reel and Berkley Trilene 100 Percent Fluorocarbon. He switched to Berkley Trilene Big Game line for the spinnerbait.
“I found baitfish holding around the coontail in these areas 2 to 4 feet deep,” Lugar explained. “My areas were close to the launch — one was right across from it — so I could maximize my fishing time.”
Lugar came to Lake Dardanelle in September for two days to pre-fish and found the coontail.
“Since then, it’s changed a little,” he said. “Some is gone, and some is new. But coming on that trip taught me to navigate this lake, so it was worth it.”
Behind him in second place overall was Carden of Shelby, Ala., who charged from 13th place where he began Day 3. Carden surprised the crowd with an enormous 7-pound, 10-ounce bass, far bigger than the others in the competition. His big fish won him Carhartt Big Bass honors worth $500. Thanks largely to that bass, Carden brought in the biggest sack of the tournament, 20 pounds, 14 ounces.
Carden caught the bass with a Davis swim jig with a Missile Baits Swim Trailer in the summer craw color. He caught it shallow in an area with willow grass and lily pads.
Carden is among the anglers headed to the Bassmaster Classic. “I’ve wanted to go since I knew what the Classic was, back when I was a kid,” said Carden.
Dove will be making back-to-back appearances at the Classic. He went last year as the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship overall winner, and he’s going back in 2014 as the Northern Division champ. He also qualified once before in 1997.
Fans can follow the six anglers’ Classic journey at up to the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 21-23.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


Posted By The Bass Hog

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Doug Thompson, who leads the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Lake Dardanelle on Day 2, knows exactly what he wants.
“I went to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship before  — on Toho in 2007,” said the Arkansas angler. “I finished ninth, only a couple pounds out of making the Bassmaster Classic. When I was leaving the boatyard after it was over, you could just tell the ones who made it to the Classic by the looks on their faces. They were just floating on air.
“I told my wife, ‘I want to look like that one day.’ That feeling has just stuck with me.”
And that feeling is with him now after taking the overall lead at the championship.
Thompson started the day in third place with 16 pounds. After the Day 2 weigh-in, he added 12 pounds, 3 ounces to make his total 28-3. He took the top spot in the tournament and, more importantly, in his division. Day 1 tournament leader Ryan Lavigne was the Central Division leader on Day 1. Division winners at the championship will earn berths in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
Thompson won the Arkansas B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship on Lake Dardanelle in October 2012 to qualify for this event, and he calls the Arkansas River his home water.
However, this has been a big year for Thompson. This is his third national championship competition in 2013. He took fifth place in the TBF National Championship and 14th place in the BFL All-American. But for both of those, he was competing as a co-angler. The stakes are higher here. A win on Dardanelle would give him a chance to hoist the coveted Bryan D. Kerchal Memorial Trophy above his head, knowing he would be going to Lake Guntersville, Ala., in February to compete against the biggest names in the sport in the Bassmaster Classic.
“I don’t even want to think about it,” said the computer technician, who spends his days in a data center and his weekends (and every bit of his vacation time) on the water. “This tournament has consumed my whole thought process since I qualified for it a year ago.”
“If it clouds up, it will hurt my bite,” he said, “and it will help the guys fishing shallow.” If that happens, Thompson says he knows how to adjust. “There are a lot of other things I could do,” he said.
Currently, Thompson has a 5 1/2-pound lead in the Central Division. That’s not wrapped up by any means. Lavigne, who caught 17-1 on Day 1 and was in the lead, weighed in on Day 2 with only 5-3. That kind of a swing can happen to anyone.
Other division leaders and potential Classic contenders are Paul Mueller, Eastern Division; Jeff Lugar, Mid-Atlantic; Mark Dove, Northern; Drew Sadler, Southern; and Jeremy Percifield, Western.
Sadler still leads in the Carhartt Big Bass competition with the 6-1 he caught on Day 1. But Jason Vaughn of Delaware brought in a 5-1 on Day 2 that won Carhartt Big Bass daily honors worth $250. Thompson wins $250 for leading on Day 2 as part of the Livingston Lures Leader Award.
Overall, the weights were down for Day 2. Three anglers zeroed, and seven fewer weighed in limits than on Day 1. With the same number of anglers competing on Day 1, the overall weight brought in was 100 pounds lower on Day 2 with a total weight of 355-11.
Competitors will take off on Day 3 at 7:15 a.m. CT at Lake Dardanelle State Park, 100 State Park Drive, Russellville, AR 72802. They will weigh in at the same location at 3:30 p.m. CT. Stay tuned to for full coverage of the event.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

FLW College Fishing
LAKEPORT, Calif. (Oct. 13, 2013) – The Humboldt State University team of Graeme Lock of Arcata, Calif., and Derrick Hicks of Lincoln, Calif., won the FLW College Fishing Western Conference Invitational on Clear Lake Sunday with a five-bass limit weighing  20 pounds, 1 ounce. Their two-day total of 10 bass weighing 41-10 earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

      Lock and Hicks picked up their first win and a trip to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship by locking down on a group of fish that carried them throughout the two-day event.
      “Finding the fish was the biggest thing you had to do,” said Hicks, a senior Business major. “The first day we spent a lot of time running around to find fish. We didn’t find them until the afternoon, so we only spent a few hours on our good spot on day one.
      “We fished a stretch of bank that was maybe 30 or 40 yards long,” continued Hicks. “The key was staying on those fish.”
      “Neither of us pre-fished,” said Lock, an undecided freshman. “But, Derrick (Hicks) had heard that shad occasionally go to Horseshoe Cove, and we went there and found bait and found fish on them.
      “We found a good bite in about 18 feet of water. We were drop-shotting Margarita Mutilator-colored Roboworms both days,” finished Lock.
      “I’m pretty excited,” said Hicks. “This is the first tournament I’ve won and the last season I’m fishing. I graduate in December. I’ve come close a few times, but I finally pulled it off and it feels good.”
      The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
            1st: Humboldt State University – Graeme Lock, Arcata, Calif., and Derrick Hicks, Lincoln, Calif.
 (10 bass, 41-10, $4,000)
            2nd: Cal Poly – John Zeolla, Oak Park, Calif., and Kyle Greenlaw, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
 (10 bass, 37-11, $2,000)
      3rd:  California State University-Monterey Bay – Andrew Sjostrom and Joshua Smith, both of Seaside, Calif.
 (nine bass, 37-2, $1,000)
      Complete results can be found at
Courtesy of

Posted By The Bass Hog

ATHENS, Ala. – Kermit C. Crowder took the title for the northeastern anglers after winning the two-day 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series Northeast Regional Championship, held Oct. 11-12 on the James River.

Running out of Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg, Va., the Petersburg, Va., angler won the last qualifying event of the season with eight bass weighing 28.72 pounds. Crowder landed the largest bag each day of the tournament.

On the first day, he led with three bass weighing 13.99 pounds including a 6.47-pound kicker. He followed that with a 14.73-pound effort on the second day, the largest single-day bag caught in the tournament. The Day 2 bag included a 6.65-pounder. For the Boater Division victory, Crowder took home a check for $7,719, plus a Triton boat and Mercury  worth about $30,000.  On Day 1, I caught two fish on a frog and one on a swim jig. I had more fish roll on the frog, but not take it. On Day 2, the bass would not eat the frog at all. I didn’t have a fish until 10 a.m. when I caught my biggest bass on a Pop-R. I caught more on a Pop-R and some on a swim jig. I only caught five keepers.”

As a Royal Purple Level 1 participant, he won a gallon of Royal Purple oil, a Royal Purple hat, an ABA membership renewal and a $500 bonus.

In second for the boaters, Sonny Kyle of Chesterfield, Va., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 25.01 pounds. He caught 11.10 pounds on the first day and followed that with 13.91 pounds on the second day.

Michael A Phillips of Clayton, Del., took third for the boaters with a 10-bass tournament limit going 23.44 pounds. He brought in 10.17 pounds on the first day and 13.27 pounds on the second day.

Finishing fourth for the boaters, Christiana D. Bradley of Bealeton, Va., caught nine keeper bass going 22.62 pounds with a 4.12-pound kicker. She caught 11.11 pounds on Day 1 and another 11.51 pounds on the second day.

Cavin Young of Prince George, Va., rounded out the top five boaters with 10 bass at 22.60 pounds. He caught weights of 8.68 and 13.92 pounds. On the first day, Dennis McNeal of Stafford, Va., landed the Boater Division lunker, an 8.35-pounder.

In the Co-Angler Division, Travis Garrett of Charlottesville, Va., won with five bass going 19.98 pounds. On Day 1, he led with three bass and 13.83 pounds. He capped his catch on Day 1 with an 8.37-pound kicker to win the tournament big bass contest. On the second day, he sealed his victory with a 6.15-pound bag. For the win, Garrett pocketed a check for $3,869 plus a Triton boat package worth about $15,000.

Taking second for the co-anglers, Michael Nelms of Fredericksburg, Va., brought two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 16.42 pounds. He also held second for the co-anglers on Day 1 with 13.24 pounds. On the second day, Nelms landed 3.18 pounds.

Jonathan B. Marlow of Burke, Va., placed third among the co-anglers with six bass going 13.49 pounds. He landed 4.47 pounds on Day 1 and another 9.02 pounds on the second day.

Landing in fourth place among the co-anglers, George V. Baucom of Charlotte, N.C., came in with five bass weighing 13.35 pounds. Baucom held fifth on Day 1 with 6.89 pounds, but moved up one spot on the final day with a 6.46-pound bag. Robert Wells of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., wrapped up the top five co-anglers with a six-bass tournament limit weighing 13.31 pounds. He made catches of 6.18 and 7.13 pounds.

Complete Results

Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood