Matetzsc Wins Top 150 Solo Series Wildcard
JACKSON, Miss – William “Taz” K. Matetzsc won the ABA Top 150 Solo Series Wildcard Tournament, Presented by Caymas Boats, held Sept. 9-10, 2022, on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson, Miss. The anglers ran out of Madison Landing in Ridgeland, Miss. to fish the 33,000-acre impoundment. With two solid days of good fishing, Matetzsc from Blairsville, Ga. won the Wildcard by nearly three pounds. He finished with two daily 5-bass tournament limits to take the victory with 23.97 pounds.
“I caught some better fish in practice than in the tournament, but they were few and far between,” Matetzsc reported. “I found some schooling fish and they stayed in that area, coming up off and on all day. That’s where I fished for two days.”
Trailing the leader by a little more than three pounds after Day 1, Matetzsc held second place going into the final stretch with five bass tallying 12.35 pounds. He anchored that bag with a 3.22-pound kicker, the second largest bass caught in the 2-day tournament.
On the second day, the new champ brought in five keepers for 11.62 pounds. He caught about 20 fish per day, all keepers except about four short ones per day. At Ross Barnett Reservoir, each bass must measure at least 14 inches long.
“I threw a jerkbait and a smoking shad fluke,” Matetzsc elaborated. “Most of the time, I had to wait for the fish to school, but not all the time. The fish were mostly about the same size and I was gaining a little bit each time I culled.”
Taking second, Ryan Lloyd from nearby Ridgeland, Miss. landed two 5-bass daily limits for 21.07 pounds.
“Most of the people fishing the tournament were basically doing one of two things,” Lloyd observed. “They were either fishing lily pads or deep hard spots doing the same things in the same spots.”
On Day 1, Lloyd held fourth place with 10.59 pounds, nearly five pounds off the pace. His best bass weighed 2.85 pounds. Fishing consistently, he added another 10.48 pounds on the second day to jump two spots into second, the only other angler to break the 20-pound plateau.
“I caught only five keepers each day, but they were the right ones,” Lloyd explained. “I also caught a ton of short fish. I was fishing deep with a Carolina rig and some deep-running crankbaits. The schooling fish weren’t hitting anything we threw, but they would hit something dragged under them. I watched for fish to come up busting the surface and threw at them.”
Albert E. White from Crosby, Texas, finished third with 10 bass totaling 19.93 pounds. White held fifth place after Day 1 with 9.86 pounds topped by a 2.37-pound kicker. He caught six keepers and two short fish on the first day.
“We figured out a few days ago that the bass were in the lily pads,” White revealed. “The fish were actually around the dead pads with no leaves, just straight stems.”
On the second day, White brought in five bass for 10.07 pounds to rise two spots. Enjoying a better day fishing on Day 2, he caught nine keepers and 10 short fish.
“On the second day, fishing was tough,” White remarked. “I moved more shallow and I culled four fish from the limit I caught earlier. When the sun came out, that’s when I found the fish up really shallow. The water was about 81 degrees.”
Day 1 leader Steve T. Hatch from Long Beach, Miss. struggled on the final day. He finished fourth with six bass weighing 17.69 pounds.
On the first day, Hatched chased schooling fish. He waited until the bass erupted on the surface chasing baitfish and tossed a Carolina rig amongst them. Hatch opened with a 5-bass daily tournament limit weighing 15.39 pounds. That included a 4.20-pounder that eventually won the tournament big bass title.
The water level dropped by the second day. On a lake as shallow and stumpy with abundant cover as Ross Barnett Reservoir, even a drop of a few inches could make a huge difference to the fish. The bass Hatch chased on Day 1 moved on Day 2.
Despite catching a bunch of small fish, Hatch finished the second day with only one keeper bass weighing 2.30 pounds. That dropped him three notches to fourth place.
Rounding out the all-important top five, Ronald “Chip” L. Rockhill from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. finished with eight bass weighing 15.62 pounds. He held sixth place on Day 1 with three bass going 6.03 pounds. He caught a 5-fish limit on the second day for 9.59 pounds, giving him enough to make the cut for the Tour Championship.
“The top five finishers in the 2-day Wildcard tournament, regardless of what division they fished during the regular season, will advance to the Tour Championship on Kentucky Lake,” said Chris Wayand, Wildcard Tournament Manager.
The inaugural ABA Top 150 Solo Series Championship will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2022, on Kentucky Lake. That event will run out of Paris Landing State Park in Paris, Tenn.
During the season, the ABA Top 150 Solo Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, features two regional divisions – Southeast and Southwest. Each division holds three tournaments per season. Both divisions offer big cash payouts and chances for anglers to advance to higher levels of competition.
Conducted like the divisional events, the ABA Top 150 Solo Series Championship, Presented by Caymas Boats, will involve two days of intense competition with the winner taking home $25,000. In addition, every angler in the field will receive a payout. The top anglers by points after the Tour Championship earn a slot to fish the 2023 Ray Scott Championship, slated for April 2-7 on the Red River at Shreveport, La.
For information on the Wildcard tournament, call Chris Wayand at (256) 230-5627. For information on the Tour Championship, call Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, RT Outdoors, Sportsman Card, 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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