Barnes Opens The Lead In Day 1 Of AFT Championship

EUFAULA, Ala. – Justin Barnes took the early lead on opening day of the American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour Championship tournament, Presented by Caymas Boats, and held Oct. 19, 2022, on Lake Eufaula, Ala.

Running out of Lakepoint Resort State Park near the town of Eufaula, Ala., Barnes landed his 5-bass daily tournament limit to bring 19.16 pounds to the scale. He anchored that sack with a 5.64-pounder, the second-largest bass caught on the first day of the championship tournament. That gave Barnes a 3.83-pound average and put him slightly more than a pound ahead of the competition with two fiercely competitive days remaining in the 3-day event.

Holding second among the nearly 250 boaters, Michael M. Smith of scored a 5-bass limit. Hot behind the leader, his sack tallied 18.06 pounds. 

Scott Gilley also caught a limit of five bass to occupy third place. His bag weighed 18.05 pounds, less than a fifth of an ounce behind second place and slightly more than a pound off the pace. He anchored that sack with a 5.03-pound kicker.

Sitting in fourth, Gary L. Sparks landed his limit for 17.20 pounds. He topped that catch with a 5.13-pounder. Shane Powell holds the fifth spot with five bass at 16.11 pounds, just a bit over three pounds behind the leader.

Christopher B. Smith scored an 11th place finish on the first day with five bass going 14.20 pounds. However, he landed a 6.05-pounder, the largest bass caught on the first day. 

“Leading up to the tournament, we had great weather, warm sunshine, and some wind,” recalled Tournament Director Chris Wayand. “The pre-fishing was TOUGH on a lot of guys. Then, Mother Nature threw her famous curve ball with a cold front as the tournament started. On the first morning, the temperature was 36 degrees. The launch on the first day was delayed an hour. By the afternoon, the temperature climbed close to 60 degrees and some of the anglers did pretty well. We predict Day 2 and 3 to have the same type of weather patterns, so we will see what it brings!”

After three days of intense competition, the winner will receive a full-rigged Caymas CX 18 boat powered by a 150-horsepower Mercury 150 ProXS outboard, plus products from T-H Marine Accessories, Optima Batteries, and Garmin Electronics.

The action continues through Friday, Oct. 21, 20221. The public is invited to attend the weigh-ins at Lakepoint Resort State Park, located at 104 Lakepoint Drive just outside the town of Eufaula, Ala. 

Officially named Walter F. George Reservoir, but more commonly called Lake Eufaula, the impoundment covers 45,181 acres along the Chattahoochee River spanning part of the Alabama-Georgia line.

For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Chris Wayand at (256) 230-5627.

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 info@americanbassanglers.com.
 

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© 2018 American Bass Anglers MBAA Since 1975 - All Rights Reserved American Bass Anglers, Inc Logos and other data within this website is the property of American Bass Anglers, Inc and may not be copied or reproduced without express permission of American Bass Anglers, Inc. American Bass Anglers, Inc PO Box 475 Athens, AL 35612 email: call us 256-232-0406. This web site is provided by ABA and resides on a server with 99.99% up time.