Whitley Wins Central Texas Opener

MALAKOFF, Texas. – Garrett Whitley of Quinlan, TX, swept the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, East Texas Division 11 season opener, held March 4, 2023, at Cedar Creek Reservoir southeast of Dallas.

Quinlan brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 21.83 pounds. That gave him a 4.37-pound average. Whitley greatly upped his average by landing an 8.46-pound sowbelly that took the tournament lunker title. 

“I found one creek that has some fish,” Whitley revealed. “The big bass came on the second piece of cover I was fishing. It was the first fish of the morning. By the time I left that area, I had about 15 pounds in the boat at 7:30 a.m. I went to another creek and caught a 5.50-pounder on the first cast.”

The season opener was originally scheduled for Feb. 25 at Richland Chambers Reservoir in Corsicana, Texas. However, that event was rescheduled and will now take place as Part 2 of the weekend double-header on March 5, 2023, also at Cedar Creek Reservoir. These are two completely separate events, not a 2-day tournament. The March 5 tournament will also launch out of the Log Cabin ramp, located at 13603 Alamo Road in Malakoff. The public is invited to attend the weigh-in.

In second among the boaters, Matt R. Helsley of Duncanville also landed his 5-bass limit. The only other angler to exceed 20 pounds, Helsley caught 20.68 pounds. 

George Simonof came over from Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La. to place third. His 5-bass limit weighed 17.08 pounds.

Scott Dean from Terrell placed fourth with five bass at 16.24 pounds. Rounding out the top five boaters, Rich A. Dalbey of Greenville landed four bass going 13.57 pounds.

In the Co-Angler Division, Jimmy “Griff” W. Griffith of Athens, Texas, landed a 3-bass division limit for 10.56 pounds. The only co-angler with a double-digit bag, his catch averaged 3.52 pounds. He anchored that bag with a 6.06-pounder that won the division big bass honors. 

“I caught all my fish on ChatterBaits off docks,” Griffith detailed. “I caught a total of three bass, the three that I weighed. I caught my first fish at about 8:30 a.m. and the big fish at 10 a.m. right off the end of a dock.”

In second for the co-anglers, Mike P. Reilly from Canton brought in three keepers for 9.48 pounds in his first time to fish an ABA event and the first time he fished Cedar Creek Reservoir. 

“I only caught four keeper bass,” Reilly said. “Two weigh fish came on a spinnerbait. One came on a Senko off the bank. Everything else I caught was too small. I caught my first fish at about 8 a.m. and my least keeper with about an hour left in the tournament.”

Right behind in the third spot for the co-anglers, Lee O. McDowell of Kemp found three keepers for 9.46 pounds with a 4.40-pound kicker. That put $250 in his pocket. 

Landing in fourth for the co-anglers, Terry W. Snow from Sherman brought in three keepers for 8.74 pounds, including a 4.94-pound kicker. Chris B. Lawson followed right behind for fifth place with three bass at 8.52 pounds. Lawson anchored that bag with a 4.81-pounder. 

After Cedar Creek Reservoir, the division next visits Lake Tawakoni on May 13, 2023. That tournament runs out of the West Public ramp in Quinlan, Texas. To register for the May 2023 tournament, CLICK HERE .

American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, 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.