White scores victory on Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. – Rusty White, Jr. won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, East Tennessee Division 4 season opener, held March 11, 2023, at Lake Chickamauga.

Launching at the Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton, Tenn., the angler from Soddy Daisy, Tenn. brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 23.65 pounds. He beat his nearest competitor by more than four pounds. White topped that sack with a 7.09-pound kicker for 4.73-pound average.

“I got into a little backwater, hunkered down and fished,” White detailed. “I caught bass on a variety of baits, including a hair jig and swimbaits. I was hitting every piece of cover I could find.”

In second among the boaters, Dillon G. Falardeau of Hixson, Tenn. also landed his 5-bass limit. He brought in 19.55 pounds. One of his bass weighed 7.83 pounds, giving him the tournament lunker title. 

“I threw Rat-L-Traps on 12-pound-test line,” Falardeau said. “I keyed on the grass all day. I found a group of fish in less than a foot of water.”

Coming in third for the boaters, Justin T. Freeman from the hosting town of Dayton, Tenn. landed a limit going 18.70 pounds. He topped the bag with a 6.73-pounder.

“It was a long day, but I caught them on a Rat-L-Trap here and there,” Freeman revealed. “The bite was sporadic.”

Landing in fourth place, Perry W. Dawson from Rockwood, Tenn. brought in five keepers for 14.54 pounds topped by a 3.97-pound kicker. Dawson pocketed $500. Keith A. Ellis of Ringgold, Ga. rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 13.94 pounds.

In the Co-Angler Division, Lynn Spears of Athens, Tenn. came in with a 3-bass division limit at 13.61 pounds. He capped that catch with a 4.35-pounder that took the division big bass honors. 

“We started cranking in the morning,” Spears commented. “My boater caught one right off the bat. We moved to another spot and started throwing a Rat-L-Trap. When we left there, we moved to one of my spots and I caught a big one. We went back to where we started and I caught two more, including one big one. At the end of the day, we went up the lake and I caught another good one.”

The only other co-angler to crack the 10-pound plateau, Jason T. Hinger from Timberlake, N.C. finished second with three bass at 10.82 pounds. 

“We fished a shallow main-river flat in two to four feet of water all day,” Hinger advised. “I caught fish on several different lures, like a jerkbait, a crankbait and a Chatterbait. I got the best bites on a crankbait and those were the fish I weighed in.”

In third place for the co-anglers, Duane Parker of Calhoun, Ga. found two solid keepers for 7.44 pounds.

“My boater had a rough day, but I kind of figured it out,” Parker remarked. “I think the cold nights we’ve been having stunned the fish and they moved back out to deeper water. I fished a Ned Rig really slowly. I lost three or four fish, each about five pounds or better. I had it going, but I just couldn’t get them in the boat.”

In fourth place for the co-anglers, Kiel B. Guin of Knoxville, Tenn. found three good keepers for 7.22 pounds. Chris J. Seese from Ten Mile, Tenn. followed with three bass at 5.57 pounds. 

The division goes to Watts Bar Lake on April 29, 2023. That tournament runs out of Spring City Ramp, located at 2109 New Lake Road in Spring City, Tenn. To register for the April 2023 tournament, Click Here.

Anglers can sign up to fish ABA Open Series divisional events and a 2-day division championship. In a Pro/Am format, boaters fishing the Open Series pay $210 in entry fees for each divisional 1-day tournament. Co-anglers pay $105 per 1-day event.

Anyone who wishes to fish an ABA event, must become an ABA member. ABA members can receive discounts from some sponsors. For example, Optima Batteries will give ABA members 25 percent off and free shipping on any battery. Membership costs $35 a year, but anglers can save money by signing up for multiple years. A life membership costs $450.

For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633.

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.