Open Series Events for March 25-26, 2023
ATHENS, Ala. – Competitors in three divisions will fish American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, events during the weekend of March 25-26, 2023.
Florida Division 7
The Florida South Division 7 heads to Lake Okeechobee on March 25 for the third event of the 2023 season. The anglers will run out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Avenue in the town of Clewiston, Fla. To register for this tournament, CLICK HERE
During a Feb. 25, 2023, division event at Lake Okeechobee, Michael V. Venditto from Boca Raton won the Boater Division in his first-ever ABA tournament. He brought in with a 5-bass tournament limit weighing 18.90 pounds with a 7.16-pound kicker that won the tournament lunker title.
“I fished the north end of the lake and caught everything on a frog or a Spook,” Venditto revealed. “The big bass hit a Spook. I caught 13 fish in all.”
In the Co-Angler Division during that event, David Sterling from the town of Okeechobee brought in 3-bass division limit going 12.43 pounds anchored by a 5.92-pounder. That gave him his first tournament win.
“We fished down south,” Sterling said. “I caught my fish on stick worms and flukes. I had four bites and caught four bass.”
Ray M. Ruiz, also from Boca Raton, placed third for the co-anglers with three bass at 9.59 pounds. One of his fish weighed 6.08 pounds, giving him the division big bass honors.
“With five minutes left to go in the tournament, I flipped a Gambler Fat Ace into the reeds and the big one ate it,” Ruiz recalled. “I was using a Speed Worm most of the day. We stayed close to the landing.”
Other hot baits in that February event included Super Flukes, crankbaits, topwaters, jigs, ChatterBaits and junebug-colored beavers flipped in the reeds.
The division wraps up its regular season on May 13, 2023, also at Lake Okeechobee. That tournament runs out of Scott Driver Park, located at 10100 West Highway 78 in the town of Okeechobee, Fla. .
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632.
Oklahoma Division 14
The Oklahoma Division 14 opens its season at Fort Gibson Lake on March 25, 2023. The anglers will run out of the Taylor Ferry North ramp, located at E 740th Road in Wagoner, Okla. To register for this event, CLICK HERE.
Fort Gibson Lake, named for a 19th century military installation, covers about 19,900 acres of northeastern Oklahoma. On the Grand River, also called the Neosho River, near its confluence with the Arkansas River, the lake offers anglers more than 225 miles of shoreline. The lake holds good numbers of both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
During a March 13, 2021, division tournament on Fort Gibson Lake, Ian A. Leybas from McAlester won the Boater Division with a 5-bass tournament limit weighing 19.91 pounds. His largest bass weighed 6.18 pounds and took the tournament big bass honors.
In the Co-Angler Division during that 2021 event, Shea Hornbuckle from Wagoner won with a 3-bass division limit weighing 10.74 pounds. That included a 6.04-pound kicker that won the division lunker race.
The division then goes to Lake Eufaula near Eufaula, Okla. on May 6 and 7, 2023. Both events run out of South Point Cove, located at 400 Lakeshore Drive in the town of Eufaula.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Chris Wayand at (256) 230-5627.
Alabama North Division 1
The Alabama North Division 1 will visit Neely Henry Lake for the second event of its 2023 season on March 26. The anglers will run out of Coosa Landing, located at 200 Lake Street in Gadsden, Ala. To register for this tournament, CLICK HERE.
Long known as one of the best bass lakes in the nation, Neely Henry Reservoir runs more than 77 miles down the Coosa River and covers 11,235 acres near Gadsden. Neely Henry probably holds more spotted bass in the 14- to 20-inch range than any other Alabama lake. Some top six pounds.
During a Sept. 10, 2022, division tournament on the lake, David R. Wesson from Southside, Ala. brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 14.41 pounds. He capped his catch with a 3.82-pounder. The second largest bass caught in the event.
“I threw a hollow-body SPRO Bronzeye Frog just about all day,” Wesson explained. “I caught three of my weigh fish on a frog. As a backup, I threw a fluke to the fish that missed the frog. I fished bank grass the entire day.”
Jeff A. Edmondson from the hosting town of Gadsden placed sixth among the boaters with five bass going 11.07 pounds. Nearly half of that bag came from one 5.07-pound sowbelly that won the tournament lunker honors.
“That big fish hit a crankbait,” Edmondson stated. “I had her twin on the line at one point. If I had landed that fish, I would have won the tournament. Both of those fish hit the same crankbait.”
In the Co-Angler Division in that 2022 event, Nic A. Carter of Ohatchee, Ala. landed a 3-bass division limit for 7.96 pounds. He topped his take with a 3.60-pound lunker that won the division big bass title.
“We caught most of our fish by either fishing riprap banks or swimming a jig in the grass,” Carter explained.
Other hot lures for that 2022 tournament included flipping jigs, shaky heads, square-billed crankbaits, spinnerbaits, wacky rigs, swim jigs and topwaters.
The division then goes to Lake Guntersville on May 20, 2023. That tournament runs out of Goose Pond Ramp, located at 417 Ed Hembree Drive in Scottsboro, Ala.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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