Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Benji Gullett Wins Season Finale at Toledo Bend

Hemphill, TX – Benji Gullett of Converse, LA, is at the top of the leaderboard after day two in the ABA Top 150 Solo at Toledo Bend. Running out of Lost Frontier Resort near Hemphill, TX, the anglers took off just before 6 AM on both days to tackle the 185,000 acres of the 65-mile reservoir.

Benji had a solid weekend, weighing 24.88 pounds on day one and 20.56 pounds on day two, for a total weight of 45.44 lbs, earning him a paycheck worth $11,000. It required a lot of patience to catch them the way he did.

“Early in the morning, I concentrated on the 8-10 ft range and was able to get a bite both days. Mid-morning, I moved out a little deeper and stayed in the 18–20-foot range. I caught all my fish this weekend on two baits: a 10 XD and a football jig. I only caught 8 fish yesterday and 6 fish today. It was a slow process, but when they bit, they were good ones. I ran spots and had one fish here and one fish there. I ran a tank of gas out of the boat each day doing it, but it paid off. I would make about 10 or 12 casts at each location, and I might catch one, and I might not, so I moved on to the next one.”

Finishing in 2nd place was day one leader Cody Pitt of Elmer, LA. Pitt was on the move to 10 different locations that made up his 25.36 lb bag on day one, followed by 16.41 pounds on day two. His catch was anchored with a beautiful 9.53 lb kicker on the first day.

He was fishing deep as the post-spawn is definitely here, throwing a jig and a “couple of other baits”. “I could have had 30 lbs today if I had caught everything I saw. The fish are there. I was fishing 14 to 25 feet, throwing a football jig and a Carolina rig. I caught enough to cull 3 times on the first day, and today I had 8 or 9 bites but never culled up,” said Pitt. His finish gave him a nice payday worth $4,800 and a check for an additional $1,000, taking home big bass honors as well.

When the scales closed, 3rd place was held by Brett Clark of Brookeland, TX, with a 5-fish limit of 22.76 lbs, anchored by his 6.23 kicker on day one, followed up with another limit of 16.94 lbs. His two-day total gave him 39.70 lbs and a check for $3,300. “I did a lot of beating around today. My starting spot only gave me a couple of fish today, and I’m afraid I beat them up too much. I had 20 lbs there yesterday, and they dried up on me, so I had to make some changes today. All my fish were caught on a deep-diving crankbait. They were staged in 12-16 feet of water.”

Fourth place was awarded to Ryan Pinkston of Center, TX. Ryan had a solid day one with 18.89 lbs but followed it up with 20.13 lbs to give him a two-day total of 39.02 lbs. His efforts earned him $1,800. Fifth place was awarded to Shane Gibson of Kilgore, TX, who more than doubled 

his day one weight of 11 lbs with the heaviest bag of the weekend, weighing 25.87 lbs, and a 7.43 lb anchor in his bag. His total weight for the two days was 36.99 lbs.

This event concludes the 2023 season, and the anglers are now competing for the top 15 by points to qualify for the end-of-season championship. The championship will merge the top 15 from the Southeast division to fill the first 30 slots.

The next tournament, scheduled for July 14th and 15th, will be the wildcard tournament for both divisions. Any angler who did not place in the top 15 by points but competed in all three events in their respective division is eligible to fish the wildcard. The event will be held on Lake Neeley Henry, launching from Coosa Landing in Alabama. Five slots will be available, given to the highest finishers, to compete in the coveted Top 150 Solo Championship, where only 35 anglers will compete for the top prize of $25,000.

Complete Final Results can be found at the following link: RESULTS

PLAnglerFishPenaltyBig BassTotalPointsPayout
1Benji Gulett10  45.4425011000
2Cody R. Pitt10 9.5341.772495800
3Brett T. Clark100.506.2339.702483300
4Ryan Pinkston100.50 39.022471800
5Shane H. Gibson10 7.4336.992461125
6Marshall E. Hughes100.50 34.512451000
7Kevin L. Lasyone10 6.9933.60244900
8Brennan M. Flick100.50 29.98243850
9Blake Blake A. Schroeder10  27.58242800
10Josh E. Moore10  26.53241775
11Steve Perkins10  24.17240750
12Wayne A. Ebarb10  24.04239700
13Brett W. Hortman10 6.1623.87238 
14Robert Walt W. Stevens9  23.07237 
15Andre A. Martin8  22.25236 
16Benji D. Dumas10  20.22235 
17Steve L. Graf10  18.92234 
18James Jimmy B. Hickman9  16.41233 
19Dylan Nelson6  15.15232 
20Shane Howell81.00 14.75231 
21Billy R. Phipps6  14.59230 
22Jesse Chris C. Jeffery50.50 14.21229 
23Sig Kilby6  12.85228 
24Kris J. Chitty5 2.1912.78227 
25Albert E. White4 2.1912.32226

For more information or to register for any ABA Solo 150 event, see www.americanbassanglers.com/Top150

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.

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