Monday, May 27, 2024

Mayfield Takes Final Event at The Rez

ATHENS, Ala. – Chad Mayfield of Brandon, MS, fished his way to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday with a picture-perfect day on the water. It rained Friday, and with the overcast skies, there were reports of 40 fish being caught. The sun came out for tournament day, and the fishing slowed, but given the conditions, it was still a productive day for most. Lake levels are still constant, and a stable water column can be very helpful when locating fish. Ross Barnett is now in a post-spawn pattern, but surprisingly, there was still a shallow bite. Launching from Tommys Trading post near Hwy 43 for the 3rd and final event of the season. Chad took home the top prize of $3400.00 with a five fish limit weighing 19.49 lbs.

Chad wasn’t sure it was enough to win, but he told us how he had done it. “I was in the main lake area throwing a Senko most of the day. I did manage to catch a couple early on a Ribbit frog, but that bite slowed as the morning progressed. I stayed with the Senko for the rest of the day. I fished in the main lake area and targeted water in three feet or less.” This was a surprise as most patterns would be deeper after spawning. “When I started this morning at my first spot, I caught one on about my 6th cast. The shad spawn is starting, but I didn’t see one where I was. I had my limit by 0830 and managed to cull about six times. I caught fish all day, and my last cull was at 2:41. I had 18 minutes to get back to Tommy’s, so I strapped everything down and made the run.”

In second place, John Anderson of Bay Springs, MS, caught his five fish limit, weighing 18.80 lbs. His fish netted him $300 each, and he received a check for $1500.00 for second place. John explains how he caught them.

“I started out the morning terribly and lost the 1st four fish I hooked. I think the fog had something to do with it. It was clear when you let us go, but once we all settled in and started fishing, so did the fog. I had one of them right up to the boat, about 6 lbs. and she just didn’t have a good hookset and came off. I was targeting the current in the river. After that I went upriver to some other areas I liked. A few guys were in the area, but they were not fishing the current the way I do. I started flipping back behind some stuff and was able to catch a couple of key fish. I moved out to a ledge that I like in about 12 to 13 feet of water. I caught a couple more, and then later in the day, I went back to my current situation and caught some more. I culled out one more on a frog. I had a decent day with ten keepers, and the bite was slow but steady.” 

This tournament only had 6 anglers break the 15-lb. mark, which is not typical for Ross Barnett. Timing on the lake is always critical for good bags, and right now, it is a between-stage pattern. Shannon Denson of Brandon, MS, locked in at 3rd place with a weight of 15.86 lbs. Only 8 ounces separated him from 6th place, earning him $1200.00.

“I found a shad spawn and stayed with it as long as I could this morning. The structure I stayed around was vegetation and rocks. Later in the day, I went to a shallow stump field. I’m new to this live-scope game and trying to make myself learn it. These fish follow a jerk bait to the boat and don’t bite, so I went through a laundry list of baits, trying to make them mad until they did. I had a limit by 0730 and was back and forth to the livewell many times culling up. The frustrating part is, early this morning, I lost five fish that were bigger than any of the ones I weighed today. That’s just fishing.”

Finishing fourth, Allen Shoemaker of Seminary, MS, had 5 fish for 15.41 lbs, earning him $1000. Finishing in fifth place was Noel Allen Jr of Brandon with a five fish limit weighing 15.24 lbs. earning $800.00. Big bass honors for this event went to Harpole Perkins for his 6.06 lb largemouth. (See pics below) If you missed this tournament, don’t think you are out of the hunt. The points you earn to qualify for the Ray Scott can come from any division in the country, and you only need to fish one event to be eligible for the 2-day in the fall at the Rez. All that remains for Mississippi is the 2-day championship, which will be fished in early October. Fishing patterns and conditions will be completely different by then, as a fall bite can turn on at any moment. 66 anglers competed in this division this season, and all have qualified for the two-day.

The two-day event will crown the Angler of the Year in this division, and the top 200 anglers by points in the Nation will receive an invitation to fish the 2024 Ray Scott Championship.

Top 25

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About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is dedicated to organizing affordable, local tournaments for weekend anglers while offering opportunities for individual angler advancement. To learn more about American Bass Anglers, including the Team Series, American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, ABA Team Series, Top 150 Solo Tour, and Pro League, all presented by Caymas Boats, please visit or call (256) 232-0406.

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