Ft. Worth, Texas pro Cheryl Bowden adapted to the changing conditions on Alabama’s Lake Neely Henry to capture her first Lady Bass Anglers Association tour victory Friday as she brought 21.90-pounds to the scales for two days.
Bowden’s first LBAA tour victory was by the slimmest of margins over Bainbridge, Ga. pro Pam Martin-Wells who caught 20.88-pounds.
“The water muddied up,” Bowden said. “We also had no current today and we had clouds but no rain. In practice I needed the rain and clouds. I didn’t have that today, so I had to make adjustments so I went from buzzbait to crankbait. It was a really slow bite today; however, my Texas rig was the same the entire tournament, with the difference today being that I had to move it really, really slow.”
Up in the day at around 10:30 a.m. Bowden moved to an area she fished for the first time yesterday. When she arrived there she had four average fish in the boat. “There is a stump there and on my first cast as soon as it hit the water I had a bite and hooked the fish,” she stated. “Next cast another fish and I got that one in the livewell and got things set again. I reapplied my Kick `n Bass and cast again – another one. Then another one and I culled three times off of that one stump.”
“I’ve been asked about what my number 21 means,” Bowden went on to say. “It simply means two consistent days to get to one place – 21.”
Following Bowden and Martin-Wells is Pelham, Alabama’s Kim Bain-Moore in third with 20.12. Fourth through seventh on the pro side were Lisa Johnson/Centre, Alabama 17.47, Pam Ridgle/Murchison, Texas 17.25, Lynda Gessner/Foristell, Missouri 15.90 and Robbie Hartline/Foristell, Missouri 15.16.
In the Co-angler division on Neely Henry Alpine, Alabama’s Kim Giddens led wire-to-wire and brought in her limit of six bass over two-days that weighed 13.05–pounds to claim the LBAA Neely Henry Co-Angler crown.
“I only live an hour from here and I really wanted to win this tournament,” Giddens stated. “I had placed well throughout the year but knowing I was only five points out of first for the Co-angler of the Year I really wanted this tournament.”
“The lake was really tough and I struggled both days, but I was able to get a limit both days to secure this win.” Giddens went on to say.
Alabaster, Alabama’s Cassie Hall was in second with 10.30-pounds and she was followed in third by Martinsburg, West Virginia’s Shannon Wood with 9.10-pounds. Fourth through seventh were Diana Uebelhack/Mt. Vernon, Indiana 7.57, Bonnie Ward/Snohomish, Washington 7.51, Diane Smith/Fayetteville, Georgia 7.20, Vicki Henderson/Ashdown, Arkansas 7.12.
Legend Big Bass Award winners at Neely Henry were Robbie Hartline on the pro side with her bass that weighed 3.98 pounds and Giddens won the Co-angler Big Bass award with her 3.99-pound bass.
Kim Bain-Moore with her third place finish today at Neely Henry secured the crown of LBAA 2012 Pro Angler of the Year crown. “I feel like I worked really hard this year. We went to a lot of different lakes this year that presented me with some challenges and I feel like I was able to overcome some of those. I really wanted this award and I was able to capture it, so yes I’m excited.
Kim Giddens also secured the 2012 LBAA Co-angler of the Year award. Giddens steadily climbed the ladder this year as she started the first tournament at Ray Hubbard with a fourth and from there got a third at Dardanelle, a second on Kentucky Lake and won here at Neely Henry. “It’s great to win this coveted award and I’m very excited about making the 2012 Lady Bass Classic on Guntersville,” Giddens said.
It was also announced today that Monica Altman of Angier, North Carolina won the 2012 LBAA Pro Rookie of the Year award.