Tornado alerts and strong thunderstorms kicked off the third stop of the Southern Division of the Alabama Bass Trail on Millers Ferry near Camden, Ala. The team of Jimmy Cook and Joey Mann barely bested second and third place finishers with a five-bass limit weighing 19.84 pounds.
Cook and Mann caught a quick limit of spotted bass near takeoff at Roland Cooper State Park before making a 70-mile run to the town of Selma to cull out their entire catch with better sized largemouth bass.
“We had a quality limit early, but knew we needed more in order to have a chance to win,” Cook said. “We left here around 7 a.m. and ran up to just about Selma to cull them out for largemouth.”
The pair of anglers found willing largemouth in current facing gator grass in cuts and backwaters off the river and used heavy tactics to pull them out.
“We used 1-ounce and 1 1/4-ounce weights and a black and blue NetBait Paca Punch to catch our fish. We caught fish all day but really made our last cull at around 11 a.m. We just hoped it would be enough.”
They earned $10,000 for the win.
Finishing a close second was the team of Kevin Dees and Jim Smith, who produced 19.20 pounds. The pair said that they felt like things were going their way when the quality fish that bit came into the boat.
“We finished in seventh place at this event last year, and we lost a couple of big ones that cost us,” they said. “This year, those same type of fish came into the boat, and we thought we had a chance.”
They caught fish on white spinnerbaits and a pair of white swim jigs, one by Catch 5 Lures and a handmade version.
“We stayed close, within 12 miles of here, and made a milk run of spots until we connected with the right ones. We started out by just putting the trolling motor down and fishing and just bounced around the area. We didn’t catch but eight or 10 fish, but they were the right ones.”
Dees and Smith claimed the $5,000 prize for second place.
Finishing in third with 19.14 pounds was the team of Kyle Mabrey and Allen Yarborough; the pair earned $4,000 for their efforts.
The team of Mike and Dewy McDaniel finished in 11th place with 14.90 pounds, and their catch included a 6.49-pound largemouth that earned the Diet Mountain Dew Big Bass bonus of $500.
The top 10 in the standings were as follows below. For complete standings visit the results page at http://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/ar-results/
Jimmy Cook/Joey Mann
Kevin Dees/Jim Smith
Kyle Mabrey/Allen Yarborough
Nicholas Turner/Joe Lay
Blake Hall/Dustin Connell
Gabe Aldridge/Wes Wiggins
Jeff Richey/Howard Richey
Keith Dees/Tommy Walley
Tullis Lanier/Joey Davidson
Cecil Williams/Jerry Davis