Pro Jason Abram of Piney Flats, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce to win the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, GrundÃ©ns Stop 4 Presented by A.R.E. at Lake Eufaula . Abram’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 66 pounds, 4 ounces earned him the win by a 1-pound, 1-ounce margin over Bass Pro Shops angler David Walker of Sevierville, Tennessee, and earn the top prize of $100,000.
“In my wildest dreams I never thought I could win a tournament on Eufaula in mid-May fishing shallow,” Abrams said to MLF reporters after the event. “This lake is known for deep ledges and brush piles this time of year. But I came here to do my thing and fish the way I like to fish and it turned into a win â that’s pretty special.”
Coming into Lake Eufaula, Abram said his plan was to fish shallow. He did not think the tournament would be won shallow, he just wanted to fish shallow to get back to his fishing roots: an East Tennessee run-and-gun approach.
“Over the last two tournaments, I sort of got side-tracked trying to fish deep,” Abram said. “I came here with the intention of fishing shallow to get a decent check, get some solid points and find my groove again.”
Abram fished up in the Chattahoochee River portion of Eufaula, targeting channel swing banks that had some kind of wood providing shade over an eddy in the current, either in the form of an overhang tree or a piece of dead wood collecting flotsam to form a canopy over the eddy.
Abram would pitch a jig into the shaded eddy and sort of pop it through the current seam, allowing the current to suck it down about 2 feet between pops. His unique retrieve provoked a reaction response from bass set up in the eddy to feed on current-driven shad.
Abram’s jig of choice was a white custom 5/8-ounce swim jig â handmade by a friend named Craig France â with a Reaction Innovation Spice Beaver trailer. The jig features a flatter head to “float” in the current a little better.
“I could only find about 18 or 19 small spots that fit the pattern,” Abram said. “And they were spread out in about an 18-mile stretch of the river, so I did a lot of running and gunning. It’s how I fish back home. Once I know exactly what I’m looking for, I’ll run 20 miles to find a few more of them.”
Abram spent as much time running as he did fishing. He would often fish a place only three to five minutes before running to the next sweet shade spot.
“Those fish were set up to feed in those spots,” he continued. “They usually bit on the first flip or two into a current seam so it didn’t take long to fish one. And I would visit some of the same spots sometimes four to five times a day.”
Second-place finisher David Walker, who pushed his career earnings to $1.97 million, also did most of his damage this week on a swimjig.
“I’ve really got no excuses â there is nothing I would have done any differently,” Walker went on to say. “It’s been a great week. When you’re a tournament fishing, there are a lot more bad days than good days, so to have a good week really makes up for the bad weeks. I am very happy with how this event shook out.”
The top 10 pros at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit GrundÃ©ns Stop 4 on Lake Eufaula finished:
- Jason Abram, Piney Flats, Tenn., 20 bass, 66-4, $100,500
- David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 20 bass, 63-3, $30,500
- Trevor Fitzgerald, Belleview, Fla., 19 bass, 62-12, $25,000
- Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 20 bass, 60-7, $20,000
- Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W.Va., 19 bass, 55-14, $19,000
- Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., 20 bass, 55-6, $18,000
- Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 20 bass, 50-13, $17,000
- Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, 20 bass, 50-8, $16,000
- Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 17 bass, 47-8, $15,000
- Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 17 bass, 45-1, $14,000
Full results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 43 bass weighing 103 pounds, 15 ounces caught by the final 10 pros Sunday. The catch included seven five-bass limits.