Tournament Fishing

Rubin and Jones Win Innaugural NABC Tournament

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Brad Rubin and Chris Jones carved their names in

bass fishing history by sacking an impressive 17.58-pound, 5-fish limit

to win the North American Bass Circuit’s first-ever tournament, held on

Wisconsin’s mighty Lake Winnebago chain.

Their

mixed bag of beefy largemouths and bronzebacks — anchored by a 4.52-pound

smallie that was big bass of the tournament — earned them a $10,000

first-place check, along with bonuses including $1,000 Ranger Cup, $500

Cabela’s Angler Cash, $100 Oxygenator and $750 in Big-Fish Pot winnings.

“We’re

pretty happy,” beamed Jones, of Neenah, Wis. “We expected it

would take more than 17 pounds to win. After practice we felt good that we’d

be in the running, and it turned out perfect.”

“It’s always great

to fish with Chris,” added Rubin, of Antioch, Ill. “He definitely

had the home cooking on this body of water; he lives a mile from the

ramp. A week of prefishing didn’t hurt. We fought through hot weather

and high winds early in the week, then really cold weather and decent

winds the rest of the week, but we made it happen.”

Tournament

partners for five years, Rubin and Jones expected bedding smallmouths,

but prefishing quickly proved it would be a post-spawn bite. Their

winning program included targeting main-lake points and “high spots”

with rocks and weeds in 2 to 8 feet of water, throwing 3/4-ounce

football jigs tipped with soft-plastic trailers, fished in a variety of

manners. “We had to use different techniques,” said Rubin. “Sometimes

they hit the jig popping off the rocks, sometimes dragging, sometimes

just reeling it in slow.”

In all, the top 5 teams shared a $16,000

payout plus Big Fish Pot and sponsor contingencies. Third-place

finishers Gary Adkins, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Carl Scharenbroch,

of Saukville, Wisconsin, won the U2 bonus for being the highest-placing

team with U2 Pro Formula Livewell Treatment in the boat. In 12th place,

fellow Wisconsinites Mark Duerr, of Milwaukee, and Tim Sadowske, of

Waukesha, earned the $250 Optima True Blue Rewards bonus. As a bonus

courtesy of Rapala, Trigger X and Sufix line, the top four teams also

received a great line and bait package comprised of these fine products.

The

Winnebago Chain yielded 141 bass weighing a total of 372.79 pounds. All

but one were released alive in the NABC’s catch-and-release format. The

Circuit’s Bass Conservation Fund donated $15 per boat, for a total of

$480, to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for fisheries

projects on the Winnebago system. To date, the NABC’s sister trail – the

Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit – has donated more than $275,000 to

fisheries projects where our tournaments are held, and the NABC is proud

to build on that great tradition of fisheries conservation.

Throughout

the weigh-in, the NABC and National Professional Anglers Association

presented kids age 12 and under with great gifts, including free

rod-and-reel combos, along with free tackle packages from Northland

Fishing Tackle. To the delight of the large crowd gathered at scenic

Menominee Park in downtown Oshkosh, a parade of youngsters took the

stage to accept their tackle, offer their thoughts on bass fishing, and

share their dreams of one day joining the ranks of the NABC’s tournament

anglers.

This was the first stop of the NABC’s inaugural season.

Next up is the world-class smallmouth fishery of Lake Michigan’s Bays de

Noc at Escanaba on July 30-31 (one-day event includes a built-in

bad-weather day). The third and final qualifier is August 19 on

Minnesota’s legendary Lake Minnetonka. NABC teams are vying for a coveted invite to the World Bass Championship, set for Sept. 24-25 on Leech Lake,

Minnesota. The 50-boat qualifiers reward teams paying the $400 entry

fee with great odds at a $10,000 first-place cash prize, while the

Championship pays $20,000 for first place.

The NABC is open to all

anglers. And its popular team format — which lets you choose your partner

and cut your costs — has stood the test of time for 26 tournament seasons

on the Cabela’s MWC. Openings remain for Escanaba and Minnetonka. Teams

may register by mail, fax, or online. For details visit the

northamericanbasscircuit website, call toll-free (877) 893-7947, or

email events@namginc.com.