Tournament News | Auten Wins PAA AOY

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Neely Henry Lake was pretty doggone good to Ranger Boats pro Todd Auten.


The quiet veteran from South Carolina came here two years ago and won a

storm-shortened PAA Tournament Series event in spring. Twenty-eight

months later, in the heat of summer, Auten returned last week to make a

run at another title.


He locked up the PAA Angler of the Year award in a runaway as his two

closest competitors faltered. Only eight points in the season standings

separated Auten from Gene Larew pro Tommy Biffle of Oklahoma and Hefty

pro Mike McClelland of Arkansas.


By Friday night, Auten was the only man left standing. Neither Biffle

nor McClelland made Saturday’s final-day cut. Auten was in fourth place

going into the day, charging hard at the win and trying to make it a

weekend double.


Auten joins Biffle (2010) and Kinami pro Steve Kennedy of Auburn (2009)

as PAA Anglers of the Year. Auten will receive free entry into the 2012

Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series along with a MinnKota trolling

motor and T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate.


Consistency proved to be key this season and has been part of Auten’s low-key approach during his career.


“I’d say here lately that yeah, I’ve been consistent,†he said. “Just a

few years ago, though, it was up and down, up and down. I think one

thing that helps is we go to lakes that favor my style of fishing. If we

were somewhere like Kentucky Lake where everything’s deep it might be



During his career Auten has accumulated more than $707,750 in winnings

and 25 finishes in the Top 10. He’s a perennial threat to make a cut in

any event, but seems to shine more in the brutal summer heat that

perplexes some anglers.


One of Auten’s go-to baits, maybe his primary one, is a white vibrating

jig or a swim jig. In summer when conventional wisdom says fish go deep,

Auten will be in skinny water flinging the wiggling, jiggling bait.

It’s something he enjoys, he covers water, it’s pretty easy and, most of

all, it works.


Auten took the point standings lead after the PAA Tournament Series

event on Table Rock in June. Biffle and McClelland knew overtaking him,

even just a few points behind, wouldn’t be easy on Neely Henry.


“Todd’s a tough angler wherever we go,†Biffle said. “He likes that

shallow stuff like I do and it seems like he’s always going to be right



Auten cut his teeth on Lake Wylie in South Carolina, “which is loaded

with docks,†he said, “and if you didn’t learn how to fish docks then

you were going to get your tail whipped. I just learned to fish them and

what to look for around them.â€

15 to receive invites to TTBC

Auten will lead the 15 individuals who qualified the through the PAA Tournament Series to join the 15 Bassmaster Elite Series and 15 FLW Tour anglers who also got invites to compete on Lake Conroe in Texas for   the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.

Todd Auten, South Carolina; Mike McClelland, Arkansas; Takahiro Omori,

Texas; Chad Morgenthaler, Illinois; Gary Yamamoto, Texas; Derek Remitz,

Alabama; Tommy Biffle, Oklahoma; Terry Butcher, Oklahoma; Cody Bird,

Texas; Brian Travis, North Carolina; Chris Brasher, Texas; Shane Long,

Missouri; Gary Clouse, Tennessee; James Watson, Missouri; Harold Allen,



The TTBC will pay out more $420,000 in cash and prizes, with the winner

receiving $100,000 and a Legend boat with an Evinrude E-TEC engine. Fans

will be treated to three days of fun at the Lone Star Expo &

Convention Center, with numerous vendors featuring hands-on exhibits,

food, beverages and nightly concerts from Billy Currington, Pat Green

and Robert Earl Keen.