Stone Pulls it Off on Lake Hamilton
Staying away from the crowds turned into a winning strategy for John Stone during the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Arkansas Division 12 tournament, held April 2, 2011, on Lake Hamilton.
Stone, a 47-year-old farmer from Delight, brought in a five-bass tournament limit weighing 13 pounds to seal the Boater Division win. Catching a total of 15 keepers, he anchored his bag with a 4.10-pounder that took tournament big bass honors.
?I knew a lot of people were bed fishing, so I backed out on the deeper chunk rock banks and that?s where I caught my fish,? Stone explained. ?I started with a ghost-colored Lucky Craft Sammy topwater and that?s what I caught the big fish on. Then, I switched to a green-headed football jig. The key was to slow the bait down.?
Running out of the Fish Hatchery marina, the anglers could fish anywhere in the 7,200-acre lake on the Ouachita River near Hot Springs. In second, Hunter Fant, 23, of Kirby landed five bass weighing 11.49 pounds with a 3.65-pound kicker. He caught about 10 keepers in all.
?I went to one spot early to get a limit and caught three keepers,? H. Fant said. ?Later, I caught three bass off a bed on a white wacky worm. I caught one bass on a finesse jig and some on a watermelon red trick worm. When fishing the beds, I had to stay off a ways and make long flips to get them to bite.?
Kevin Fant, 46, also of Kirby, placed third among the boaters with five bass going 9.80 pounds. He fished the numerous docks ringing the developed lake. He landed 12 keepers, one weighing 4.02 pounds.
?We looked for secondary points leading to spawning pockets,? K. Fant said. ?I threw a watermelon red flake shaky head worm around docks most of the day. I shortened it down to 4.5 inches and used a 1/8-ounce leadhead. In the afternoon, we looked for bedding fish and found one big one.?
Jeffry L. Wade of Cabot took fourth with five bass going 8.30 pounds. In fifth for the boaters, Von Kinsey of Clarksville landed five keepers weighing 8.09 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Cody Burke, 27, of Greenbrier caught three bass for 5.64 pounds gain the laurel. Catching a total of seven bass, he capped the win with a 2.77-pounder that won the division lunker title.
?We started fishing shallow around some creeks,? Burke explained. ?My partner was throwing spinnerbaits, but I started throwing an albino Zoom fluke and got several bites. When I let the fluke sink deeper, I caught more fish. Later, my boater started sight fishing, so I just dragged a watermelon red baby brush hog on Carolina rig behind us and caught a few more.?
Johnny Manning of Arkadelphia placed second with three bass for 5.51 pounds with one 2.38-pound kicker. Cody Sharp of Hot Springs placed third with a three-bass division limit weighing 4.98 pounds, followed by Dylan S. Hays of Greenbrier with three bass at 4.52 pounds. Kenneth W. Kesner of Cabot rounded out the top five co-anglers with three bass going 3.87 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.