Lonnie Bowlin and Ron Johnson 1st Place!!!
U.S. Anglerís Choice Region 3 Tournament of
U.S. Anglerís Choice Region 3 Tournament of
Champions was held March 4th thru the 7th on famed Lake
Guntersville, the home of Giant Largemouth Bass. At full pool Lake
Guntersville stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville
Dam, covers 69,100 surface acres and boasts 900 miles of beautiful
shoreline. This would be the stage in which over 160 teams would
compete, all looking for that winning pattern or area that lend
enough weight to take home one of three Legend Boats rigged with
The event was hosted by Jackson County Tourism and official lodging
sites for the event were the Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn and Suites
in Scottsboro, Alabama. Scottsboro offered teams and families plenty
of entertainment while not on the water and some fantastic places to
dine. The people living in the Scottsboro community are some of the
friendliest you will find anywhere in the country.
Teams gathered Thursday for a first class banquet followed up with a
short meeting held at the Scottsboro Goose Pond Civic Center.
Southern hospitality was in full force as teams were treated to a
fantastic dinner consisting of Southern fried chicken, Pork Chops,
country green beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, hot rolls
and plenty of deserts to top it off.
Following the dinner of and for champions a brief review of the
water and event specific rules were covered. Teams were officially
welcomed to the community and lake by J.P. Parsons from Jackson
County Tourism and the Mayor of Scottsboro Melton Potter. Legend
Boats representative Cindy Van Horn congratulated the attendees on
their qualification and welcomed all in attendance. The evening was
then finalized by recognizing each of the divisional anglers of the
year teams and awarding plaques for their accomplishments.
Leading up to the competition teams were dealt with rapidly changing
conditions. A cold front had passed through the area Sunday leaving
behind freezing temperatures and even some short lived snowfall.
This front dropped water temps five to ten degrees in some cases and
had fish moving. By Wednesday the temperatures were back on the rise
and water temps slowly started to climb.
As teams took off on the first day of competition they found a
nearly perfect day with take off temperatures around fifty degrees
and warming up to the mid seventies. The weigh-in started at 3pm and
it would soon be evident why Anglerís Choice teams have gained the
reputation of being the best of the best. Even with the unstable
conditions leading up to the event 138 teams would bring fish to the
scales and the top 33 teams would weigh bags of over 20lbs on this
When the scales closed after day one the Smithland Pool team of Jim
Hammersly and Kerry Betz found themselves on top the leader board
with a five fish limit that saw the scales reach a whopping
31.61lbs. They had a nearly five pound lead on the second place team
of Chad Kerr and Quinton Ingram fishing out of the Mississippi Pool
19 division. Chad and Quinton however would claim Big Bass honors on
this day with a 9.70 Guntersville beauty.
Day two started off somewhat overcast but the temps were still
rising and the fish were still moving. Teams would have to continue
to adjust to stay on top or make a move up the leader board. Day two
would see big changes in weights; while some would drop others would
put themselves right in the mix and with total weights near fifty
pounds over two days the top teams would find themselves separated
by only ounces making for an exciting conclusion to an awesome
Minutes after the last bag was weighed the results were in. The
Southern Illinois Choice division team of Lonnie Bowlin and Ron
Johnson would narrowly take the win and were crowned Region 3
Champions. The team brought consistent heavy bags to the scales. On
day one they weighed in 24.93lbs and followed it up on day two with
24.90lbs giving them a two day total of 49.83lbs and the win. The
team reported having a tough practice but located a flat with grass
and shad on it just prior to competition that produced some quality
fish. On day one the team caught the majority of their fish on
rattle traps and had their fish within two hours in the morning. Day
two would be no different as the fish bit early as they ran Chrome
and Black traps over the four foot flat. For the win the team takes
home a certificate for a new fully rigged Legend Alpha 211 with a
Mercury 225 Opti Max.
Kerry Betz and Jim Hammersly 2nd Place
Coming in second place and missing the win by just
over a pound was the Smithland Pool Team of Kerry Betz and Jim
Hammersly. On day one the team weighed in the big stringer of the
tournament, a five fish limit of 31.61 lbs but on day two struggled
somewhat by Guntersville standards with a five fish limit of 17.04
lbs giving them a total weight of 48.65 lbs. The team reported
catching their fish on traps and swimbaits worked under balls of
shad in the mouth of creeks. The depth the team was fishing was
approximately ten feet of water. For the second place position the
team wins a new fully rigged Legend Alpha 199 with a Mercury 200
Jeff Gee and Steve Majewski
Taking the third place position was the Pool 13 team of Jeff Gee and
Steve Majewski. They brought 5 fish to the scales on day one
weighing 22.26 lbs and followed it up on day two with a limit
weighing 23.74 lbs. giving them a two day total of 46 lbs. even.
That was just .05 behind the second place team. The team fished
grass in the 4 to 8 foot range near the mouths of creeks and through
rattle baits 100% of the time. They are sponsored by Champion boats,
Bobs Marine and Falcon Rods. The team wins a new fully rigged Legend
LE 195 with a Mercury 150 Opti Max
Coming in fourth place was the Southern Illinois team of Tommy Burns
and Darren Frazier. They weighed in a five fish limit on day one
seeing the scales reach 20.25 lbs. and bested that weight on day two
bringing five fish to the scales weighing in at 25.26 lbs lbs. The
team earned checks totaling $3,640.00
861 fish were brought to the scales with a 100% live release. No
Total weight of all fish 3,144 lbs
Avg. size bass= 3.65 lbs
Day 1 big bag: Kerry Betz and Jim Hammersly 31.61 lbs.
Day 2 big bag: Jeff Fulkerson and Lance Ricketts 28.84 lbs.
Day 1 big bass: Chad Kerr and Quinton Ingram 9.70 lbs.
Day 2 big bass: Mark Wiese and Jay Hulsey 7.87 lbs.
This was an awesome event for all who attended! If you were unable
to fish this season or make it to the championship come join us in
2009! Call 618-496-3610 for a trail near you.