Taylor Odom Lands a Monster to Seal Victory
ATHENS, Ala. – Taylor Odom won the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Area 2 Championship, held October 7-8 on Lake Pickwick. Running out of McFarland Park near Florence, AL the Ridgeland Mississippi angler started his day off with a bang. Just 15 minutes into the day he set the hook on a monster bass, landing it and anchoring his bag of 18.52 pounds to take home the guaranteed boater division prize of $10,000.00.
Day One brought us a picture-perfect morning for the National Anthem as the field took to the water shortly before 6:30. With the threat of Hurricane Nate approaching, the forecast continued to grow towards a threat of severe weather and ended the event a day early. Anglers were given a full day on Day One but Day Two was cancelled.
“This morning I definitely wasn’t expecting this. I got to my first spot and set the hook just 15 minutes later throwing a reaction bait. The fish came up and I nearly lost my composure. I knew she was big, but not that big! It is the largest fish I have landed not just in a tournament, but in my career,” said Odom. Taylors big bass hit the scales and weighed an astonishing 11.42 pounds. “I finished out my limit with some schooling fish and came in at the end of the day with her as my anchor. I didn’t find out until I got to the ramp that day 2 had been cancelled and that’s when I realized that one fish may have just done it for me.” Said Odom.
In second for the boaters, Tom O’Bryant of Cedar Grove, TN finished with a 5-fish limit of 14.54 pounds. The 2nd through 6th place finisher were separated by less than 5 ounces.
“I was catching mine on a jig today. I had a good spot and managed to pull 12 keepers culling 6 or 7 times but I left them around 11:00 saving some for tomorrow.” Said Tom. Not knowing we would be cut short by one day, mother nature changed plans for everyone this weekend.
Drew Boggs of Lebanon, TN took home 3rd place honors with a 5-fish limit for 14.49 pounds.
“I had a real tough practice the past couple days but I never found any keepers. I caught about 30 fish but never found anything to bring to the scales. I had a pattern that was catching fish but nowhere to take it. I ran into a creek this morning I had not been to yet and was able to catch them using the same technique. I caught six keepers today and did cull one time so it worked out.” Stated Drew.
In fourth, Kirby Weeden of Bartlett, TN came in with a solid bag for a 14.46 pound. Finishing 5th was Garrett Riles of Potts Camp, MS with pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Tyler Broome of Clinton, MS came in with a solid 3 fish limit of 10.03 pounds anchored by a 4.39 pound largemouth, to claim the first-place guaranteed check of $5000.00. Being this was Pickwick, there were many smallmouths that came across the scales as well, one of them just under 4 lbs.
“We made a long run close to the dam and caught 2 keepers early that morning. I wasn’t able to get any more bites but my boater was whacking em’. He caught his limit and decided to move, and that’s when I finally caught my third keeper, a smallmouth on a whopper plopper. It was the most aggressive top water strike I have ever had. What an awesome sight. That finished out my limit, but later in the day around 2:30 is when I caught the 4.39 lb. largemouth to cull up to my final weight.” Said Tyler. “It was a slow day but exciting.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Mark Shane drove the 9 hours all the way from Indianapolis, IN to fish this event. Mark brought in three fish for 8.04 pounds anchored by a 3.54 pound largemouth.
“I had a wonderful time, and was paired with a great boater, that was able to put us on the fish. I caught a lot of fish, but just not the ones I needed. The fish were hitting top water, spooks, square bill crankbaits, and the old trusty brush hog. I think the tournament went wonderful, even though I was a little disappointed about Day Two being canceled. The tournament manager and crew did an awesome job, and I’m ready for next year,” said Shane.
JoJo Wash of Lyles, TN placed third among the co-anglers bringing a limit of 3 fish weighing 6.63 pounds.
“We were around fish most of the day, just hard to get keeper bites. I got my first keeper in the boat early. We were fishing deep and it was just tough to get the keepers. I did lose one that would have kept. Just as I set the hook my boater hooked up at the same time. I was closer to the net so I reached down for it thinking I would have to net both at the same time. Just then, mine jumped and threw the hook and my boaters fish ended up being a striper so neither one of us lucked out. I caught my 2nd keeper just 15 minutes before we had to be in, but that fish is what won me AOY.” Explained Walsh.
In fourth place among the co-anglers was Jim Decker of Burlington, KY with 6.59 pounds, and in 5th was Tom Ballowe of Eddyville, KY with 6.53 pounds. Tom also had big bass for the Co-Anglers weighing 4.65 pounds.
The week of April 1st through the 7th, 2018, the best anglers from across the nation will compete in the Ray Scott National Championship, slated for the Red River in Shreveport & Bossier City, LA.
For more information on this tournament, call Chris Wayand, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.ramopenseries.com .
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Ram Truck Open Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.
American Bass Anglers, Inc. is supported by Ram Trucks, Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Carlisle Tires, GEICO, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Best Western Hotels, Maui Jim, Power Pole, Simms, Garmin, and SiriusXM Marine Weather. American Bass Anglers, Inc. can be contacted at (256) 232-0406 or by visiting americanbassanglers.com