ATHENS, Ala. – After three straight days at the head of the pack, Bryan D. New won the Boater Division in the 2019 Ray Scott Championship, held April 4-7 on Walter F. George Reservoir near Eufaula, Ala.
The Belmont, N.C. angler finished the four-day tournament with a perfect catch of 20 bass weighing 98.70 pounds. An 8.80-pound bucketmouth he caught on Day 3 also took top honors in the tournament big bass competition. For the victory, New won $50,000 in cash plus a new 21TRX Triton boat equipped with a 250-horsepower Mercury Pro XS outboard motor.
During each off the four days of fishing at Walter F. George Reservoir, better known as Lake Eufaula, New landed five-bass tournament limits. New’s Day 3 catch of 26.03 pounds was one of only two bags exceeding 26 pounds caught in the event. New placed second on Day 1 with 25.69 pounds, but took the lead the following day with a 25.61-pound bag and never relinquished it. He capped off his winning effort with 21.37 pounds on the final day to seal the victory by more than eight pounds.
“On the first day, my co-angler was reeling in a jig and a big bass blew up on it,” New revealed. “I picked up a white Greenfish Tackle swim jig with a Rage craw trailer on it and caught some pretty good fish using a Fitzgerald 7'3" Hvy Stunner HD Rod. I also caught some good fish in the tournament on Greenfish Tackle Creeper Head Jig tipped with an Ol’ Monster worm fished on a Fitzgerald Stunner HD 7'0" Hvy Rod. I probably fished more than 150 places on the lake. On the final day, it was a grind.”
In second for the boaters, Scott Montgomery, a local favorite from Eufaula, Ala., also finished with four straight five-bass tournament limits. He moved up one place from Day 3 with a 23.68-pound bag that gave him a total of 90.65 pounds including a 6.82-pound lunker. Montgomery stayed in the top six each day with earlier catches of 24.63, 22.00 and 20.34 pounds.
“On the first day, I had a really good day fishing brush offshore,” Montgomery explained. “I started culling 4-pounders. The next day was so tough I could hardly get a bite. On the third day, I went to the bank with a swim jig and caught a good bag. We returned to that spot that last day and I didn’t get a bite. I didn’t have a keeper until about 9 a.m. on the final day. I finally went back to running brush. My go-to baits all week were a Davis Bait swim jig with a Big Bite prototype trailer and a jig with a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog.”
Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala. also moved up one spot on the last day to finish third with 20 bass going 89.45 pounds topped by a 6.52-pounder. He weighed in 25.55 pounds, the biggest bag on the final day, to add to his other weights of 24.69, 23.94 and 15.27 pounds to stay in the top five throughout the competition.
“On the first two days, I caught my fish out on the river cranking,” Ingram said. “During the next two days, I caught all my fish on a 1-ounce Ledgebuster willow-leaf spinnerbait. I was fishing brush on ledges. The ledges were in about 20 to 22 feet of water with the brush up at about 10 to 12 feet deep.”
Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla. jumped from sixth place take fourth on the final day with a 23.80-pound catch. An 8.42-pounder helped him make the leap. Fitzgerald finished with a perfect 20 bass limit weighing 84.66 pounds. He also brought in catches weighing 22.31, 13.13 and 25.42 pounds.
Article by John N. Felsher