The Eliminator Series

The winner of this eight-man tournament will take home $2,500

GON Staff | April 28, 2006

Our Sinclair match-up will face two red-hot tournament guys against each other.

Jim Beavers of Manchester enters The Eliminator Series following a top-20 finish at the Stren Series event at West Point in February. He’s confident at Sinclair.

“I fished there for 25 years,” said Jim. “In early March, if those fish will move up, we’ll catch some.”

Jim has a new bait that he said is awesome. He almost hated to reveal it, but he’s planning to use it in The Eliminator Series, which means we’re going to tell you what it is.

“It’s a great bait in muddy or off-color water, and it’s excellent in cold, 52-, 53-degree, water,” said Jim. “I’ve caught a ton of fish on it. Folks are going to know about it after this.”

Also look for Jim to break out a spinnerbait and a split-shot lizard.

Jim also fishes BFL, where his accomplishments include finishing No. 25 at the All-American in 2003 and second at a regional in 2005.

Mark Massey from Perry is another tournament pro who could make it to “The Big Dance” on Oconee in November.

“I was second in GON’s Team Power Rankings, and I did tell the Nicolais’ congrats,” Mark said.

Mark earned his Team Power Ranking points through R&R and the Berry’s tournament trails, and both fish Sinclair a lot. He’s a pretty versatile angler, but he’s got his preferred techniques.

“My favorite way to catch a fish is flipping a jig under a dock or in a laydown, feeling that thump and setting the hook,” said Mark. “I believe I can help your readers with a few tips and techniques I have learned and developed over the years.”

The Allatoona tournament will take place in mid March, and both anglers are hoping their Lanier backgrounds will carry them to round two.

“I haven’t been to Lake Allatoona in 15 years,” said Bill Chandler of Flowery Branch.

Bill is a Lanier regular and a deep-water specialist.

“I like throwing topwater and jerkbaits in very deep water,” said Bill.

Joining Bill in the boat will be one of his favorite fishing partners, Miette, a Jack Russell Terrier.

“She has been fishing with me for about three years,” said Bill. “To say she is aggressive toward spotted bass is an understatement!”

We’ll confirm this at Allatoona as Bill competes against Steven Phillips.

“The Dead Sea — I’ve never been on Allatoona,” Steven said when we told him to get ready for The Eliminator Series.

Steven has spina bifida, a disorder involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord.

“I’m fairly paralyzed from the waist down,” said Steven. “I can walk, but nobody knows how.”

Steven’s favorite lake is Lanier, and he’s thinking he can take his clear-water techniques and figure something out on Allatoona.

“I’m a finesse-style fisherman,” said Steven. “I love to worm fish, and I’ve been doing something new with a Spotsticker that’s really been working for me. It helped me win a tournament at Keowee last month.”

We’ll see what Steven has up his sleeve in March.

This round-one event at West Point pairs a seasoned pro against an young angler full of talent.

David Millsaps of Ball Ground has been fishing for more than 40 years. Fishing with his wife Pansy in Guys & Dolls they’ve won four “Couple of the Year” titles and enjoyed one national championship win. He loves West Point in April.

“It’s got largemouths, and that’s my ticket,” said David. “Me and my wife have won quite a bit down there.”

David expects the fish in the ditches in early April, and he may start the day chunking a crankbait.

“By the end of the day, I’ll have jig in my hand,” said David.

We told David he’s fishing against the hottest 17-year-old on the tournament circuit.

“You wouldn’t put any heat on an old man would you?” David asked.

Last year Micah Frazier, 17, from Newnan become the youngest angler to ever win a BFL event as a boater. He got that win last April… yep, you guessed it — on West Point. Can he beat a veteran like Millsaps?

“I hope so — if the fish are on the same pattern I’ll probably do pretty good,” said Micah.

He won the BFL catching five fish early on a spinnerbait and then used a Carolina rig to catch two 6-pounders and a 5-pounder, all were on the bed.

“April brings it down to my level,” said Micah. “It’s the best time of the year for me down there.

“Being the youngest ever to win a BFL allows me to represent the youth in our sport well.”

We couldn’t make it through round-one without a good ol’ fashioned North vs. South fishing match. Dave Krantz, a flipper from Albany, will go head-to-head with a Carolina-rig fanatic from Blue Ridge — Jessie Rodgers. This round-one event will take place in April on Clarks Hill.

“I haven’t been to Clarks Hill in 10 years,” said Dave. “There’s not a worse lake to flip.”

Dave should adjust — he’s a 13-time BFL regional qualifier.

Jessie Rodgers from Blue Ridge will see Clarks Hill for the first time. He’s a mountain boy who listed Nottely, Burton and Blue Ridge as his favorite three reservoirs. His only tournament experience is with the Mountain Team Bass trail.
Jessie likes to throw a blade and a Trick Worm. Both could be deadly in April.

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