Victer Victorious At 2005 Top Six Tournament On West Point

The top Georgia team is Southside Bassmasters with 106.97 pounds.

GON Staff | May 1, 2005

Eighty-six Georgia bass clubs sent anglers to this year’s Georgia B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation Top Six tournament on West Point Lake. For the April 11-12 tournament, 502 anglers showed up to fish in hopes they’d make the top-12 cut and move on to the Southern Division tournament in June at Lake Okeechobee.

The best-finishing angler in this year’s Top Six was David Victer, of Senoia. Fishing as a member of the Clayton County Bassmasters, David accounts the win to being on his home lake.

“I’m still on cloud nine,” said David. “I’ve never won anything this big. Now I’m going to Okeechobee in June. I’ve never been there. It’ll be an exciting adventure.”

David Victer with the Clayton County B/M holds up his plaque after catching 30.64 pounds in two days and being top angler in the tournament. Larry Lewis, president of the GBCF, presented him the award.

Here is this year’s Georgia B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation’s state team. These 12 anglers will move on to regional competition at Lake Okeechobee in June.

During practice, David shook off a fish that he believed would go about four pounds. The fish was relating to cypress trees in shallow water. This area was his first stop on day one.

“I hadn’t seen anyone on this place all week,” said David. “I hooked it but lost it. I still thought it was about four pounds. I had 10 or 15 backup spots, so I didn’t fish there the rest of the day.”

This 8.84-lb. largemouth made Donnie Hedrickson’s day. The West Point sow was the big fish for this year’s Top Six. Donnie fishes with Peachtree City Bass Anglers.

David was throwing Trick Worms and War Eagle spinnerbaits and catching quality largemouths in shallow water around wood cover. If he had a fish swirl at a bait and miss, he would throw a dark-colored Trick Worm on a 1/8-oz. Spotsticker jighead.

Having the best team in the Top Six comes with serious bragging rights. With 106.97 pounds, this year’s state-team champions were the Southside Bassmasters. Left to right: Al Horton, Jeremy Bryant, Ryan Horton, Cary Chester, Nathen Hirst and Jeff Grubbs.

The Metro Atlanta Hawg Hunters were the winners of this year’s Henry Ferris Award.

“I’d bounce it a couple of times, and it would almost be in their throat by the time I set the hook,” said David. “For the first day I weighed in 13-2 and was in eleventh place.”

For day two, David was going back to the cypress trees where he thought the fish he lost could still be.

“I caught her that time — it was a 6-lb., 2-oz. fish,” said David. “It’s very, very possible that fish was bedding. It was a finesse bite.”

With a day-two bag over 17 pounds, he cruised to a first-place finish with 30.64 pounds.

David’s partner for day two was Lindy Evans, who also made this year’s state team.

“We had a really good time,” said David. “We had over 30 pounds of fish in the boat.”

The water was muddy, which meant sight fishing didn’t come into play. Larry Lewis, president of the GBCF, said many anglers reported spawning or prespawning fish.

“Basically three things were catching fish for a lot of the guys —Carolina rigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits,” said Larry.

He said a lot of fish were relating to chunk rock the size of a softball in two or three feet of water.

The winning club was Southside Bassmasters, which also won the tournament in 2003. For two days they weighed in 106.97 pounds, beating 26 Bassmasters, the second-place team, by over seven pounds.

The Metro Atlanta Hawg Hunters were awarded the Henry Ferris Award

“It’s a memorial award to the most outstanding club in the state,” said Larry. “An outstanding club means they do outside activities other than fishing — kids events, charity things, those sort of things.”

Team members Dan Burnette (12) and Van Kennedy (11) made the state team last year, too. Van has won the Top Six twice — in 1982 and 2002.

“I’ve made the state team eight or nine times,” said Van.

The state-team qualifiers now prepare for the Southern Division tournament in June where they’ll try to finish as the top Georgian. That angler moves on to national competition, where he’ll be vying for a $50,000 first-place check and a spot in the Bassmaster Classic.

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