Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation Winners Find Hartwell Bass Deep
Mike Bolton | March 22, 2023
The Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation held its high school and middle school tournaments on Lake Hartwell this past weekend and the top participants had no problem with catching fish.
The Irwin County duo of Peyton Dunn and Gavin Guy was the top high-school team with a five-fish limit weighing 18.13, followed by the Dawson County team of Buddy Benson and BJ Collins. The Dawson County team finished with 18.0 pounds.
According to Brandon Stooksbury with the Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation, the Irwin County winners concentrated on brushpiles in the 12- to 30-foot range in creeks in the mid-lake area. Those brushpiles were the key to the bigger bites. The team felt like the severe cold front had pushed the fish off to the deeper piles.
The team used a Buddha Baits Shakey Head with both Zoom Trick Worms and Zoom Speed Craws. The Speed Craw accounted for the bigger bites, and the team felt like it was because of the smaller profile.
The key was being able to present the baits and feel the bites in deeper water was using a FX custom 7-4 medium-heavy spinning rod with 10-lb.-test Seaguar Invizx Fluorocarbon. Also key was their Garmin LiveScope to locate the brushpiles and see the fish react to their bait.
In the Middle School Division, the team of Carrollton Middle School’s Karsyn Smith and Andrew Pittman won with a five-fish limit of 12.01. They narrowly edged out the Tallulah Falls team of DJ Broome and Stephen Crumley, who had a catch of 11.44 pounds.
The Carrolton Middle School team focused on the mid-lake area fishing main-lake shoals, points and islands that had a hard bottom. Rock seemed to be the biggest factor. They sat in 30 feet of water and cast to 15 to 20 feet. A Lowrance ActiveTarget was the key in locating the fish. They indicated if you could get the bait in front of one, they would typically bite. They were using a shaky-head rig with a variety of baits that included stick worms, Trick Worms and other finesse presentations. They said the sun was a key factor, and their best bite occurred from 11 a.m. to weigh-in.
The high-school division had 122 boats and the middle school division had 33 boats. Full results from the Hartwell tournament can be found on at Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation.
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