With there being so many tournament trails now, it’s a wonder there’s even a weekend available. But this new tournament trail is something different. It’s the American Bass Anglers Top 150 Solo Tour and it’s just what the name says…solo. This three-tournament bass trail is designed for an angler who wants to fish a multi-day event by himself (no co-angler) without breaking the bank or taking out a loan. There are two divisions, the southeastern division and the southwest division. The southeastern division lakes include Lake Eufaula Alabama, Lake Guntersville Alabama and Lake Chickamauga Tennessee. The southwest division includes Toledo Bend Louisiana, Sam Rayburn Texas and Lake Eufaula Oklahoma.
Other tournament trails that will remain nameless, charge up to $1800 for a three-day event and basically only have a 60% payback. American Bass Anglers(ABA) decided to go after a market of anglers who are tired of high entry fees and poor payback. So, they decided to offer a two-day event where all anglers fish both days (Friday & Saturday). They have a payback of 80% and $20,000 for a first-place finish (based on 150 boat field) for an affordable entry fee of $600. Also 20% of the field will be paid at each of these two-day events. This is the brainstorm of ABA Tournament Director Chris Wayand and the owner of ABA Morris Sheehan. Finally, a circuit that’s designed for the working man or weekend warrior who wants to compete at a high level without costing a fortune.
The first event was held on beautiful Toledo Bend Reservoir February 5th & 6th out of Cypress Bend Park. Even though it was not a full field, eighty-four of the best anglers showed up excited to see exactly what ABA had put together. While the 150-boat max was not obtained, this did not curtail the excitement surrounding this first inaugural ABA Top 150 Solo Tour. The competition level was a who’s who of the southwest region and the fish weighed-in reflected the caliber of anglers fishing this first-time event. Toledo Bend legends in this event included Harold Allen, Glen Freeman, George Jeane Jr., Jerrel Pringle and Kevin Lasyone just to name a few.
But young gun Cody Pitt stole the show and led this event wire to wire with a two-day total 10 bass limit of 51.49 pounds and taking home the $13,000 first place prize money. Cameron Roan of Beaumont, Texas and Nick Kincaid of Oklahoma finished 2nd and third respectively while taking home $5500 and $4200 each. Day 1 of this event had 7 bags of over 20 pounds with Cody Pitt leading the way with 27.02 pounds. He followed up day 1 with 24.47 on day two to seal the victory by a little over 3 pounds. It took a two- day total of 27.89 to get a check as sixteen places were paid out. Cole Moore of Anacoco, LA who finished 8th overall also took home the $1000 big bass honors with an 8.46-pound bass. He also finished
Overall, this was a great event, and I would like to commend ABA Tournament Director Chris Wayand and his great staff for doing an awesome job from takeoff each morning to the final weigh-in on Saturday. This circuit is in great hands with Chris and will continue to grow and exceed expectations. Starting a new tournament trail is not easy and takes time for the word to get out. The next event for this division will be on Lake Sam Rayburn March 26th & 27th out of Castle Boykin Park and I predict a full 150 boat field with $20,000 up for grabs.
There are two events left for this 2021 season and it’s not too late to enter. If you or someone you know is looking to fish this new and exciting ABA Top 150 Solo Tour, go to americanbassanglers.com or call ABA at 256-232-0406 and sign up today. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!
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