ABA anglers chasing $20,000
By Paul Stackhouse
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Ingalls Marina is the place to be this afternoon to find out how the bass are biting on Wheeler Lake.
Beginning at 3, the American Bass Anglers will weigh-in for the first day of a two-day bass tournament.
The Wheeler Lake event is the third stop in the ABA Grand Slam Series.
At stake with a field of 200 boats is a $20,000 first-place prize in the boater event. In the co-angler division, first place is $5,000.
The boater division is defined as the boat owner or pro who has a $550 entry fee to fish each tournament. The co-angler, or amateur partner, fishes from the back of the boat and is basically at the mercy of his boater. Entry fees for co-anglers are $155 per person.
Also, the boater chooses where to fish and how he or she will work the trolling motor.
Many of the pro anglers are fishing all five tournaments to be eligible for participating in the Grand Slam Series Championship. The no-entry-fee tournament offers the winning boater a fully rigged Triton Tr21X series boat, Mercury Optimax 225 motor and MotorGuide trolling motor.
Following the Wheeler Lake tournament, ABA will visit Lake Martin on May 18-19 and Lake Guntersville on June 15-16. The championship event will be on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn.
ABA, known for operating the largest bass tournament trail for the weekend angler, and now operates the popular Bassmaster Weekend Series and is the country's largest provider of bass-fishing tournaments.
The Grand Slam Series is named for HI-SEAS fishing
"This new series is aimed at providing a venue for anglers to step up and compete on a national level for larger money prizes," said Steve Miller, HI-SEAS sales manager. "We're thrilled to be a partner with American Bass Anglers in this program."
Miller says the Grand Slam Series is ABA's way of producing the next generation of professional talent.
Many of the anglers will be casting in shallow water where the bigger-sized bass are expected to be during the pre-spawn stage.
But sight-fishing will be difficult to do in many areas because of Wheeler's water clarity, which is normally somewhat dingy.
For those unable to attend the weigh-in, more information is available by going to americanbassanglers.com.
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