Oconee Classic - October 11, 2014

     This years Classic was again a showing of who is able to figure out a tough bite and be confident enough to make it work.  The prior day's tournament helped narrow down the method, but the location was not just a specific area.  The pattern of deep wood and minnow rigs was working all over the lake.  As always there were only certain pieces of wood that were holding the better fish among a lot of other wood that was not.  Using electronics helped some, but presentation of the minnow rigs made more of a difference once the bigger fish were located.  The wind helped keep enough chop on the water that boat control over the wood was critical.  The chop also helped keep the fish higher in the water and made the boat less of a shadow.  The clearer than normal water had a lot of the fish harder to catch the previous day during the calm winds.  Only 9 teams felt confident enough in their prefishing and previous days results.  Being versatile pays dividends.

     Congrats to Scott Williams and Jacob Sapp on being the 2014 Classic Champions.  They improved their prior days weight by continuing to key in on wood structure with minnow rigs in the 10-25 foot range that they had placed over the years.  They also experimented with colored baits in a variety of styles.  Their limit weighed 9.97 lbs. winning $700. 

     Second place was closely behind with 9.72 lbs. and was also a tie with 3rd place.  Kim Maxwell and Dan Sidle also caught the Big Fish of the Classic which weighed 2.03 lbs. and was the tie breaker.  They improved their previous days weight by finding standing old wood along the river channel in an area that had been fished hard for several days.  The difference they found was their were bigger fish holding on top of the wood and suspended out from the bigger trees.  Some of their fish came within 6 feet of the surface.  They used single and double minnow rigs and a mixture of Taser Jigs, but they said the straight minnow rigs worked best on Saturday.  Their weight netted them $300 and $90 for Big Fish.

     Third place also weighed in 9.72 lbs. but had a slightly smaller big fish losing the tie for second.  Robert Sellers and Dale Bailey worked the scattered old timber on deep flats off the river channel with jigs and minnow rigs just like the previous day.

     Fourth place went to the 2014 Points Champions and previous day winners Randy Temples and Ricky Burgamy.  They were able to boat 9.10 lbs. working minnow and jig rigs over wood structure they placed in the lake and old submerged timber.  They won a $100 B'n'M gift card.  

     Fifth place weighed in 8.98 lbs. with a mixture of longline and tightline jigs and minnows.  They covered a lot of water to find the best wood structure.  Once they located the fish, the minnow/jig rigs produced their best fish.  They also netted a $100 B'n'M gift card.

Over two days of tournaments and only 22 boats entered, over $5,000 in cash and prizes were won by Slab Masters members.  That puts Slab Masters at the top of the tournament trails in the South in money paid back to anglers in our tournaments.  A lot more than money is earned at these events too.  Each and every fishing trip should be a learning experience.  Sometimes you may not like what you learn, but if you look at the big picture the lesson learned can be invaluable.  Being able to adapt your fishing style to what the fish want will make you a better angler, or you can continue to fish the way you like and get lucky sometimes.  

     We would also like to thank those that came to the weigh-in to talk with our members about improving their fishing skills.  We welcome anyone that wants to learn how to be a better angler.  I know several folks took away a lot of good info that I am sure they will put to good use.   

     Thank you to Sav-A-Lot BP for being awesome hosts and having everything our members needed.  Also, a big thank you to Taser Jigs, Crappie.com, SugarBugs, B'n'M, Jiffy Jigs, EZT Pole Perch, Crappie Town & Bobby Garland Baits, Ocmulgee Timber, and Five Star Automotive Group.

Check out the pictures from the tournament at the bottom of the page and Click this link for complete weigh-in results: 

2014 Oconee Classic Results