Carver and Ferman Take First Place and “Anglers of the Year” in Berry’s Tournament at Oconee

Also, bass tournament results from HD Marine, R&R and More

Kim Carver and Matt Ferman said changing weather conditions and a spinnerbait were key ingredients in their win at Berry’s Lake Oconee tournament Saturday, May 13.

“We struggled all morning,” said Kim. “We mostly caught our fish off a Zoom lizard. We’d catch one on a dock, then one on a seawall, we probably only had six bites before 1 o’clock.”

With two hours to go in the tournament, a weather front moved in bringing clouds and wind. The team was able to cull out the five fish in the box and bring over 19 pounds to the scale.

“It just made them feed,” said Kim. “They were right on the banks.

“I really believed most of the people wouldn’t figure this out because they threw a spinnerbait all morning without a bite just like we did and all of a sudden there’s a weather change and the fish start feeding.”

Knowing wind and clouds produce great conditions for chunking a blade, the team stayed on the trolling motor and went down a windy bank in the mid-lake area. They threw a homemade white spinnerbait with white willowleaf blades. Kim said the fish were not keying on anything, however, he said shad were up shallow.

The win was worth $2,900, and it also anchored “Angler of the Year” honors, which was worth an additional $2,740.

“We went back out after the weigh-in and had probably 12 pounds from 4:30 until six,” said Kim. “We didn’t leave Sugar Creek, we went back out because they were biting.”

Here’s your top five from the tournament.

  • 1st place: Kim Carver & Matt Ferman, 19.62 pounds
  • 2nd place: Jim Windham & Chad Wilson, 15.84 pounds
  • 3rd place: Montie Walters & Paul Tickerhoof, 15.22 pounds
  • 3rd place: Benjie Cleary & Randy Thompson, 15.22 pounds
  • 5th place: Travis Smith & Colby Osburn, 14.65 pounds

May 7, HD Marine, Hartwell

Five South Carolina tournament teams filled the top-five positions in HD Marine’s Hartwell tournament on Sunday, May 7.

Winning the event was Larry Martin and Roy Stuart, both from Anderson, S.C.

“We caught our fish schooling,” said Roy Stuart. “We used Flukes and Spooks. The best schooling was in the middle of the morning, between 10 and 12.”

HD anglers had to contend with rain and wind for much of the tournament.

“I found some fish Saturday morning, and Larry found some this week on shoals,” said Roy “Once the wind got up Saturday, with all that wave action, you couldn’t see the fish as good.”

Along with fishing the places they found in practice Roy and Larry were also able to run-and-gun to areas they traditionally catch bass on Hartwell in May.

“I bet we burned 20 gallons of gas,” said Roy. “You have to fish a lot of places for this schooling bite. Having home-lake advantage isn’t always an advantage, we just stayed on our program, worked hard and it worked out.”

For first place, Roy and Larry found themselves in the seats of a new Skeeter bass boat.

Below are the top-10 finishing teams for the HD tournament.

  • 1st place: Larry Martin & Roy Stuart, 19.42 pounds
  • 2nd place: Barton Aiken & Jeff Rohaley, 19.37 pounds
  • 3rd place: Brad Fowler & Brock Taylor, 18.80 pounds
  • 4th place: Jim Connor & Mark Rumler, 18.43 pounds
  • 5th place: Chris Powell & Rusty Brock, 17.45 pounds
  • 6th place: Sam Harris & Rob Wimberly, 17.28 pounds
  • 7th place: Jim Jordan & Brad Witcher, 15.87 pounds
  • 8th place: Darryl Huntsinger & Mike Blalock, 15.41 pounds
  • 9th place: Jim Gooch, 15.21 pounds
  • 10th place: Tully Youngblood & George Forrester, 15.14 pounds

Kim Carver and Matt Ferman won the Berry’s tournament Saturday, April 22 at Lake Oconee.

“The shad are spawning right now, and we fished that early in the morning, catching them on spinnerbaits and shallow-running crankbaits,” said Kim.

Kim used a white spinnerbait with white willowleaf blades and a Zoom crankbait. They caught their fish around the mouth of Sugar Creek.

“The shad were flickering up against wall, but the fish weren’t busting in them,” said Kim. “We had a lot of shad following our baits to the boat.”

Kim said they keyed on rocks and seawalls and quickly covered lots of water to find their early bag of fish. “It was over by 9:30,” said Kim.

Twenty-two Allatoona teams fished a tournament Saturday, April 22 to help raise money for Mountainbrook Comprehensive Academy. Michael Brock and Deron McCoy won the event with about 13 pounds, second place went to the Bagley boys, Kelly and Jackie. Third place was last year’s UCP winners, Brandon and Tony Howell.
“We had right at 10 pounds,” said Tony. “We caught most of ours on a floating worm in blowdowns and brush in the pockets. We found very few bass on a bed.”

Tony said the fish they caught were in three to eight feet of water.

April 15, March of Dimes, Lanier

Rick Steckelberg and Darrell Parker had their limit in about 45 minutes at the March of Dimes event at Lanier. Fishing a jig around cement pilings gave them about 13 or 14 pounds of spotted bass.

“We culled every one of them, too,” said Rick.

The winning team started the culling process by fishing deep humps with a Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin.

“We were actually catching fish that were staging up to spawn,” said Rick. “We’d let the bait hit the bottom, and then we were just slow winding it.”

The humps the team fished were the actual bedding areas for spotted bass — they topped out at 18- and 20-feet deep. The bite was on the drops, in 28 to 32 feet of water.

“There didn’t have to be bait or brush present, but the more rock that was there it seemed to be better,” said Rick. “We caught them all on the south end, near the dam.”

April 8-9, HD Marine, Lanier

James Wiley of Loganville and Kevin Dugger from Sandy Springs have won two out of the last three HD Marine tournaments, the latest a two-day event on Lanier.

 “I was planning on sight fishing but didn’t find enough fish Friday,” said James. “At the time they were real close to spawning. We just backed off and started fishing areas heading into spawning areas.”

James caught his fish halfway back in the pockets on secondary points while throwing a Lucky Craft Pointer 78 jerkbait.

“With that 78 I’ll pause it, and a lot of bites come on the pause,” said James. “I love that 78. It’s so small. It matches the bait.”

James said a little luck on Sunday helped seal a victory. “Sunday we had a pocket that had some schooling spots in it,” he said. “That really helped us out. We didn’t get our big fish on Sunday until 2 o’clock. It was a nail biter.”

April 8, R&R, Oconee

Oconee bass weights at the April 8 R&R were about as impressive as you’ll ever see. It took 20.89 pounds to win, sixth place was 19.1 pounds and it took 16.04 pounds and a limit to make it in the top-10. The winners were Mike Harris and his 16-year-old stepson Travis Mulkey. Travis caught the first keeper of the day, an 8.04-pounder, which was the big fish for the tournament.

“It felt really good,” said Travis. “She hit a Senko. The first time I saw her roll over, she looked like a 3-pounder, but the second time she tried to jump… she took us by surprise.”

Mike was fired up then.

“I picked up a Senko after he caught that fish, and in 10 minutes I caught another keeper,” said Mike. “We just started fishing outer edges of pockets, 20 or 30 yards from where they’d bed.”

Later, Mike caught a 5-pounder and a small keeper on a spinnerbait and a 4-pounder on a white jig. They concentrated on short pockets in Richland Creek from Ritz Carlton to the dam.

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