Only a few inches separated first and second place in our holiday fishing tournament.
In the end, angler Karl Hudson took home the grand prize in the Connect Fishing League Holiday Bass tournament. The tournament was open for anyone to participate and there were two ways to win.
The first way was length based with the best five catches being combined to come up with the total length. The second way was for catching the biggest bass by weight. Connect Fishing League members were eligible for a special contingency prize of $100 if they were an active member and won the event.
A total of 19 anglers from across the country entered in the tournament, which started on Dec. 17 and ran until Dec. 20.
Karl Hudson hit the water on the first day and reeled in a 19.25-inch bass at 11:40 a.m. He hauled in two more catches on Thursday, reeling in a 19.25-inch bass at 2:20 p.m. and an 18-inch largemouth at 4:27 p.m.
He added another two catches to his total on Friday, bringing in a 20.25-inch bass at 1:36 p.m. and a 17.75-inch bass at 5:31 p.m. Karl would add his last catch of the tournament on Friday when he brought in an 18.75-inch bass at 1:27 p.m. His five best fish totaled a length of 95.50-inches, giving him first place.
“I fished in shallow water with a lipless crankbait,” Karl said. “The surface temperature was in the mid-40s with post front conditions. The fish were over large areas of coontail moss. I covered a lot of water to get a few strikes. I used a medium to fast retrieve and most of the strikes occurred as my lure made contact with the grass and pulled free.”
Karl’s fishing report is:
Gear: Bass Pro Qualifier reel, Lew’s David Fitz crankbait rod
Location: Biggersville Watershed, Biggersville, MS
Daniel Hayden came in a close second. He took to the water on Thursday and started bringing in fish in the afternoon. He hauled in an 18-inch bass at 2:13 p.m., a 15-inch bass at 4:01 p.m., a 16.25-inch bass at 4:19 p.m., a 12.25-inch bass at 4:51 p.m., a 20.50-inch bass at 5 p.m., a 12.75-inch bass at 5:12 p.m., and he ended Thursday with a 14.50-inch bass at 5:19 p.m.
Hayden got back on the water Saturday and brought in a 16-inch bass at 11:25 a.m., a 15.25-inch bass at 11:41 a.m., and ended the tournament with a 19.75-inch bass at 12:03 p.m.
The length of his five best fish totaled 90.50-inches. Hayden did take home the big bass prize along with second place by bringing in a 4.54-pound bass, the biggest of the tournament. Hayden was also a Connect Fishing League member and won an extra $100.
“I have fished a few of these Connect Scale events in the past, and I genuinely love these formats and how easy it is for the connect scale to capture all the details from each fish caught. The stars aligned the two days I was fishing, and I was fortunate enough to finish 2nd place. Every fish measured and weighed was caught using a 3/8oz Moaner Hooks EnRaged Jig with a Rage Craw trailer paired with Seaguar 15lb Invizx Fluoro. I was fishing main lake points near river channels close to 45-degree banks! It was an exciting time for sure. The weather was upper 40s low 50s and the water temperature was anywhere between 49-52 degrees. Not to mention, I caught my personal best during this event.”
Daniel’s fishing report is:
Bait: All fish were caught with a Maoner Hooks 3/8oz EnRaged Jig (custom Skirt color) Rage Craw trailer
Location: Tenkiller Lake in Paradise Hill, Oklahoma
Tim Horton would finish third in the tournament with a total length of 87.25-inches for his five-best fish. He hauled in five fish on Thursday coming in at 12.25-inches, 13.25-inches, 12-inches, 12.50-inches, and 17-inches respectively. He would add five more on Friday coming in at 16.50-inches, 14.75-inches, 14.75-inches, 17-inches, and 20-inches. He ended the tournament on Friday with two more catches of 15.50-inches and 16.75-inches.
Thanks to all who participated in this year’s holiday tournament. Be on the lookout for more tournaments in the future.