Mitchell & McCollum win Neely Henry ABT Event, Become First North Team to Win 2 Events in Same Season!
by Dan O’Sullivan
May 13, 2017 – Gadsden, Ala. – One thing the field of anglers can expect when they make their annual trek to Neely Henry Lake is that they are going to have the opportunity to catch a large number of bass. The Coosa River fishery located in Gadsden, Ala. was the fourth stop of the 2017 Alabama Bass Trail Northern Division schedule, and it didn’t disappoint.
While the field was recording one five fish limit after another, the team of Mitch Mitchell and Candler McCollum did it just a little bit better, and in the process recorded a little bit of ABT history in the process. By bringing a 16.64-pound limit – which included the 5.72-pound big bass of the event – to the scales, Mitchell and McCollum won the event and became only the second team in ABT history to win two events in the same season.
The former college anglers, who won the first event of the 2017 season at Wheeler Lake, ran downstream from Coosa Landing and spent their day flipping sparse grass on the main lake with Sweet Beavers on 1/2-ounce tungsten weights and a swim jig with Paca Craw trailer; which caught the big fish, to claim victory and the $10,000 first prize.
The pair did not expect this kind of result. “We’re actually a little shocked right now,” they said. “We had a 14-inch fish in our bag that we couldn’t cull, and with this field, you typically have to have five quality fish to win; we can’t believe it, but are so happy to have it turn out the way it did.”
The win actually gains the pair one point in the Northern Division Angler of the Year standings over Jack and Kathy Womack, who finished the Neely Henry event in second place. The husband and wife team from Trussville produced a strong, 16.13-pound limit, and led the event for much of the weigh-in. They earned $5,000 for their day’s performance.
Despite the runner-up finish, they expressed the fact that they were very happy with the finish. “We came here with the goal of getting a top three plaque,” they said. “So even though we fell just short of a win, we still achieved our goal and are happy with the finish.” They also reported fishing main lake grass with 1/2-ounce chartreuse and white Booyah spinnerbaits and swimming a 3/8-ounce white swim jig and Rage Craw trailer to produce their weight.
The team of Jason Yelverton and Richard Walker finished third with 15.72 pounds, earning $4,000 in the process. They were followed by Duane Smith and Jarrid Traylor in fourth with 15.01 pounds, earning $3,000, and Lee and Logan Hurley weighed 14.64 pounds to round out the top five and take home $2,000.
The top 10 standings are below, for complete standings go to http://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/nhl-results/
|1||Mitch Mitchell / Candler McCollum||16.64||5.72||$10,000|
|2||Jack Womack / Kathy Womack||16.13||5.03||$5,000|
|3||Jason Yelverton / Richard Walker||15.72||$4,000|
|4||Duane Smith / Jarrid Traylor||15.01||4.91||$3,000|
|5||Lee Hurley / Logan Hurley||14.64||$2,000|
|6||Lisa Johnson / Mike Johnson||14.63||4.55||$1,500|
|7||Nolen Spencer / Jonathon Reese||14.33||4.54||$1,100|
|8||Clay Madison / Kyle Patterson||14.26||4.25||$1,100|
|9||Charlie Cummings / Greg Pugh||14.1||$1,100|
|10||Brandon Staggs / Jerry Wright||13.92||$1,100|
The sponsors of the 2017 Alabama Bass Trail include; Bill Penney Toyota, Phoenix Bass Boats, GP8 Oxygen Water, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, SCA Performance, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, AFTCO, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Lew’s Fishing, Crossed Industries, YETI, E3 Apparel, TVA and Alabama Power.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visitwww.alabamabasstrail.org.