Presented by Stratos Boats
For Immediate Release -
Anderson, S.C.—Feb. 16, 2014—North Carolina’s Darrin “Joe” Birchfield and Chuck Harrison sacked an impressive five-fish limit weighing 21 pounds, 6 ounces to take top honors at the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s season opener on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell February 16.
“It feels really good to win this—I don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet,” Harrison, of Brevard, beamed minutes after the weigh-in concluded at scenic Portman Marina. He and Birchfield collected $5,200 in cash and prizes for their accomplishment, including the $4,000 cash purse, $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency and $200 Optima True Blue Award.
“We were excited when the NABC was coming to the area,” added Birchfield, of Hendersonville. “We’ve seen their MWC walleye tournaments on TV for years, and knew they put on a good show.” Tournament director Shane DuBois noted that teams weren’t disappointed, with many anglers praising the payout structure. “A lot of guys were pretty impressed that we gave away $10,500 in cash, prizes and the Big Bass Pot for a 17-boat event,” he said.
Birchfield and Harrison fished ½-ounce jigging spoons in a creek channel off a point in 30 to 35 feet of water. Harrison explained that a “hard hop” was key to the presentation. “We’d drop the spoon to bottom, reel up a couple of turns, then whip it up pretty good,” he said. “As soon as the slack came out of the line, we’d rip it again.”
Second-place finishers, Georgians Russell Davis and Chad Hart, were close behind with 20 pounds, 10 ounces, worth $2,000. They added $800 to their total by catching big bass of the tournament—a 6-pound, 5-ounce beauty. In all, 62 bass weighing a total of 172 pounds, 7 ounces were brought to the Cabela’s NABC scale. All were released alive.
For a full list of results and photos CLICK HERE!
This was the first of four Cabela’s NABC Southeast Region qualifying tournaments in 2014. The remaining schedule includes Lake Lanier, Georgia, March 22; Clarks Hill, Georgia, May 4; Lake Russell, South Carolina, June 1; and the Southeast Region Championship on Lake Lanier, Georgia, Aug. 9-10. In addition, the NABC North Region features qualifiers at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, May 10; Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, June 14; Leech Lake, Minnesota, July 26; and Lake Vermillion, Minnesota, August 22-23 (two-day bonus event). The North Region Championship is set for Oct. 4-5 on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Cabela’s NABC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Qualifying tournaments with 75 teams or more offer a guaranteed first-place cash purse of $10,000 plus payout to the top 20 percent of the field. Plus, the NABC Big Bass Pot, along with sponsor contingencies including Ranger Cup, Stratos 2X, and Optima True Blue add thousands in cash and prizes to the total.
Teams competing in multiple events can reap even greater rewards. Those fishing at least three NABC tournaments have a shot at qualifying for the prestigious, high-stakes championship for their respective NABC Region, which offers $15,000 cash for first place based on a full field. Regional Team of the Year titles will also be awarded to the team from each region with the highest point total from any three NABC qualifiers. Each title is worth $2,000 in Cabela’s gift cards, plus trophies and paid entry into their 2014 regional championship and 2015 regional qualifiers. In all, Team of the Year races will award more than $7,000 in cash and prizes to the top five teams in each region.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its fourth season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Optima Batteries, G-Juice and Sea Grant.
Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $500 per regular season tournament and $600 for each two-day region championship. The Circuit offered more than 100 percent payback to anglers in 2013 and will do so again in 2014. In addition, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support bass conservation projects anywhere the NABC does business.
Registration remains open through the Sunday night prior to each tournament or until the field fills. For more information, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.