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Local anglers earn top finishes at Bassmasters event


By Kevin Forrester



Gene Brown, Don Hitchcock, and the Lowndes County Bass Club overcame tough conditions this past weekend to take titles at the two-day Mississippi Bass Federation State Championship event in Columbus. 


On the boater side, Brown, the leader after the first day, failed to keep the pace of day one but still managed a weight of 6.66 pounds. He finished with a total weight of 22.46 pounds to take first in the individual angler category. 


Brett Thompson took second with 18.22 pounds. Terry Cannon, of Tombigbee Bassmasters, finished in third (17.20 pounds), Bill Bowen, of Northeast Mississippi Bass Club, was fourth (16.44). 


Jamie Long struggled on day two but still made the top six boaters with 14 pounds. Brian Windle, of Lowndes County Bass Club, finished the State Team of boaters with 13.94 pounds. 


On the co-angler side, Don Hitchcock posted a total weight of 14.88 pounds. Bobby Kellum finished second with 13.24 pounds. Shawn Palmer, of the Tupelo Bass Club, was third (13.22). Mike Ayers, of the Lowndes County Bass Club, was fourth (11.28), and Jonathan Tiblier, of Back Bay Bassmasters, took the fifth (10.86). 


Jeff Minor, of Aberdeen Tenn-Tom, made the final co-angler to represent the State Team with 10.70 pounds. 


The Lowndes County Bass Club had a combined club weight of 46.94 pounds to take the team title. 


Day two was a struggle for most anglers, as the muddy water conditions worsened and the fish either moved or shut down. Only five anglers brought in a five-fish limit out of out of 136 anglers. 


The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers from the event move on to the Regional competition as a State Team. The clubs that competed are from all parts of the state of Mississippi and compete in their local tournaments. Each club featured 12 members who compete as a team and individually. 


On day one of the tournament Friday, anglers held their own. Brown, of the Clay County Bassmasters, brought in the leading weight of 15.80 pounds on the boater side. Long, of Monroe County Bassmaters, posted a weight of 10.16 pounds. Thompson, of the Lowndes County Bass Club was close behind with 10.14 pounds. 


On the co-angler side for day one, Kellum, of the Starkville Bass Club, posted a weight of 9.58 pounds. Josh Hamilton, of the Clay County Bassmaters, fell in just short with 9.48 pounds, and Hitchcock, of the Lowndes County Bass Club, came to the scales with 8.18 pounds. 


n In related news Saturday, Caledonia's Joey Pounders and Jay Gallop finished third at the Cabela's King Kat Tournament Trail on Pickwick/Wilson Lakes at Sheffield, Ala. 


Pounders and Gallop had a total weight of 90.65 pounds and earned $1,000. Joey and Jay fished Wilson Lake in 20-40 feet of water using 4-inch shad to catch 25 fish for the day. 


More than 100 anglers from 13 states competed in the event. 


The team of Brent Riddle, of Chillicothe, Mo., and Larry Yowell of Kirksville, Mo., finished first with a total weight of 128.25 pounds. They earned $3,500.00.



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