Lake Guntersville Tournament of Champions
March 12th-13th 2015
Final Story


The 2015 U.S. Angler’s Choice Championship was held March 12th & 13th on one of the best bass fisheries in the world Lake Guntersville. At full pool Lake Guntersville stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam, covers 69,100 surface acres and boasts 900 miles of beautiful shoreline. This would be the stage in which 255 teams would compete, all looking for that winning pattern or area that would lend enough weight to take home one of three Legend Boats rigged with Mercury Outboards.

The event was hosted by Jackson County Tourism and official lodging site for the event was the Comfort Inn and Suites in Scottsboro, Alabama. Scottsboro offered teams and families plenty of entertainment while not on the water and some fantastic places to dine. The people living in the Scottsboro community are some of the friendliest you will find anywhere in the country.

Teams gathered Wednesday for a first class banquet followed up with a short meeting held at the Scottsboro Goose Pond Civic Center. Southern hospitality was in full force as teams were treated to a fantastic dinner consisting of prime rib with auju sauce, sautéed mushrooms, green beans, mashed potatoes, hot rolls and plenty of deserts to top it off.

Following the dinner teams were officially welcomed to the community and lake by J.P. Parsons and Rick Roden from Jackson County Tourism. Wayne Diederichs from Legend Boats spoke briefly about the Legend V20 after which executive director Rick Byrnes started the receipt draw where thousands of dollars in prizes where awarded including a Power-Poles Blade, MotorGuide 36 volt trolling motor, free entries, TFO Rods and much more. The evening was then finalized by recognizing the Temple Fork Outfitters Divisional Champions and awarding two TFO rods to each team along with plaques for their accomplishments. Lastly a brief review of the water and event specific rules were covered and then teams were released to make last minute preparations.

The weather during practice and the event was, well lets just say the angler's got to put their raingear to the test. Temps were in the sixties for the most part but there was rain nearly everyday for about a week but it did not put a damper on teams commitment to figure out the bite on the Big G.

As teams woke on the first day of competition they were greeted clear skies and a beautiful morning with temps in the fifties at take off. As the day wore on skies became overcast with spotty showers and temps reached around sixty degrees. The weigh-in started at 3pm and once again AC Teams showed why they have the reputation of being the best local level anglers in the region. These teams would weigh-in bags equivalent or larger than those weighed in at local events held on Lake Guntersville!

When the scales closed after day one the Smithland Pool team of Ron Siress and Danny York and the North Indiana Team of Jason Patterson and Nick Stoffel found themselves in a tie with bags weighing 31.21lbs. How does that even happen, what's the odds of tying at such a huge weight, The Siress/ York bag was anchored by an 8.38lber while Patterson/Stoffel had a 10.79lb bohemoth. Crazy things happen at the Big G!!. These two giant bags would ultimately claim a share of the $2,500.00 Tim Grounds Championship Calls Classic Big Stringer. 

Day two saw the the ongoing wet weather pattern continue the Southerly wind was considerably stronger gusting up to the twenties. Adjustments would have to be made by many on this day.

Don Amsden and Ed Oilar 2015 U.S. Angler's Choice Champions!

Minutes after the last bag was weighed the results were in. The Indiana team of Don Amsden and Ed Oilar would show that consistency is key and take the win to be crowned U.S. Angler's Choice Champions. The team brought heavy bags to the scales on both days. On day one they weighed in 27.42lbs and followed it up on day two with 27.12lbs giving them a two day total of 54.54lbs and the win. On day one the team reported fishing traps and jigs in water depths of one to three feet. This produced a quick limit with an estimated weight of seventeen pounds by 8:30am. They made a move as this primary area just didn't seem to be producing as expected. They ended up catching additional fish by pitching docks and one keeper off a rock pile culling to the afore mentioned weight.

On day two when they arrived at their primary area the bite was on, they once again had a limit by 8:30am. This day they would not leave, they stayed there the entire day as they culled through 35 keeper fish. Traps were the key and long cast were critical every fish bit far from the boat as the team covered a three to five acre muck covered flat. This flat was in an un-named creek had no grass but was thick with shad. The team reported when they lowered their Power-Poles they would just sink far into the muck covered bottom. This three to five acres of shad covered muck was the area every team was looking for and it provided the fish for Don Amsden and Ed Oilar to be crowned 2015 U.S. Angler's Choice Champions and win a new Legend Alpha 191 with a Mercury 200 Pro XS +$1,550.00 in cash.

2nd Place Ron Siress and Danny York

Coming in second place and missing the win by just over three pounds was the Smithland Pool Division Team of Ron Siress and Danny York. On day one the team weighed a five fish limit of 31.21 lbs. and followed it up on day two with 19.79 lbs giving them a two day total of 51lbs even. The team reported catching their fish on a cranbaits on the main lake. The depth the team was fishing was approximately 6 to 10 feet of water. For the second place position the team wins a certificate for a new Legend LE 186 with a Mercury 150 OptiMax.

3rd Place Jeff Hampton and Ed Roberts.

Taking the third place position and the Power-Pole Top Contender award was the Indianapolis Division team of Jeff Hampton and Ed Roberts. They brought 5 fish to the scales on day one weighing 26.06 lbs and followed it up on day two with a limit weighing 23.53 lbs. giving them a two day total of 49.59 lbs. The team fished grass, wood and rocks in the 5 to 20 foot range on the main lake utilizing various crankbaits,

Draw Boat John Pridemore and Mathew Jones

The luckiest team at the event had to be John Pridemore and Mathew Jones as they won a Legend LE 186 rigged with a Mercury 150 OptiMax by DRAW by simply being present at the final day weigh-in, they didn't even have to catch a fish to win but they did as they cashed checks for their 40th place finish!

Lunker Lure Classic Big Bass Kurt Kahl and Mike Feldermann 11.88 lbs

The Lunker Lure Classic Big Bass went to the team of Kurt Kahl and Mike Feldermann it was a true lake monster weighing in at 11.88 lbs and earned the team $1,275.00 for day one and $1,500.00 for the overall biggest. That one fish earned the team $2,775.00

Tournament Notables:
1,384 fish were brought to the scales.
Total weight of all fish 4,838 lbs
Avg. size bass= 3.49 lbs
Day 1 big bag: Jason Patterson and Nick Stoffel 31.21 lbs. & Ron Siress and Danny York 31.21 lbs
Day 2 big bag: Venson Newsome and Chris Hill 30.95 lbs.
Day 1 big bass: Kurt Kahl  and Mike Feldermann 11.88 lbs.
Day 2 big bass: Venson Newsome and Chris Hill 10.22 lbs.

This was an awesome event for all who attended! If you were unable to fish this season or make it to the championship come join us in 2016! Call 618-496-3610 for a trail near you.