Millsaps Claims Lake Martin Invitational
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala.---(December 9, 2000) Jimmy Millsaps rode a 10 pound, 7 ounce limit Saturday to capture the $232,000 Alabama BASSMASTER Eastern
Invitational on Lake Martin.
Millsaps, who entered the day in 10th place, made up a 3 pound 2 ounce
deficit to claim his first-ever B.A.S.S. victory.
"I have finished third at couple of B.A.S.S. tournaments," remarked the
Canton, Ga. pro, "but I never could quite get over the hump. That makes
this even more special."
Finishing second was Friday's leader Danny White of Milledgeville, Ga. with
23-0. Shelby, Ala. pro Coby Carden brought in 22-8, placing him third, Paul
Hanley of Hull, Ga. was fourth with 21-13 and Gerald Beck of Lexington,
N.C. was fifth with 21-11.
"When the wind picked up I found some success fishing red clay banks in the
pockets next to points," explained Millsaps. "I fished a 1/2 ounce
Riverside spinnerbait with gold and silver blades. I was moving it pretty
fast over dropoffs, and when the bait came out of shallow water, the bass
would come up and hit it."
Millsaps fished the same areas near Martin Dam all three days and found
success with his spinnerbait early each morning. The remainder of the day
he fished a Texas-rigged finesse worm.
"The bass would only bite a spinnerbait for about the first 30 minutes the
first two days," he explained. "Today was different because we had some
wind and they kept biting for about 2 and a half hours."
White, a Georgia Power Co. employee, entered Saturday with the lead, but
only brought in 5-15, one pound shy of the leader.
"I knew that this tournament was going to be tough with several fronts
moving through," he explained. "I built my strategy around that."
Prior to the tournament, many anglers thought that bad weather would equate
to a better largemouth bite. Although the three-day event offered a wide
range of conditions, White's early decision paid off.
" I took a gamble and concentrated on the spotted bass, because I knew it
would be tough to win on the largemouths," White said. "I fished offshore
locations rather than bank spots because I knew that I needed enough fish
to last for three days. The areas I went to near Kowligia had some grass
mixed with rocks, and I worked a Zoom five-inch lizard in green pumpkin
extremely slow, rattling it in the grass."
Carden, in his second year on the trail, used a crankbait and a finesse
worm to claim the $30,000 third place prize. "The main thing that I was
able to do was to key in on baitfish," he explained. "Primarily, I used a
Bandit crankbait which I cast parallel to the rock banks near Elkhatchee
Although White didn't capture the championship, his son did capture his age
group in the CASTINGKIDS competition that was held in conjunction with the
tournament. Daniel White won the 11-14 age group and Daniel Bratton of
Wedowee, Ala. won the 7-10 age group. The CASTINGKIDS program allows
youngsters to test their skills in the basics of casting, pitching and
flipping. The program has awarded over $1.2 million dollars in scholarships
and prizes since its inception.
The Alabama BASSMASTER Eastern Invitational was the second of four events
on the BASSMASTER Eastern Invitational Trail this season. In addition to
the prize money anglers earn valuable points that will help them qualify
for next summer's BASS Masters Classic. The top five anglers in the
season's point standings will qualify to fish in the "Super Bowl" of bass