A big shout out from bass fishermen in East Ridge, Tennessee goes to Buddy Gross of Chickamauga Georgia. Our neighbor to the south put a 215-boat field in its place when he weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 7 ounces. Gross’s weigh-in sealed his victory in the Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Pro Series Southeastern Division. The event ended Saturday on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, Georgia.
The Costa FLW tournament on Lake Seminole, presented by Mud Hole Custom Tackle, included 215 boats carrying the best fishermen in the region. Gross’ three-day total of 15 bass weighing 64 pounds, 11 ounces, was enough to earn him the top spot.
“I’m feeling really great right now,” said Gross, who also logged a top-10 finish at the Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee in January. “This is an awesome lake and I’ve had a great time on it this week. The Lord has really blessed me.”
Gross said he caught most his bass in an area of the lake called Spring Creek. The FLW Pro said the spot a unique turn in the creek channel that acted as a highway for bass to travel to nearby shallow spawning flats. In fact, the area was only about 100 yards.
“Every fish I weighed in came off that 100-yard stretch,” said Gross. “It was like a pocket in the deep grass line that led straight to the spawning flats and there was timber in the middle of it. The grass down the sides was about 14- or 15-feet tall and it was green and healthy.”
Lure selection was key when Gross decided to fish the location. The time of day also played into what he planned on pulling out of the tackle box. Gross said there were two baits used to catch his fish.
First was a Tennessee Shad-colored Zoom Swimmer Paddle Tail Swimbait. The second was a white Zoom Magnum Super Fluke with a Tennessee River Tremor Head. He said he each lure was equally productive in catching a total of 17 keepers throughout the event.
“I’d throw the Swimmer up over the grass early on in the day, and then I’d take the fluke and slow roll it through the timber to catch suspended fish in the afternoon,” said Gross. “On Thursday, they were wadded up tight, and yesterday they were scattered,” said Gross. “They were in two different spots today, but close together. It was just one of those textbook kinds of areas that you dream about.”
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motor-sports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.