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Drew Gregory with a fat fat bass!

Well, another River Bassin Regional event has come and gone! This time it was held in my home town Charlotte, NC at Great Outdoor Provision Company (GOPC).

As always I fish before the event one day to put up a “Beat Drew Bonus Score” so that any angler who tops my total will get an additional 5 series points. These points will help them become River Basser of the Year and on the team side of things, River Bassin Team of the Year. Brooks Beatty’s total added to mine to get the “score to beat” for the teams.

The day started out slow and I mean SLOW! I couldn’t find any fish and when I did I missed them!Just like a tournament though I had to keep my composure and stay focused. After all, all the fish I missed may not have even mattered if I caught them if I just catch 3 that are bigger than they were. So, with that thought in my head I kept plugging away. I finally landed my first fish around noon, and it was a solid one over 19 inches! Then, I got a few other smaller ones and I was onto a pattern! Yee Haw!

I found that the fish were definitely very tight to the bank and tight to the structure. I needed a bait that I could skip up onto the bank that would also be weedless to keep me from getting snagged. I found a nice white/blue/chartreuse swim jig in my box and tipped it with a white 4-inch Z-MANDiesel Minnow. I swam it from the bank through the timber and it was paying off. Finally I got a nice 18 inch fish but to go along with the 19 but still needed that “kicker” that I knew was there. I was glad I was in my Coosa because it allowed me to get very tight into the structure and maneuver to where I need to be to make the proper casts. A boat much longer or less agile would have been very tough to get where I was getting.

Great Outdoor Provision Company holds a River Bassin Tournament

Although I had already worked the area several times I decided to make one more pass at some of the best looking structure with a buzz bait now that the water was at its warmest and the fish were moving a little quicker after my bait; I really wanted to call up a big one! Finally, my buzz bait got “slurped” up but I couldn’t tell how big the fish was. Then, she jumped, and I knew it was both BIG and a SHE! haha. Clearly you can see what I mean by the size of her pre-spawn belly that she was indeed a she. The largemouth went 22.25 inches and it gave me a nice total of 60.25 for the day, making my average basically 20 inches.

At the event the next day we had a nice turnout of about 40 anglers. The weather was great and GOPC pulled out all the stops cooking up some great food for all the anglers as the returned to the shop from a hard day on the water. I really thought that 65 or 70 inches was in the realm of “possibility” for someone and I figured several folks would top my score and get the 5 bonus points. All day I was glued to my computer or iPhone to watch the cool new “live scoring” leaderboard on the Charlotte tournament page on

Drew Harrison with big smallmouth bass from his Cuda 12

Anglers were catching fish left and right and posting them straight to the website for all the fans to follow along. A lot of folks were in the high 50s but out of nowhere Jackson Kayak pro staff Rok Ly posted up 3 monster bass that went 64.75 inches to top both my score and take the title! On the team side of things team Yak Dips (Chris Gravely and Jackson team member Stewart Venable) took 1st place. All are great anglers who are consistently among the top of the leaderboard.

Huge thanks to Great Outdoor Provision Co., Brooks Beatty, Jameson Redding, Noah Heck and Neil Andritz (of Rivers Edge Canoe & Kayak in PA) for helping out with this event and making it one to remember!

Special mention goes out to Drew Harrison for this massive smallmouth!!

To view the rest of the Charlotte photos click the thumbnails below.

[slickr-flickr tag= “rbcharlotte”]