NC Angler wins B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional

Rob Digh 1

Rob Digh, of Denver, N.C., wins the B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional on Lake Eufaula with a total weight of 54-15. After leading by just over a pound after day two of the event, North Carolina finishes second in the overall team competition. The North Carolina youth members bag two days of solid keepers to come home second in the youth competition.

Read the full story here.




Only one angler came away with this trophy.


The Lakepoint Lodge offered great amenities for the NC team members.


NC anglers begin the registration process.


B.A.S.S. Nation sponsors were on hand during the registration meeting and dinner.


NC anglers await the start of the tournament briefing.


Southern Divisional anglers seated for the dinner.

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B&G Club Benefit Tournament On Kerr Lake

The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina will have its annual bass fishing tournament on May 4th of 2014 on Kerr Lake. The registration form can be found below. We hope to see you there.

Thanks for your support!

Info & registration form can be downloaded here.

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Better fishing in Lake Norman starts with boulders

Story By: Joe Marusak

Lake Norman Boulders

Photo: Jeff Willhelm –

Crews using a track hoe on a barge dumped tons of boulders into Lake Norman on Thursday as the finale to a winter-long effort to create more artificial reefs for fish habitat on the lake’s sandy bottom.

Workers from Troutman-based Lancaster Custom Dock & Lift Systems have plopped a total of about 270 tons of rock this year into the mouth of Little Creek, off Kiser Island Road and Lee Point in Catawba County, and off Brawley School Road in southern Iredell County.

The rocks provide cover for bait fish that lure a variety of bass and other large fish prized by fishermen, said Tim Gestwicki, executive director of the nonprofit North Carolina Wildlife Federation, which conducts the rock dumping.

“We know they’ll be there within 24 hours,” he said. “The fish congregate there like crazy.”

The federation has put boulders into the lake at six sites since 2011 to improve aquatic habitat.

Duke Energy’s Habitat Enhancement Program funds the initiative, which cost about $25,000 to $32,000 this year, Gestwicki said. Proceeds from dock and other fees help pay for the program

On Thursday, rocks were stacked 4-to-12-feet high in depths of at least 28 feet, Gestwicki said.

The rocks, which come from Lake Norman Rock Quarry in Denver, N.C., are placed in water deep enough to not impair boating, he said.

The rocks are a far more permanent solution to establish habitat than the Christmas trees fishermen continue to put into the lake, Gestwicki said. The trees flatten or are moved by currents, providing little or no habitat, he said.

“The best situation is to create a reef,” Gestwicki said.

Read more here:


Thanks to the NCWF for their support and efforts in projects such as this. If you have any questions about these and the many other projects of the NCWF, or would like to assist with future efforts, you may contact Tim Gestwiki for more information.


Tim Gestwicki

Chief Executive Officer

NC Wildlife Federation

2155 McClintock Rd

Charlotte, NC 28205

(704) 332-5696

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NC B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Updates

Bill Frazier, NC B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Director, has been busy keeping tabs on the many projects and events that affect our area lakes and waterways. Bill’s membership in the NC B.A.S.S. Nation and the role he fills is a tremendous asset to our organization, yet his devotion to ensuring that we, as fishermen, will continue to have quality fisheries to visit typically goes unnoticed.

Listed below are a few key events that Bill has attended, provided valuable input, and continues to follow as a concerned outdoorsman and fellow member. If you have any questions concerning any of the topics or events listed below, feel free to contact Bill at

Thank you Bill Frazier for your time and efforts!!!

Events attended:

  • Attended both East and West NC BASS Regional Meetings
  • Attended BASS Nation Conservation Summit in Birmingham (Gratefully acknowledging support from NC B.A.S.S. Nation)
  • Annual NC Aquatic Weed Conference Meeting (Teleconference)
    • Most significant outcome:
      • ALL state and fed reps solid in their proposal to put escalating costs back on local authorities
  • Lake Gaston Stakeholders Assn. Annual Meeting:
    • We attended the Board of Directors Meeting by teleconference as well
    • Most significant outcomes:
      • Vote to allow homeowners individual stocking of grass carp in their locations did not pass.
      • Considerable confusion about current state of legislation in Virginia to allow wildlife agency funds of $500,000 to treat weeds at Gaston
  • SC/Clemson Aquatic Weed and Algae Management Conference
    • Most significant outcomes:
      • Served on expert panel about future of the science and reality of weed and algae management
      • Pitched umbrella funding idea for control and source of needed funds WITHOUT attacking existing wildlife and environmental management programs
  • SE Lake and Watershed Management Conference, Ashville (NALMS)
    • Speaker
    • Topic covered the economics of sport fishing and its connections, or not, with invasive species.
    • Pitched umbrella funding idea for control and source of those funds WITHOUT attacking existing wildlife and environmental management programs

Planned activities:

  • We are now a group member of “Friends of Reservoirs” through the generous support of Earl Conway, former Conservation Director
  • We have submitted our proposed Summer locations for the cooperative “BASSCourse” project with NC WRC. The next milestone is actual deployment.
  • We are progressing to getting Randleman Youth back up and going since the host school coach has moved to a new career.
  • We will be supporting the BASS Norman Open in October. Please pass this along to our clubs. We can probably handle the work with what we have but it’d be great to have a big turnout to show support for BASS in NC.

Suggested Activities:

  • Any future in all of us meeting with our elected reps up to and including the governor about the invasives and funding?
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Bass Fishing Hall Of Fame To Induct NC Angler



Blake Honeycutt, charter member of Casual Casters Bassmasters in Hickory, is being inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony held in Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday night (2/20/14), just prior to the start of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

Blake was one of the founders of the Federation and is truly an amazing fisherman and person.

To read some very interesting facts about Honeycutt and the other individuals being inducted, follow each of the links below.



Bass Fishing Hall Of Fame

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NC High School Team Event #1–Kerr Lake

Howard & Chavez on top in first event of it’s kind for B.A.S.S. in North Carolina

uvs131029-002Tournament bass fishing has seen a lot of changes over the years.  Most importantly, in my opinion, we’ve seen the doors open for younger generations to compete under the same formats as the pros.  The introduction of collegiate bass fishing saw some amazing growth.  Who would have ever thought the concept would soon trickle down into the high school level, where not only can these young adults battle it out on the football field on Friday nights, they can now go face to face with other area schools on the water as well.  The concept of high school fishing competition is slowly catching on.  Some states already recognize it as a sanctioned high school sport.  Others are gaining momentum with more and more schools showing interest.  North Carolina is one of those states gaining momentum.


uvs131029-001The Angler’s Choice North Carolina High School Open Series, operating under the North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation umbrella held its inaugural event October 26, 2013 on Kerr Lake near Henderson, NC.  This was the first of four tournament events that will allow these young anglers to accumulate points that will be used to determine the top two teams that will advance to the B.A.S.S. High School Championship.  The format requires two high school anglers to pair up for each event, catch and weigh their five largest fish at days end, and earn points based on their finishing order.  The two teams with the highest scores after the four events will represent North Carolina at the National Championship.

uvs131029-003Ethan Howard and Chris Chavez got off to a great start in their quest for the championship by winning the Kerr Lake event with a five fish limit tipping the scales at 11.75 lbs. Howard also landed the Bass Pro Shops lunker of the event with his 3.90 kicker. Taking the second position was the team of Owen Smith and Roman Fontaine with 5.90 lbs. The duo of Quinton Carwell and Zach Greene nailed down the third spot with 5.45 lbs. Grabbing the fourth spot with 4.80 lbs was the pair of Raymond Lines and Andrew Johnson. Rounding out the top five included the team of Bobby Bauer and Jacob Keever with 4.20 lbs.

Complete results can be found by clicking here.

The next scheduled event will take place 11/30/13 on Lake Norman. A complete schedule is listed below. For more information on how your school can start its own High School team or for more information on these upcoming events contact Bob Bauer at 336-972-0393.

Event #1  10/26/13 – Kerr Lake – Flemingtown Access

Event #2  11/30/13 – Lake Norman – McCrary Creek Access ( Next to Catawba Queen)

Event #3  2/23/14 – Shearon Harris – Cross Point Landing

Event #4  3/29/14 – Badin Lake – Circle Drive Access

Event Photos (Others will be added as received)

uvs131027-005uvs131027-006uvs131029-004uvs131029-005photo 1photo 30photo1

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2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

NC B.A.S.S. Nation angler Corey Leonard one step away from Classic!


The B.A.S.S. Nation Championship takes place Oct 24th-26th on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. Follow Corey Leonard as he attempts to advance to the prestigious Bassmaster Classic. Follow the links below for more information and daily updates.


Meet the 2013 contenders

Angler Scorecard

Information Sheet

Live Weigh-Ins

Event Photos

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2013 East Regional – Kerr Lake

Kerr Lake

Henderson, NC

Story & Photos: Chuck Murray

day 2 eastern regional final 068

The Eastern Regional is in the books and the Sandy Creek Bassmasters retained their title with a total weight of 79.13 pounds. The team of Mark Robertson (23.50), Jay Wright (12.22), Marvin Edwards (6.31), Reggie Norfleet (15.54), Sonny Layton (1.73), and Randy Groves (19.83) maintained the title over the second place team of Holly Springs Bass Masters who put 61.70 pounds in the live well. Tri County Bass Masters took third place with 60.44, Sandy Creek Team #3 took fourth with 59.33 and 5 County Bassmasters took the fifth spot with 59.32.

The Sandy Creek team was anchored by Mark Robertson who won the tourney with nine bass for a total weight of 23.50 pounds and was crowned the 2013 Eastern Regional Champion held on Kerr Lake. Congrats Mark!

day 2 eastern regional final 046day 2 eastern regional final 050

Jeff Narron (5 County) had the lead after day number one with an impressive catch of 13.26 pounds, but Robertson over took Narron on day number two with an impressive catch of 14.11 pounds, coming from 19th place after day number one to win the event. Narron was able to hold on to second place with a total weight of 21.38 pounds. Bowman Gray (Tri County) was right behind him and finished 3rd with 21.19 pounds, Steve Vann (Tri County) finished 4th with 20.29 pounds, Neil McDonald (Old Lake Bass Masters) finished 5th with 19.96 pounds, Randy Groves (Sandy Creek) was 6th with 19.83 pounds and Brian Fritts (Reel‘em-In) was 7th with a total of 19.83 pounds. These are the top seven finishers and they will advance to Eufaula Alabama to participate in the 2014 B.A.S.S. Southern Divisional on Lake Eufaula April 13 through April 18, 2014. Congrats to all qualifiers and we look forward to a great trip in the spring. A special congrats to Neil McDonald for making his first NC BASS Federation Nation State Team!

A special thanks goes out to our tourney director Lenny Smathers, his wife Vicky Smathers, my wife Lori Murray for being the official score keepers, and Mr. and Mrs. Greg Howard and Cliff Chavez for helping with the tourney as well.

Big Bass Honors:

Day 1 Mercury Big BASS Award - Stephen LaRose (Holly Springs Bass Masters)

Day 2 Triton Big BASS Award- Mark Lamb (Lucky Strike) and Jeff Narron (Five County Bass Masters)

Each angler received $400 for their big bass catch.

Big Bag Honors:

Day 1 Mercury Big Bag Award - Jeff Narron – 13.26 lbs

Day 2 Triton Big Bag Award- Mark Robertson – 14.11 lbs

Click here for final results.

Random event photos below. Click each for larger view.

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NC B.A.S.S. Nation Youth News

Carnes and Fitts win 2013 North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation Youth State Championship on Lake Tillery

June 15th
Lake Tillery – Albemarle, NC
Story/Photos: Bob Bauer


Cooter and Chris Sam w fish

Warm sunny weather greeted the anglers on Lake Tillery in Albemarle, NC. Fisherman from as far west as Black Mountain and East as Dunn converged on beautiful Lake Tillery to take their shot at winning the NCBN State Championship. Chris Carnes from Southfork Bassmasters showed everyone why he is the top young angler in the NCBN by winning his third championship in four years. Chris brought an impressive limit of 5 bass weighing 18.30 lbs. in the 15-18 division. This out distanced second place by 7 pounds and was one of only 3 limits weighed in. Sam Fitts also of Southfork won the younger division with 4 fish that weighed 6.85 lbs. This is Sam’s first Championship and in his brief tournament history has shown he will be a contender for years to come. Second place in the older division was Dekota (Cooter) Shaw with 3 fish that weighed 11.30 lbs. Cooter from the Randalman Outdoors Club also anchored his catch with the days big fish of 6.40 lbs. Other top finishers in the Tournament include:

Ethan Howard of Clayton High School Club was 3rd in the older division with 5 fish with 10.80 lbs.

Luke Farley of Southfork finished 2nd for the second year in a row in the younger division with 5.54 lbs.

Hunter McKee Randleman finished 3rd in the younger division with 3.50 lbs.

Chris and Cooter will advance to the 2014 Southern Divisional at Lake Eufaula in Alabama next spring and fish as part of the North Carolina State Team.

weigh in Chris w fish Cooter Shaw

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2013 B&G Club Benefit Tournament Results

The results for the 2013 Boys & Girls Club benefit tournament held at Kerr Lake can be found by clicking here.

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