ConnectScale user Scott Scheldberg overcame rain and a broken rod to win the North division in the Connect Fishing League Labor Day Bass Tournament. In the South division, ConnectScale user Brandon Booth grabbed the lead early on and never relinquished it to bring home the crown.
The tournament, which was held on Sept. 4, 5, 6, and 7, was open to anyone to participate and split into the North Division and the South Division. Anglers across the United States competed over the long weekend, hauling in 84 catches. The total weight of the five best fish determined the winner and a bonus was given to the fisherman with the biggest catch.
In the North division, Scott Scheldberg took home 1st place in the best five category with 15.98 pounds total. Mike Bailey won the biggest catch with 3.81 pound scorable bass.
Scheldberg hauled in eight catches on Saturday, the first of his 25 catches throughout the tournament. Scott added 10 more catches on Sunday.
“On Sunday the primary technique was a wacky setup,” he said. “Green pumpkin 5" Yum Dinger on a VMC Wacky Weedless Jig Head Black 1/16 oz. The biggest fish of the day was caught skipping under a dock, with a wacky setup. My rod is a 7' Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning rod, medium power. Reel is a Abu Garcia Revo Rocket, 30 size, 7.0:1 gear ratio spooled with 20 pound super slick Power Pro braid backer with a 12 pound Seagar red Label fluorocarbon leader.”
Scott reeled in catches of 2.20, 1.74, 1.59, 1.65, 1.30, 2.31, 2.67, 3.37, 3.02, and 2.49 pounds respectively. Labor Day presented him with some challenges.
He realized he fell to third on the leaderboard. Then his rod broke in half and his trolling motor began acting like it was out of juice. He nearly called it a day.
“Thought for a minute to trailer the boat and call it a day because the rain was coming. Had a quick conversation with my girlfriend who got my head back in the game. I checked my batteries and fiddled with the breaker on the trolling motor and miraculously, it started functioning normal again.”
Scott switched to a homemade ¼ ounce LE swim jig with a rage craw green pumpkin trailer. He caught more than 30 fish after that, with seven of them counting towards his total. He reeled in catches of 3.09, 1.61, 1.48, 3.02, 2.56, 3.48, and 1.87 pounds. His five best fish had a total weight of 15.98 pounds, giving him first place in the tournament.
“Many things have to go right to win a tournament, online or otherwise,” Scott said. “Some things went right, but many things went wrong. Being able to adapt and change when needed is key. Whether it's breaking a rod in half or pouring rain. I was fortunate to hammer them the rest of the day Monday with a jig in my hand which is my favorite way to fish.”
In the South Division, Cody Dison swooped in on the final day of the tournament to claim second place. He hauled in two catches on Labor Day. His first bass weighed 4.19 pounds and his second weighed 2.09 pounds. These two catches totaled 6.28 pounds and earned him second place.
Brandon Booth seized the lead early in the South division and could not be unseated.
He started out on Saturday and brought in five total catches. Those catches weighed 2.97, 2.55, 5.37, 1.10, and 1.21 pounds. This gave him a lead of 13.20 pounds entering Sunday.
“I fished Gibbons Creek Reservoir,” Brandon said. “Saturday was cloudy and the water temp was low to mid-80s. I caught the first two fish on a Fishing Bait Club paddletail rigged on an owner flashy swimmer. The third fish was the big bass which came on a black Spro frog. I caught a few more fish here and there on a Carolina rig Senko on points.”
Booth added two more catches to his haul on Sunday, bringing in a 3.35 pound largemouth and a 1.52-pound largemouth bass.
“Sunday was sunny and much warmer. Started in the same as Saturday. Lost 3 fish within the first 10 minutes. Managed to catch a few fish on a Texas rigged worm and a crankbait.”
Those catches brought his total weight for his best five fish up to 15.76 pounds and secured his victory in the South division. He also recorded the biggest fish caught during the tournament in the South with a 5.37 pounder.
Congratulations to Scheldberg Bailey, Booth, and all the participants. We look forward to the next tournament.