APPLE VALLEY — The weather was hot Saturday, but so was the fishing for the 18th annual Apple Valley Spring Buddy Bass Tournament.
The top five teams all had eight-fish tournament limits, with the team of Steve Thompson and Shane Smith taking top honors with a catch of 21.01 pounds.
A total of 47 teams entered the contest and weighed in a total of 205 bass weighing 344.71 pounds, tournament director Sally Slonaker reported. Either the boater or partner must be an Apple Valley landowner, she explained.
Thompson and Smith won by a comfortable margin, but less than two pounds separated second and fifth places.
Tom Lavaco and Randy Feesler took second with a catch of 17.65 pounds, while Ryan and Aaron Stumpf finished third with 17.15 pounds. Mike Mitchell and Dennis Cruse took fourth with 16.22 pounds and Bill and Will Englefield were fifth with 16.08 pounds.
Big bass of the contest was a 4.75-pound fish weighed by Gary Kelly.
Slonaker said she didn’t get the impression that one technique dominated the catch. Some guys reported they caught fish on soft plastics, others on crankbaits. The bass also seemed to be in transition from spawn to post spawn as some were reported caught on post-spawn patterns and no longer showed the effects of spawning, while others were found on spawning beds.
All fish were placed in holding tanks treated with Catch and Release, then taken out on a release boat and returned to the lake, Slonaker said.
The weigh-in was conducted by Jami Norman from the Ohio Mega Bass Tournament Trail.
The tournament was sponsored by the Apple Valley Fish and Restocking Club.