The beauty of the River Bassin Tournament Trail, and rivers in general, is that they are so diverse. Bass live in swampy lowland rivers and they thrive in the mountainous rivers that were on display this past weekend in Bryson City, NC, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. You have to know how to adapt and catch them in all different environments if you’re going to come away as the River Basser of the Year!
If you have never been to the Nantahala Outdoor Center then you definitely need to check it out because there are so many things for the entire family to do there – rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, good restaurants, zip lines, and of course the beauty of the mountains and the great trout and bass fisheries close by in the rivers and lake Fontana. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave when Lu and I headed back from running this event because the cooler mountain air and the scenery was so beautiful. The 20 anglers at this local stop had a blast and I was glad I got to make the short trek over from Charlotte to join in on the fun.
The day before we had some fun corn hole games going on and ate some great food at the Wesser BBQ & Brew house. As you can see Lu had to get in on the act!
On tournament day someof the rivers were high and stained so it was going to be interesting to find out if this event would be the first where an angler takes home the trophy using the flatwater lake option. Around 3:25 all the anglers had returned to the busy NOC grounds and we started to finalize the results. It appeared by show of hands that half of the field “tried” the lake, however the rivers still out produced.
Once the fish were tallied, it was Matthew Frazier who took home the title with 48.75 inches. On stage he said he had to travel nearly an hour to find the right water clarity in a smaller river that was able to produce his winning virtual stringer.
Rounding out the top 3 was Luke Breakfield in 2nd place with 46.75 inches and Thomas Clements came in 3rd place with 45.25 inches.
In the team division Frazier was also a winner with partner Eric Boyd of team Carolina Custom Rods. Second place was team Ly, Rocky and Nawtou Ly, and coming in third place was team ULMO (Uncle Lems Mountain Outfitters) – Ben Davis and Ryan Chambers
He also took home “Big Bass” honors with his 17 inch largemouth. Frazier was also kind enough to say that he caught his fish on a Z-MAN Finesse TRD Ned Rig and upgraded with a Whopper Plopper.
The next big tournament will be the regional event in Knoxville, TN, and there is no doubt you’ll see many of these same talented anglers there showing off their river bassin skills once again!