ArmyBassAngler Pros Chuck Guthrie & Brent Homan arrived at Lake Palestine for the first day of official practice on a lake that neither had ever fished, so it was going to be a long day of recon, scouting and eliminating water. Once on the water, Guthrie & Homan headed straight for the docks with brush piles on them. After an extended period of time nothing brought to the boat would prove to be of any quality for the tournament. Around mid day, the decision was to begin locating grass. Upon arrival to Chimney Creek both began throwing a 1oz pegged Texas rigs with a Lake Fork Tackle 4” Baby Watermelon/Red Creature Bait armed with Castaway Rods and Ardent Reels. “As soon as we started drooping in the flooded grass, the fish were there waiting and willing to eat—pattern located and locked in,” stated Homan. After establishing the pattern the team moved into Ledbetter and found some matted water hyacinths and every time they punched the grass—the fight was on. “We got a bite almost every time but we were just a bit unsure of the size due to other anglers in the area and we didn’t want to set the hook,” said Guthrie.

Day 2 was a complete wash out due to the storms that blew in bringing a nasty cold front and now making the team question its newly discovered pattern. So the decision was made to turn it into a re-rigging day and just relax in preparation for the next two days of hard tournament fishing. “It was fun not to have a lot of pressure and just hang out with other tournament competitors laughing and joking around,” said Homan while re-spooling his reel with 12lb Lake Fork Tackle FHP FLUOROHYPBRID PRO.

Tournament Day 1: Day 1 of the tournament found ArmyBassAngler Pros Chuck Guthrie & Brent Homan in their ZX225 Skeeter wrapped in the Returning Heroes Home theme waiting for their launch number to be called. As soon as their number was called Homan & Guthrie belted out their traditional tournament yell and high five, they have become known for, to begin the tournament. As Guthrie hammered the Yamaha V-Max they screamed across the lake into Chimney Creek and immediately noticed they were all alone! “Within 5 minutes of arrival, we had our first keeper in the boat and by 1030 we had a limit which made us feel pretty comfortable,” stated Guthrie. Then the decision was made to wait for the sun to break and relocate to Ledbetter and start culling.

At 1300 the sun broke through the clouds, as luck would have it the team was alone again and Guthrie began yanking fish into the boat as Homan assumed net man duties. Homan said, “It’s hard to catch fish behind a machine like Guthrie, when he’s dropping into every hole he can. I was truly humbled watching Chuck yank keeper after keeper into the boat as I grabbed the net every time.”

Arriving at weigh-in the team was confident that they were in position for day 2, the scales tipped at 13.96 and putting the team in 10th place heading into day 2.

Day 2 began with the same plan as they headed to Chimney Creek but the bite was slow and the team struggled to catch a keeper. At 1000 Guthrie boated the first keeper. From there the team headed to Ledbetter with a panicking feeling in the back of their minds. With panic building inside their brain housing groups it quickly dissipated within two casts as Guthrie once again started loading the boat as Homan laughed and took over net duties. “I finally accepted that I was there for a moral support and Chuck was in the Zone,” laughed Homan. The team would utilize their Ardent smart cull systems all day long.

At weigh-in, the team stored their weapons and gave each other a high five and headed to the scales. The scales would tip just over 16 pounds! The team was sitting firmly in 2nd place with only two teams left to weigh in. As the scales closed both would let out a big sigh of relief and realized they had just took 2nd against the top sticks in over 9 states making up the South Region and were headed to the National Championship on Lake Guntersville—HOOAH!

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