American Bass Anglers “ABA” National Championship “Lake Guntersville”

Tournament Trail: American Bass Anglers “ABA”
Date: October 26th to November 1st 2008
Angler: Massachusetts Mike Mantha,,

Marine USA, Inc Nitro Pro-Staffer Mike Mantha, managed to cross the weigh-in stage all three days before the final Top-25 Cut on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. Mantha compares his Tournament Performance to his Pre-Tournament Predictions for Bass East.

Q. Do you feel your practice and preparation for this event went as planned?

A. Not at all!!! I really only had one day of practice, Day 2 & 3 of practice the wind blew 35-45 MPH and a cold front hit the area like a freight train.

Q. Playing the “Monday Morning Quarterback”, what changes if any would you make, after your 41st Place finish?

A. I definitely would look for additional patterns besides the grass.

Q. You originally predicted Flipping Mats and Frogs would be the prevalent pattern, and that most bass would be caught on these baits. Was this true and which style, depths and colors were most productive?

A. Dock Talk claimed the top two anglers were working spinnerbaits along the outside edges of the grass and flipping jigs. The average depth was in the 4-8’ range. As for colors I would say natural had and frog colors were dominant.

Q. Your forecast of 20 lbs a day seemed frozen with the cold front, except for Gary Thacker’s21.93lb Day #1 Bag! However, many anglers struggled to get a limit, did the Weather conditions play a major role in these results at the scales?

A. No doubt, the Hydrilla matted grass I was fishing actually died from the frost it was so cold! As for limits I believe there were only 6 limits the first day, 1 limit the second day and none on the third day?

Q. What final notes will you make in your ‘Fishing Log’ under Lake Guntersville, October 2008 in preparation for the next time you compete there?

A. Keep a very watchful eye on the grass. I believe the bass relate to the grass in high numbers but they also leave it quickly when it begins to dye off. Having a variety of locations with varying depths is imperative to success. By the time I figured it out it was the third day of the tournament. I managed three bass and all of them came on a green pumpkin lizard Carolina rigged across a flat with stumps and no grass.

Q. What’s next on the Bass Fishing agenda for Mike Mantha?

A. My next event will be in March of 2009 on Bull Shoals Lake for the FLW Outdoors TBF Nationals

Hawkeye’s Pre-Tournament Bass East Fishing Log

Tournament Trail: American Bass Anglers “ABA” National Championship
Angler: Massachusetts Mike Mantha
Date: October 26-November 1st

Mike Mantha is one of the ‘Hottest” Nitro Pro Anglers in the Northeast and in addition to this Championship Mike will also be representing thestate of RITBF in the Nationals as well.

Q. What does this Lake have for Structure and Cover?

A. River channels ,matted grass, humps, current breaks.

Q. What will be the Tournaments Prevalent Patterns?

A. From what I hear, flipping the mats, and working frogs/rats on the surface

Q. Considering Seasonal Patterns, which Techniques will be utilized?

A. Most Anglers will be working the mated grass with frogs and switch to flipping jigs when the surface bite slows down

Q. Which Type of Baits will most of the bass be caught on?

A. There are a lot of custom baits made in the area that are probably going to make the difference; everything from hand tied jigs custom crankbaits to hand poured plastics

Q. What do you look for during your Practice Days?

A. Covering lots of water quickly searching the expansive grass mats for the most productive areas

Q.With everything taken into perspective how much weight will you be looking for each day at the scales, and what will it take to win this event?

A. 20+ lbs for each of the 4 days to be in the top 25