Reel Time: Crosby Wins American Fishing Tour Championship

When Mark Crosby has a rod and reel in his hands he turns into a competitive fisherman.

Such was the case on Sunday morning and afternoon as Crosby won the American Fishing Tour championship on West Point Lake. Eight hours after dropping his line into the water, Crosby was awarded first place with 11.83 pounds of bass.

“All I needed was a jig. It was clam and sunny, and the fishing was good. West Point is a good fishing lake. It’s been five years since I last won (a tournament),” said Crosby, the native of Palmetto.

Crosby was one of 18 anglers in the tournament, and the bass were biting. Seventy four fish were weighed in at Highland Marina Resort in LaGrange. All of the tournament fish were released.

Eric Teague of Atlanta participated in the weigh in and the fishing. Teague caught five fish, which weighed in at 8.07 pounds. Teague hooked up largemouth and spotted bass.

“It was a beautiful day with blue skies. It was a good day of fishing. I was able to locate them,” said Teague.

Duke Roberson of Mc-Donough was reeling and weighing, too. Roberson had himself 8.36 pounds of West Point Lake fish.

“I normally finish in the Top 10. I finished sixth in the last tournament. This is a passion of mine, and I’ve been fishing for 40 years. This takes dedication and preparation,” said Roberson.

James Glover, an angler from Crestview, Fla., tested the waters on West Point Lake as well. Glover weighed in two bass of just over three pounds.

“It was a tough bite for me, but I enjoyed it. I like the quiet out there. I’m not a spring chicken, but I can still fish at 65,” said Glover.

Curtis Sanders of La-Grange finished second in the tournament at 11.8 pounds. Third place went to Michael Smith at 11.38 pounds. Smith had the “big bass” of the tournament as well at 4.52 pounds.

James Kushmer of Tifton and Dennis McGouirk of Carrollton also fished on Sunday on West Point Lake, but not in the tournament. The two friends caught six spotted and largemouth bass.

Their largest fish weighed 2.5 pounds.

“The fish were acting weird with the weather change. I think they were confused,” said Kushmer, who fished for six hours with McGouirk.

The two anglers fished exclusively with artificial lures with 12-pound test line.

Chris Fernsler Sports Writer