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Despite Engine Problems, Bates Wins Reel 30 Bass Tournament

Some guys just won’t take “no” for an answer.

Corey Bates of Villa Ricca is one of those sort of fishing fellows. Bates was without the use of his engine for most of the day, and he still won the Reel 30 Bass Trail Tournament on Sunday on West Point Lake.

It was almost a fishing miracle.

“We pulled him from spotto- spot,” said tournament angler and good guy Shawn Bishop of LaGrange.

Bates appreciated it all the way to first place. He weighed in 6.7 pounds of winning bass at the Highland Marina Resort. And Bates had three tournament fishermen, Bishop among them, to thank for escorting him to a variety of fishing holes on the lake.

Giving Bates a tow, besides Bishop, were fishermen Scott Swindle and Shane Griffin. There was some sportsmanship and some bass on the tournament agenda. “I lost my motor at 11 o’clock (in the morning), and some friends towed me. I stayed competitive. I had confidence I was still going to catch something,” said Bates.

He caught three fish on this unusual day with two largemouth and one spotted bass. Bates was catching bass from five feet to 40 feet.

“I was throwing a Crankbait, and I kept on grinding,” said Bates.

Bishop, a frequent champion on the Reel 30 Bass Trail, did not have as much Sunday luck as Bates in this tournament.

“I didn’t get one bite. I was staying shallow and fishing with a Crankbait and a Shaky Head (lure). I think the fish had lockjaw,” said Bishop.

But even on a tedious day on the lake, 17 fish were still weighed in at the Reel 30 Bass Trail Tournament. Tim Brooks of La- Grange had one of those bass, a largemouth that weighed 5.6 pounds.

Brooks had the “Big Bass” in the one-day tournament. That was also the only fish that Brooks caught all morning and afternoon. But Brooks will take his second place finish and his husky largemouth bass. “It was just luck. You have to keep moving. I was fishing with a plastic worm in 12 feet (of water),” said Brooks.

Greg Tucker of Hogansville was in the money and into the fish as well. Tucker reeled in third place with a 5-pound largemouth bass.

“That was the only fish that I caught. It was tough. I used everything in my boat. I caught my fish with a Crankbait at seven feet. I went to a bunch of places, too,” said Tucker. “I fished from the dam to Highland (Marina).”

For the luckiest of the anglers, there were fish to be had and caught.