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4.23.2022-Watts Bar Lake

Watts Bar Lake, Rockwood, TN. Photo Credit: Chris Watson Photography
Watts Bar Lake, Rockwood, TN. Photo Credit: Chris Watson Photography

Hamilton and Ball Raise the Bar

April 23, 2022- Rockwood, TN–The 2022 Morristown Marine Team Trail made stop number 4 Saturday with 235 registered boats on Watts Bar Lake. Of the 235 registrants, we had 202 boats in the water that went through blast-off. It was a fantastic Tennessee spring morning, with temps in the 50’s at blast off and warmed to near 80 with blue-bird sky and a steady wind all afternoon. The fishing was tougher than expected, as the big females weren’t up shallow just yet. Everyone we spoke to had struggled to put a reliable pattern together through the week. Good fish were hard to come by, but the smaller fish seemed catchable for most. There were a lot of 8-10 lb bags brought to the scales. In all, 46 teams weighed  5-fish limit and 105 teams weighed at least one fish. A grand total of 928.81 lbs of bass hit the scales yesterday. 396 bass were caught, weighed and released alive back into Norris Lake. Total payout was just over $47,710.00 across all contingencies and 39 places with a cut weight 10.08 lbs.

The team of Hunter Hamilton and Ty Ball topped the field with a solid bag of fish weighing 17.49 lbs.  The bag was anchored by a 6.38 lb largemouth. Hunter and Ty said they practiced on both Watts Bar and Chickamauga, but found a more consistent bite on Chick. Hunter and Ty said they did a combination of sight fishing, shallow fishing and off-shore drop off fishing to fill their bag. Check out the Live interview with them on our FaceBook page where they gave us a few more details of their day. Hunter and Ty’s win netted them a grand total of $19,250.00. This included 1st place, Highest Finishing Skeeter, 1st Humminbird/MinnKota, 1st Morristown Marine New and Skeeter REAL Money. Congratulations to Hunter and Ty for a great day on the water.

Second place went to the team of Brant Grimm and Bobby Drinnon with 17.26 lbs. Brant and Bobby also won money for 2nd Highest Finishing Skeeter, Highest Finishing Skeeter and 1st Gray Fox Insurance for a total payout of $6,750.00. That’s an incredible day of fishing! Congrats guys!

3rd Place went to the team of Joe Lee and Jake Lee with 17.23 lbs. Joe and Jake will receive checks totaling $4,150.00 for 3rd place, 3rd Highest Finishing Skeeter and 2nd Humminbird/MinnKota. Congrats Joe and Jake!

4th place belongs to Curt Worth and Mike Christopher with 16.40 lbs. Curt and Mike will cash a check for $1,500.00 for their 4th place finish! Way to go guys!

Rounding out the top 5 was Dustin Dyer and Tim Wacker with a bag weight of 15.97 lbs. Dustin and Tim will cash a check for $1,000.00 for their 5th place finish. Congrats guys!

The Highest Finishing Skeeter Bonus is paid out to the 10 Highest Finishing teams fishing out of a Skeeter. It pays to run a Skeeter! They were awarded as follows: 
1) Hamilton/Ball $3,000.00 
2) Grimm/Drinnon: $1,500.00 
3) Lee/Lee: $1,000.00 
4) Ledbetter/Gann: $800.00 
5) Brown/Brown $700.00 
6) Gordon/Gordon: $500.00 
7) Manning/Buchanan: $250.00
8) Ward/Petz $200.00 
9) Odell/Odell: $150.00 
10) Seeber/Moore: $100.00 
The Citizens Bank Big Largemouth went to the team of Seth Lafollette and Dalton Price with a green fish weighing 6.77 lbs. The catch netted them a check for $1,080.00. Congrats on a giant green fish!
The Citizens Bank Big Smallmouth was caught by Brian Harvey and Mark Mauldin and weighed in at 4.52  lbs. That fish got them paid  $1,080.00. Congrats Brian and Mark!
The Highest Finishing Gray Fox Insurance Agency winners were Grimm/Drinnon with 17.26 lbs. 2nd Highest Finishing Gray Fox Insurance Agency went to Ward/Petz  with 12.72 lbs. Both teams took home an extra $250 just for insuring with Randy Heatherly at Gray Fox Insurance in LaFollette, TN. Give Randy a call and get in on the payback!

The Morristown Marine New Money awards went to Hunter Hamilton/Ty Ball and Jeremy Gordon/Phillip Gordon. Morristown Marine New Money pays back to the highest and second highest finishing new Skeeter purchased from Morristown Marine within the qualifying time period. 1st place took home an extra $1,000.00 and 2nd place an extra $750.00. All you have to do is buy your new Skeeter from Morristown Marine.

The Morristown Marine Used Money awards went to Todd Etherton/Josh Etherton. Morristown Marine Used Money pays back to the highest and second highest finishing boat of any brand purchased from Morristown Marine during the qualifying time period. 1st place received an additional $500.00 and 2nd place would have received an extra $250.00, but no one qualifying for this bonus weighed a fish. Get your next pre-owned boat from Morristown Marine and get in on the payday!

Morristown Marine would also like to thank Yamaha, Skeeter Boats, Humminbird and MinnKota, Citizens Bank, Rainey Battery, Gray Fox Insurance Agency, Old Stage Printing, Volunteer Trenching, ValuRX Pharmacy, Taylor Plumbing, Cumberland Gap Spring Water, Ridge Real Estate, Lake View Dock, Chris Watson Photography, and Smokey Mountain Fiberglass. Without the support of our sponsors, this tournament trail could not exist. Please help show your thanks by supporting these businesses.

A big thanks to Jacob Andrews and the Rockwood Parks staff for all their help and support with traffic and parking. Another big thank you to the Rockwood Police department for traffic control on the highway. We also would like to thank the Rockwood Fire Department for filling up the weigh tanks to help keep the fish alive and well. Our trail, the anglers and the fish caught appreciate your efforts to ensure the livelihood of the fish we weighed.

We would also like to thank our entire tournament trail staff for their long hours and hard work to bring this whole thing together. Most importantly, we want to thank the anglers for coming out to fish with us, being great sportsmen and stewards of the sport of bass fishing.

We compiled some statistics from this tournament we wanted to share that prove our anglers a tournament staff are truly some of the best in the nation. We had 235 registered boats, with 202 in the water at blast off. Thanks to the system we have in place and the knowledge and experience of our anglers, all 202 boats were safely blasted off in a total of 44 minutes. That’s an average of 4.59 boats per minute. The quicker and smoother we can make blast off, the faster you guys can get your fishing day started. So, a BIG Thank You to all of our staff and anglers for accomplishing this huge feat! Secondly, we weighed in 105 bags of fish across 5 flights in a total of 80 minutes (1 hour, 20 minutes) from scales-open to scales-closed. That equates to an average of 1.31 bags weighed per minute! Again, that’s a HUGE credit to our staff AND the anglers bringing fish up to the scales. The faster we can get your fish weighed, the sooner you can get home to your families. Thank you, to everyone involved for making this process so smooth and fast. We had asked that if you wanted to weigh a big fish to leave a cull tag in that fish to help speed up the process. That worked really well, so we will be asking that from here forward, if you choose to weigh a Largemouth or Smallmouth for Big Fish, please leave a cull tag in that fish so we can identify which fish you want to weigh and get it weighed first. Thanks!
Next up: Douglas Lake on May 14, 2022 at Dandridge Free Launch(Dandridge, TN). We will be taking registrations starting Monday, May 8 at Morristown Marine and we will take them there through Friday May 13 daily from 8:30 am til 5 pm. You can also register in person at the ramp on tournament morning. We all know how crowded that ramp gets, so please plan to arrive early and alleviate some of the traffic flow. We look forward to seeing everyone then!

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