Oklahoma's Hill tops field in Alabama
2003 Alabama CITGO Bassmaster Pro Tour
By Steve Bowman
Bassmaster — May 25, 2003
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Kenyon Hill went into the final CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer expecting to "power fish" for bass on the Alabama River. Instead, he switched tactics to one more closely aligned with trout fishing and won the final Tour event of the season.
Hill, of Norman, Okla., weighed five bass totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to bring his two-day total to 29 pounds, 9 ounces and staving off a charging Brent Chapman.
Chapman, of Shawnee, Kan., weighed in the largest limit of the day, 16 pounds, 6 ounces, to jump from sixth to second with 29 pounds, 2 ounces. Edwin Evers, of Mannsville, Okla., and Mark Menendez, of Paducah, Ky., were tied for third with 26 pounds, 2 ounces. Harold Allen, of Shelbyville, Texas, was fifth with 23-13 and Mark Davis, of Mount Ida, Ark., rounded out the final six with 23-11.
As part of the Bassmaster Showdown format, the final two days of the tournament were contested in pre-determined holes on Lake Jordan, an impoundment of the Coosa River. Hill concentrated on rocky shorelines and cut banks primarily to catch his limit. He caught the majority of his fish keying on eddies and seams of current in the lake. The fish were caught on a Team Supreme 3/8 Rascal jig tipped with a Speed Craw.
Brent Chapman's mid-tourney switch to heavy-duty flipping equipment almost gave him the win. "There's a technique that I use while trout fishing called deep nymphing,'' Hill said. "Minus the mending the line part, that's what I was doing with my jig.
"All I was doing was hopping it a little bit and taking up slack, just like in trout fishing.''
Hill said he would make a 45-degree cast upstream and let the current wash the jig downstream and into small eddies under the surface. Some of his bites came as deep as 10 feet, and several of them were well off the bank in the seam of water where the current of the river flow folds together with the reverse moving water of an eddy.
The majority of his weight for each of the final days was caught in Holes 4 and 5.
"It would have been real ugly if I could have stayed in those holes the whole day,'' Hill said.
The Showdown format requires that an angler only fish for about 1 hour and 15 minutes in each of the six holes.