Local angler Matt Baty of Bainbridge, Ga. won the Lake Seminole Southeastern FLW Series on Saturday after bringing a 20-03 stringer to the scale. Baty's two-day total of 45-00 gave him the win by a 2-03 margin in the wind-shortened event and earned him a winner's check worth $56,200.
"I found my spot about three weeks ago after we had gotten quite a bit of rain," he said. "I've fished it a few times over the years, and it never really had any grass before. This year there was a small patch of deep grass and there was a current over it. The fish were holding to the grass.
"During my practice I caught a 6-pounder there, but I had foul-hooked it in the eye," Baty continued. "I left the area and was hoping that it would be productive for me come tournament time. I ended up catching that same 6-pounder during the tournament - I could tell by the messed up eye."
Baty described his area as a creek-channel bend. He said he sat his boat in 8 feet of water and cast his baits out to 18 feet, flowing with the current. He credited a gizzard shad-colored Jenko CD20 crankbait, a 1-ounce Buddha Bait Swagger Jig with a 4-inch shad-colored Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper and a Carolina-rigged Zoom Trick Worm as his key baits for the event. He estimated that he caught around 20 keepers on Friday and another 15 on Saturday.
"The first day I caught most of my fish on the Jenko crankbait. The second day the big ones came on the Swagger Jig, but I used the Carolina rig to fill out my limit. I did get one big one with the Carolina rig. I truly believe that Spike-It Aerosol Garlic Oil scent on my baits was a big difference-maker."
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Matt Baty: 45-00
2. Rick Tindell: 42-13
3. Hensley Powell: 40-14
4. Jason Smith: 39-07
5. Kurt Mitchell: 39-04
6. Troy Gibson: 38-09
7. Wes Logan: 38-08
8. John Cox: 33-07
9. Bradley Enfinger: 31-12
10. Koby Kreiger: 31-10