Josh B. Tramel of Smithville hooked a victory on Saturday at the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series tournament on Center Hill Lake.
Tramel’s 19.46 pound bag of bass bested runner-up Jason Dies of Lebanon by nearly a pound and a half.
The heftiest hog in Tramel’s sack weighed in just shy of six pounds — the second biggest catch of the day.
Tramel said angling is pretty hot right now on Center Hill Lake, especially in the morning.
“I caught them all day long, really. They were hitting pretty good today,” he said. “Early is definitely better. But the good ones hit all day, you just catch less of them as the day goes on.”
Tramel, an accountant by day during the week, said he hooked all his fish on a jig in three- to 10-feet deep water.
The tournament whopper was a 6.39 pound largemouth landed by Noel Smith of Portland, who finished third overall.
Anthony Ryan Layhew of Murfreesboro won the co-angler division with a 10.52 pound bag of three fish.
Other anglers from the Center Hill Lake region fared pretty well in the tournament, which included 56 entrants from Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky in the “boater” division, and 24 in the “co-angler” division.
Local fisherman placing in the Top 25 were Kenneth Reece of Brush Creek at 5th, Tim Staley of Dowelltown at 8th, Dustin Barlow of Walling at 10th, Greg Barnes of Rock Island at 13th, Anthony Nash of Quebeck at 15th, Mike Redmon of Dowelltown at 23rd and Frank Bell of Smithville at 24th.
At day’s end, 380 fish were weighed totaling 768 pounds. The average keeper-size bass for the tournament was in the two-and-a-half pound range. All the fish were later released.