Local sticks win Toyota Owners tournament

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Andy Crawford
Austin Weaver and Zach Tubbs, winners of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament held on Pickwick Lake.

FLORENCE, Ala. — Leveraging local expertise and covering 60 miles of fishing water paid off for Austin Weaver and Zach Tubbs, winners of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament held on Pickwick Lake. 

The team from Florence, Ala., caught five bass weighing 22 pounds, 13 ounces, for a payday of $5,000. Their winning margin was more than 4 pounds ahead of second-place team Trenton Caperton and Chase Fleeman, who finished with 18-14. David Lambert and Joel Tallant finished third with 18-2, and Walker Brown and Sloan Pennington were fourth with 17-10. Jared Green and Jade Keeton weighed 17-9 for fifth place.

Weaver, 29, and Tubbs, 34, both power company lineman, fish frequently on Pickwick Lake in local and regional tournaments.

“It was a grind, there was no particular one area better than the other,” said Weaver. “We fished probably 20 or 30 spots.”

The logic for covering so much water came from previous tournament experience on Pickwick.

“We fish the Alabama Bass Trail, and the competition is very tough," explained Weaver. “Everybody knows the same productive areas, and it takes running a lot of water to stay ahead.” 

Weaver and Tubbs easily qualify as local experts, but there were other underlying reasons why running and gunning was so productive. Covering more water — and areas that were productive in duplicate patterns — increased the odds of catching more quality fish. At each stop they were able to maximize the potential of that area and put bigger fish in the livewell.