Kentucky Army Guard Soldiers win bass fishing tournament third year in a row

Story by Capt. Curtis Persinger, Training Center Garrison Command, Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center

Hardware on final day

1st Sgt. Scott Carrier and Capt. Curtis Persinger show off their “hardware” after winning first place at the 20th annual Air National Guard bass tournament held in Lake Martin, Ala. This is the third year in a row the two Army Guard Soldiers have taken the event. (Photo courtesy Capt. Curtis Persinger)

Editor’s note:  Capt. Curtis Persinger is a professional Soldier and a consummate officer in the Kentucky National Guard.  His enthusiasm for training the troops second only to his passion for catching largemouth bass.  In his own words he describes the events that led up to a third year in a row win for the Kentucky Army National Guard at the 20th annual Air National Guard bass tournament held in Lake Martin, Ala.

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. —  First, I want to thank the Alabama Air National Guard for putting on such a great event. My partner 1st Sgt. Scott Carrier and I started fishing these tournaments back when the Army National Guard received the invitation back in 2012 on Kentucky Lake. We haven’t seen a poorly executed event yet. Like anything there is a lot of “behind the scenes work” that must be completed for these things to run smoothly. We are both grateful for being associated with this group of people and the tradition that continues to move from state to state. Scott and I are humbled to win against this group of Fishing Fanatics.

Click here for more information on the tournament.

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Big spot

Capt. Curtis Persinger shows off one of the prize winning largemouth bass that helped his team get first place at the 20th annual Air National Guard bass tournament held in Lake Martin, Ala. This is the third year in a row the two Army Guard Soldiers have taken the event. (Photo courtesy Capt. Curtis Persinger)

We were discussing the tournament decisions and results after the tournament; it is something we do routinely after any time we fish together. Most anglers can relate to this. It’s a simple check and balance to receive some type of clarity/closure. Honestly though we never saw this one coming! The last few years we definitely fished to our strengths and or gave us some confidence. We were both very comfortable on Lake Guntersville that we go to routinely throughout the year. Last year’s event on Patoka was my home lake and June is a very tough month to fish but I understand what the fish are doing and how to catch them.

However, at Lake Martin we were just happy to defend. No pressure and no expectations. A local FLW BFL result clued me in on the size and type of fish we should be chasing! I initially thought it would take four decent spotted bass (man those Tallapoosa River spots can fight) and one kicker largemouth to win. I commented to Scott and a few other teams from various states who were staying at the Super 8 Motel that I thought it would take 24lbs to win. At the time we were well off that mark. It took every practice day to figure Lake Martin out.

Big Spotted bass

1st Sgt. Scott Carrier is half of the team that one first place at the 20th annual Air National Guard bass tournament held in Lake Martin, Ala. This is the third year in a row the two Army Guard Soldiers have taken the event. (Photo courtesy Capt. Curtis Persinger)

There are a lot of fish are in that lake.  Well, I went five hours on the first day of practice while Scott was en-route without a bite. I completely abandoned my “kicker largemouth” search in the first day and in the next several hours I figured out a very deep spotted bass pattern. It was your typical assortment of baits and techniques for structure fishing. A pattern that held up under blue bird sunny skies and dark cloudy rainy conditions.

Our day one and day two bags were almost identical except for the two largemouth that happened to be lost out in about 25 feet of water. They were the only two largemouth that we touched all week! We never thought we would enjoy chasing Lake Martin Magnum spotted bass like we did! We are actually excited to return to Lake Martin in 2017 to chase down those elusive MAG spots (four plus pounders) giants that I know live in the lake!

Now off to Lake St. Clair in 2016. Man, are we excited to go up there and chase some toads and defend our title!  We know this will be one tall order.   Neither one of us have ever fished above the state of Indiana. We assume those Michigan anglers have a little something for us. We guess those brown fish will throw us a curve ball or two.  They are known for that!

With that said, I can guarantee one thing:  Scott and I will be working our tails off from daylight to dark giving everything we have.

Good luck to all the anglers and safe travels!

 

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