Saturday’s chilly, rainy morning giving way to cool temperatures and gusty winds under blue skies didn’t keep fish from biting on Lake Wylie during the annual 28th CS Motorsports Fall Classic fishing tournament.
“It was good for us; a lot better than we thought it would be with the front and rain,” said Gene Webster of Gastonia, after weighing in the six-fish limit Saturday afternoon at Buster Boyd Access Area. “We covered a lot of water and hit a lot of spots.”
Webster, who fished with tournament organizer and Elite Bassmaster Pro Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, weighed in 17.96 pounds of Lake Wylie bass for the win. They also weighed in the second big fish at 4.45 pounds.
“I’ve fished this tournament for 20 years,” Webster said. “It’s my first win, and I’m thrilled.”
Formerly known as The Handy Pantry, Myers took over the longtime event several years back and made his company the title sponsor. Unlike other local tournaments, the CS Motorsports Fall Classic allows professional anglers to enter, including entries Saturday from local well-known pros like Jason Quinn and Chris Baumgardner.
“I’ve never actually fished the tournament before this year,” said Myers, owner of title sponsor CS Motorsports in Gastonia, while waiting to see if their number would hold among the 112 teams. “The pros aren’t the guys you’ve got to worry about out here, it’s the locals.” Myers said
Reggie Guffey Jr. and Tommy Chapman weighed in under the Webster-Myers team at 13.41 pounds, but reeled in the biggest fish of the day at 4.88 pounds for $800, plus $100 for 14th place.
“With a 70-dollar entry fee, the winner gets over $4,000,” said organizer with CS Motorsports Jason Holland and member of Wylie South Bassmasters Club at the microphone.
Myers and Webster also earned the Top Ford Truck Bonus for a total of $4,670. The top 15 spots paid out, as well as bonus winnings for parent-child and husband-wife teams, smallest limit and Toyota truck.
Although Shoda brothers Christian, 20, and Cameron, 15, of Tega Cay weren’t in the winnings, they saw their best finish in the handful of tournaments they’ve entered for the first time this year.
“This is our best one yet,” said Cameron, a freshman at Fort Mill High School, saying they weighed in the six-fish limit at 12.93 pounds and a big fish of 4.09 using worms, crankbaits and topwaters.
Mom Brenda Shoda was proud of her sons.
“They’re just starting to fish tournaments but they’ve been fishing a lot,” she said, explaining her brother Bassmaster Pro Doug DeVore of Pennsylvania peeked their interest. “They have each other, and as a mom, that’s pretty cool.”
Like brothers, the Lake Wylie fishing community also has each other. During the results announcement, Lake Wylie Bait & Tackle Ken Ponder distributed fliers to the crowd announcing a Nov. 19 benefit to support local angler Parks Jones and his families fight with his son’s illness.
“We’d like to raise at least $10,000 with sponsors,” Ponder said.
Myers announced he would donated his share of the winnings to the cause.
“Life’s not just about fishing, and this puts everything in perspective,” he said.
For more information about the Nov. 19, visit lakewyliebaitandtackle.com.
CS Motorsports Fall Classic results
1. Britt Myers/Gene Webster, 17.96; second big fish: 4.45; Top Ford Truck Bonus; total: $4,670
2. Jimmy Drumm/Frog, 16.31, $800
3. Tim Cline/Bobby Snyder, 16.19, $625
4. Nathan Weber/Dale Webber, 15.85, $550
5. Shane Lineberger/Brian Huskins, 15.74, $400
6. Louie Hull/Chuck Montgomery, 15.14, $350
7. Eddie Williams/Carl Williams, 14.59, $300
8. Rick Mckinzie/Van Sexton, 14.50; Top Toyota Truck Bonus; total: $475
9. Jody Wright/James Dyer, 14.37, $175
10. Ron Farrow/Roger Farrow, 14.28, $150
11. Brandon Williams/Hank Cherry, 13.85, $100
12. Tommy Williams/Thomas Hardwick, 13.81, $100
13. Bryan New/Chris Young, 13.48, $100
14. Reggie Guffey Jr./Tommy Chapman, 13.41; First Place Big Fish: 4.88; total: $900
15. Marc Leech/Zach Leech, 13.38; Top Parent-Child team Bonus; total: $350
Mike Edwards/William Osborne, 13.32; Top Legend/Champion Boat Bonus: $250
JD Clark/Rick Carson, 8.32; Smallest Limit Bonus: $250