April 20, 2019–Bristol, TN. The father-son team of Craig and Doyle Tester beat the elements and a robust field of talented anglers to claim victory on the third stop of the Morristown Team Trail at beautiful South Holston Lake in Bristol TN/VA. The weather was nasty, with a late spring cold front all but killing the bedded smallmouth bite and an all day rain that soaked everything under the sun and brought the lake up several inches. This fishery went from on fire to tough in a matter of 3 days. There were a total of 229 boats registered and 167 of them weighed fish. The total tournament weight was 2,281.95 lbs, with 796 total fish weighed and 794 of them successfully released. We paid out $47,680.00 in 38 places and contingency money, with 15.88 lbs being the cut weight. There was actually a tie at 38th place, so both teams were paid.
Craig & Doyle Tester of Butler, TN led the way with a monster sack of 21.25 lbs, anchored by a 5.80 smallmouth that also gave them Big Smallmouth for the tournament. The rain kept us from getting a post tournament interview, but Craig & Doyle have definitely put in their time on South Holston. These gentlemen took home a total payout of $11,080.00 for the win and big smallmouth.
Right on their heels were Jack Faulkner and Ronnie Carey of Jacksboro, TN and Middlesboro, KY with a total weight of 20.37 lbs. Jack and Ronnie took home a total payout of $7,000.00 for their 2nd place finish and contingency money for Highest Finishing Skeeter ($3,000.00), Highest Finishing Enigma Rods($200) and Highest Finishing Gray Insurance($250).
3rd place went to JR Henard and Travis Carpenter, both of Rogersville, TN, with a mixed bag weighing 19.27 lbs. JR and Travis took home a check for $2,550.00 for their efforts.
4th place was Knoxville, TN angler Jordan Card and Bobby Drinnon of Rogersville, TN with a 19.22 lb bag. Jordan and Bobby took home $1550.00 for 4th place.
Closing out the top 5 was Preston and Jalen Shuffler of Greeneville, TN with a 5 fish limit weighing 19.18 lbs. Preston and Jalen cashed a check worth $1050.00 for their day of fishing.
The Citizens Bank Big Largemouth went to Vince Salyer and Michael Ervin of Kingsport, TN with a toad weighing 6.48 lbs. In addition, Vince and Michael also won 2nd Highest Finishing Skeeter and 8th place overall. Congrats, gentlemen!
The Citizens Bank Big Smallmouth went to the overall winners, Craig & Doyle Tester with their hawg 5.80 brown fish. Congratulations, men!
Highest Finishing Gray Insurance payout went to Jack Faulkner and Ronnie Carey for having insurance with Gray Insurance Agency in LaFollette, TN. 2nd Highest Finishing Gray Insurance went to Kenneth Owens and Adam Spivey. Both teams took home an additional $250.00 for being insured by the best in the business. Stop by and see or give Randy Heatherly a call for your any of your insurance needs!
Jack and Ronnie each took home an additional $100 for using Enigma Fishing rods to secure their second place finish. First out of the money on South Holston was Bobby Chambers and Tim Smiley. Bobby & Tim will receive an Enigma Fishing hat and a rod each for their use of Enigma rods. Enigma Fishing: Cast.Catch.Repeat.
The 2019 Morristown Marine Bonus Bucks Program paid out 4 places on South Holston, with the highest finishing new boat winner Steve Miracle taking home a check for $1500.00. 2nd highest finishing new boat reward went to Clifford Bunch. Clifford cashed a $1,000.00 check for his new Skeeter.
Bobby Chambers took home the highest finishing pre-owned boat honors and a check for $500 additional. 2nd highest finishing pre-owned boat went to AJ Ison. AJ got a check for $250. Remember, to qualify for this bonus money, you must have purchased a new or used boat from Morristown Marine between January 1st, 2018 and the tournament date. Morristown Marine thanks each of you for choosing us for your new boat purchase.
Highest Finishing Skeeter Bonus:
1) Faulkner & Carey – $3,000.00
2) Salyer & Ervin – $1,500.00
3) Ownby & Lusk – $1,000.00
4) Smith & Faulkner – $800.00
5) Bishop & Matherly – $700.00
6) Teaney & Alexander – $500.00
7) Roberts & Nidiffer – $250.00
8) Rigg & Stough – $200.00
9) O’Quinn & O’Quinn – $150.00
10) Ownes & Spivey – $100.00
We would like to thank Yamaha outboards, Skeeter Boats, B&H Sales, Citizens Bank, B&M Tire, Taylor Battery/Deka, Gray Insurance Agency, Cumberland Gap Spring Water, Old Stage Printing and Sullivan County/Observation Knob Park for hosting this event. We would also like to thank Pal’s Sudden Service at 960 Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, TN for the delicious hot dogs yesterday. Nobody makes a hot dog as good as Pal’s. Stop by and thank Store Manager Justin Wilcox for all their help.
Next up, we will be in Rockwood, TN on May 11 for our annual Watts Bar event out of Tom Fuller Park. Registration will begin on Monday May 6th at 8:30 am at Morristown Marine in person or by phone, as well as on site at Jerry’s Bait Shop in Rockwood on Friday May 10th from 10am-5pm.