The 2013 Southern Division Championship presented by Solar Bat wrapped up this weekend on Lake Barkley in Clarksville, Tenn. David Kneece from Gilbert, S.C. came from behind to top day one and two leader, Gary Abernethy, from Skyland, N.C., to take the division champion title. The Alabama state team also made a huge jump on the final day to top the North Carolina state team who had led the first two tournament days.
The top fourteen anglers, two from each of the seven states in the Southern division, advance today to the 2014 Federation National Championship. There they’ll go head to head with other TBF division champions from across the US to compete for next year’s national champion titles and the “Living the Dream” prize package, to be awarded to both the national champion boater and coangler. The package includes cash and prizes, paid entry as an FLW Tour Pro in his/her circuit choice and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck for the year, as well as, travel stipends and sponsor merchandise.
Kneece caught a five bass limit all three tournament days with 12lbs 14ounces, 14lbs 7ounces and 14lbs 4ounces for a tournament total of 41lbs 9ounces.
Abernethy, who lead the first two tournament days, dropped to second with just 13ounces separating him from Kneece. “I was catching anywhere from 20-35 fish a day, looking for that 15inch size limit,” Abernethy said. “I had quite of few that were close and I had quality fish the first two days. I just couldn’t get the quality of fish to bite the final day.” Abernethy caught all his bass using a half ounce Shooter jig with a Zoom trailer on a Denali rod with 20lb Seaguar line. He fished around shallow bushes visiting three different creeks on Lake Barkley during the event. “I was getting a lot of bites and measuring a ton of fish to get the best ones to weigh in,” Abernethy continued. “I think fishing slowed down for the whole field on the final day, with the exception of (Kneece) the guy who came from second, to catch up and win it.”