Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win.
After winning his second BFL Regional last fall on Hartwell, Kimmel got more than a new boat and a chance to step up to the boater side.
“The icing on the cake was getting to come here,” says Kimmel, who lives in Athens., Ga. “Not just the All-American, but Lake Hartwell. It’s my favorite lake in the country, it will always be, I can’t wait to own property in Anderson, South Carolina. To come here, and play the long game, and know I had zero chance of catching a big one, it’s amazing. I am so blessed to fish the way that I did and get the bites that I did.”
Kimmel says he caught a couple of bank-running largemouths on a ¼-ounce Damiki Vault Blade Bait, but that most of his fish came on finesse tactics.
“The drop-shot was the most consistent thing,” says Kimmel. “It’s always been a player for me, especially in deeper than 20 feet of water. It’s kinda the same deal I did last year in the Regional I won – just a ½-ounce weight, getting down to them fast. Your boater is always going to be moving their boat around, they can move fast. When they turn, you might only get a fish in your sonar cone for three seconds – getting down to them fast is key.”
For his drop-shot, Kimmel says he rotated through a variety of worms including a Roboworm Straight Tail Worm, a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent D-Worm, and a Missile Baits Bomb Shot in the pink belly color. Kimmel also says he caught a few fish on a Megabass Vision 110+1.
For the win, Kimmel adds another trophy to his collection and also gets the chance to compete as a co-angler in this winter’s Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland.