Jin Nguyen Leads B.A.S.S. Nation At Lake Guntersville

Jin Nguyen turned around a bad practice session on Lake Guntersville by taking the lead at the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors.

Nguyen, of Kansas City, Mo., caught 4 bass weighing 21 pounds, 6 ounces, to take a narrow lead in the regional competition between bass clubs.

Close behind is Lee Byrd of Pell City, Ala., with 20-3, followed by Josh Nelson of Saint Bonifacius, Minn., with 19-14. Mark Nies of Cannelton, Ind., holds down fourth place with 19-4 and Chuck Campbell of Hartsburg, Mo., is fifth with 19-2.

“There was a lot of luck involved today because I caught only two bass during practice,” admitted Nguyen. “I went back to that same spot and the bass were there, obviously.”

Nguyen, like many anglers, is taking advantage of waves of largemouth bass leaving shallow water spawning areas. This is the postspawn timeline and the bass are moving to deeper water for the summer.

Success involves locating numbers of bass as they form schools on the ledges along the Tennessee River.

“I’m catching them as they are coming back out,” he added. “I’m not sure if there will be more coming through tomorrow.”

Call his day a combination of good timing and better luck. Nguyen came up one shy of a weighable limit, although his catch is just enough to take first place.

Competing on Lake Guntersville are B.A.S.S. club anglers from 19 states. To be determined are overall winners, the top finishing state team and qualifiers to bass fishing’s club championship.

That event is the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. The top boater and non-boater from each state advance to the championship.

Indiana’s 20 anglers collectively caught 192 pounds to lead the team standings after Wednesday. Arkansas holds down second place with 170 pounds, 1 ounce. Missouri is third with 154-5 and Minnesota has 152-4 for fourth place. Wisconsin is fifth with 149-3. Alabama is sixth with 146-6.

The state with the most weight is awarded a new bass boat and trailer. That is a Triton 189 TrX with Triton boat package accessories and a Yamaha VF150LA. Total package value is $37,293.

On Thursday, the tournament field is cut to the Top 38 boaters and non-boaters from each state to include each state’s top 3 anglers. That group competes on Friday for championship berths and overall titles.

Two anglers are paired with the boat owner, who is allowed to keep five bass. The accompanying angler can keep three bass. A keeper bass measures at least 15 inches for largemouth and smallmouth. Spotted bass measuring at least 12 inches also qualify as keepers.

Leading the non-boater division is Justin Harris of McPherson, Kan., with 14-4. Big bass of the day honors go to Brandon Pickett of Wichita, Kan. He caught a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces.

The tournament begins at 6 a.m. CT with boats returning in staggered flight times beginning at 2:15 p.m. Tournament launch and weigh-in is at Guntersville City Harbor.