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Salisbury anglers score big at Falls Lake

Rodney Jones and Tommy Bell, both of Salisbury, teamed Saturday to make one of the best bass tournament catches in the Carolinas this year.

The two weighed in five largemouth scaling 28.8 pounds to top a big Carolinas Bass Challenge Series event at Falls Lake just northeast of Raleigh. Their largest single bass weighed 6.85 pounds.

Bell and Jones split $8,000 for the victory.

Twelve of the approximate 100 teams in the tournament had catches of five bass topping 20 pounds. This furthers the 12,000-acre lake’s reputation of being among the best bass fisheries in the country during June.

Four teams checked in largemouth weighing just more than 7 pounds each.

Next on the schedule for the Bass Challenge Series anglers will be Lake Wylie this Saturday.

In other tournaments last weekend:

• Josh Prince and Cody George, both of Robbinsville, won the annual Fontana Open on Fontana Lake with a two-day, 10-bass catch of 22 pounds. They earned $2,000 in the event sponsored by Fontana Village and based at the resort’s marina. Extremely clear water conditions contributed to a tough bite and what was termed a disappointing catch compared to previous years. In 2015 the Open will revert to its traditional date the third weekend in March.

• Phillip Parrish and Michael Thrift, both of Lexington, N.C., triumphed in a monthly NC-Cats tournament at High Rock Lake. They scored with a limit of three flatheads weighing 81.35 pounds and collected $450. Bobby and Tyler Mayhew boated the event’s biggest catfish, which weighed 32.85 pounds.

• Wes Gilmore of Crouse and regular Georgia fishing partner Rob Hedrick swept to victory with stripers of 31 and 29 pounds in an event at Clarks Hill Reservoir, or Lake Thurmond. Hedrick’s father David, of Bessemer City, also was fishing with them. The triumph enabled Wes and Rob to score a “three-peat” as anglers of the year in the Striped Bass Conservation Coalition. Gilmore has claimed the title a record five times and the younger Hedrick has shared in four. Tom Higgins

Briefly

• The public fishing area at the Wittenburg Access point on Lake Hickory will close Monday for replacement of the piers. The site’s closure is expected to last approximately two weeks while an accessible floating fishing pier is built by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The boat ramps at Wittenburg are to remain open.

• A new, universally accessible fishing pier is available on a 1-acre pond in Yadkin County Park. The pier is 8 feet wide and extends 59 feet over the water, ending in a platform 48 feet wide. It has benches and low handrail sections to make it easier for children and wheelchair-bound anglers to cast. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission began stocking the pond this month with catchable-size channel catfish, which have a limit of six per day.

• The new Team Skeet champions at the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club are Joel Dean of Fort Mill along with Angie and Jon Dimalanta of Charlotte. Drawn from entrants at random, the three shattered 143 of 150 targets at the club’s range near Waxhaw, some while sitting in swivel bucket seats.

Catches of the week

• A limit of five largemouth bass weighing 35 pounds at Union County’s Lake Monroe by local angler Joe Rudy.

• A 36-pound dolphin off Hatteras Village by Donna Gibb of Aiken, S.C.

• A sailfish boated and released off Hatteras by Jaime Andrews of Cary.

• A 68-pound cobia at Ockracoke Island by Gary Sheff.

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