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Hayes wins ranger cup at Lake Ferguson

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
July 18, 2003
Local angler Jimmy Hayes recently turned in a strong performance at the Wal Mart Bass Fishing League Tournament at Lake Ferguson in Greenville. Hayes caught a limit of bass, which was good enough for third place overall in the tournament. He also won the Ranger Cup award for the highest finish among Ranger boat owners in the tournament. The $500 bonus award put his total winnings at $1,500 on the day.
Hayes follows a long line of top fishermen from Meridian who have experienced success on the state and regional levels. He is fishing both the WBFL and the Everstart Regional tournament series this year. Hayes has three top ten finishes on the WBFL trail this year topped off by his latest conquest.
Hayes has also finished in the money in two of the Everstart Tournaments, one on Pickwick Lake and the other on the Red River.
Homemade spinnerbaits
During Hayes most recent tournament at Lake Ferguson, he located fish that were positioned on a submerged roadbed feeding on shad. As the water rushed over the road, the bass would attack.
After trying different spinnerbaits over the years, Hayes decided that it would be better to make his own. Before each tourney he makes up a few to match the current conditions of that particular lake. During the Lake Ferguson tournament he used a custom made spinnerbait with a half-ounce head along with two medium size willow leaf blades. The medium blades enabled him to fish the bait in the current at a fast pace. As the bass staged on top of the roadbed, the spinnerbait provided the right amount of flash to entice ferocious strikes.
After catching a couple of bass in an area such as this, Hayes will change spinnerbait sizes or skirts to give the bass a different look. Many times that is the difference between catching two or three bass, or catching a limit in an area.
With one tournament left on the WBFL Mississippi division trail, Hayes stands poised to secure another regional berth in his quest to make it to the WBFL All American. Two other local anglers Ricky Smith and Tim Fox are also currently in the top thirty in the Mississippi division.

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