Through three days of constant work in a variety of conditions, Ty Overmyer of Dawsonville and Adam Waller of Cumming worked together to win the 2022 Palmetto Boat Center Classic Championship at Lake Lanier — earning a $50,000 prize.
The duo — who have known each other since daycare and whose fathers have their own legacies on the lake — used their extensive knowledge of fishing to team up and finish the tournament with an aggregate weight of 53.13 pounds.
“What an awesome experience it was, and we want to thank the good Lord above and our families for supporting us along the way,” Overmyer said. “We ended up winning by .30 of a pound.”
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While the two veteran fishermen are intense competitors, Waller said it was their cool and collected focus that contributed to a level of teamwork that bested 99 other teams.
With Overmyer at the wheel and Waller reeling in the bass, their skills were put to the test in a high-stakes situation.
After finishing a windy, cloudy first day in second place, the team faced a clear and still second day that created more challenging conditions.
“These highly pressured Lake Lanier spotted bass see every lure known to man,” Overmyer said. “Without wind they get a good look at your bait and don’t fully commit to your lure.”
Initial success in the morning was followed up by a long, frustrating middle bulk of the day with limited bites.
Despite falling back to third place after day two, the team still had a chance to pull off a win in what would be a high-stakes third day of competition between the top 10 teams.
That’s when the drama began.
After a couple of hours without catching anything at all, the duo scrambled to find somewhere on the lake with a decent number of bass.
They soon agreed to go to an area of the lake where Waller had success in a summer tournament.
That turned out to be the first fruitful decision, as multiple fish were caught and the team built up a heavy catch.
By 2 p.m. they had nearly the weight they wanted but were looking for a few more ounces to maximize their chances at winning the grand prize.
Waller then decided to take the risk of heading back toward the dam to find more fish — at an area a full 30 minutes away from where they needed to check in to finish the race at 3:15.
But with so much on the line, the duo were willing to take a chance and found themselves in an exciting situation.
Soon, Waller found himself tussling with a 3-pound fish that would allow the team to cull a much lighter one from their load.
Meanwhile, a pleasure boat filled with an entire family stopped to witness the action and cheered on as Waller successfully reeled in the bass.
Now with around 18 pounds on their load, Overmyer had to speed back to the weigh-in — reaching Laurel Park with just minutes to spare.
After waiting in line with an abundance of nerves, Overmyer and Waller put their catch down and weighed in as the champions.