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B.A.S.S. Missouri Invitational
Table Rock Lake

 

Onalaska Pro Finishes 11th in Tough Tournament

Kimberling City, Mo., April 11,2000 - Onalaska professional bass fisherman, Slade Dearman, bested 296 of the nations top bass pro's to take 11th place and bring home a check for $ 3200.00 at an extremely tough tournament on Missouri's scenic Table Rock Lake. Well, just how tough was it, you say? Out of 307 pro's, 101 failed to catch a keeper on Day One, 106 didn't catch one on Day Two and 80 didn't bring a bass to the scales on the third and final day. In fact, 26 anglers fished hard for 3 tournament days and didn't bring a single keeper to the weigh-in. Now that is TOUGH when roughly 1/3 of the field fails to catch a keeper size bass each day. And these weren't just a bunch of weekend warriors fishing this tournament. These were mostly full-time professional bass fishermen from all over the nation and a few foreign countries. The list of people that Slade finished in front of in this tournament includes the names of such big-name pros as Jay Yelas, David Wharton, O.T. Fears, Ken Cook, Kevin Van Dam, Chad Brauer, Tommy Martin, Bud Pruitt, Charlie Campbell, Dan Morehead, Kenyon Hill and Bo Dowden to name a few.

"Going into this tournament, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to catch any fish or not," shared the young Onalaska pro. "I had one spot where I had between 10 and 15 bites in practice, but I couldn't get bit anywhere else and didn't think my one little spot would hold up for a 3 day tournament." "The first day I drew a local and we couldn't catch anything off of his spots so late in the day, we went to my little spot and I was able to catch my limit in just a little while. They weren't big, but they were good enough for 29th place after the first day. The second day I drew Jeff Kriet from Ardmore, OK, who was in 8th place, as my partner, so of course, we went to his fish. I was glad to draw someone who was on fish, so I could save my fish for the final day of competition. I was only able to catch 4 fish that day with Jeff, but, with fishing so tough, that moved me up to 11th place after 2 days. On Friday nite, a cold front blew in and dropped the temperatures about 20 degrees and made the already tough fishing, even tougher. The first 2 days, I had caught just about all of my fish on a Carolina Rigged green pumpkin centipede. I was using 20# P-line as my main line and I used a 20# flourocarbon leader. Just about everybody else was using 10 or 12 or even 8 pound line because of the clear water. I really feel like that flourocarbon leader helped by allowing me to use 20# line and still get bit. I used Browning rods and reels for all 3 days. On Saturday morning, I went to my spot wondering what that cold front was going to do to my fish. I fished hard for about 2 or 3 hours, but all I could catch was one little keeper. I started moving around and looking and I figured out that the cold front had moved my fish about 100 yards down the creek but they didn't want a Carolina Rig. I ended up catching 3 keepers on a brown crawfish Series 4 Strike King crankbait and the rest came on a smoke grub counted down to about 10 or 12 feet and then reeled in real slow. I really feel fortunate to finish as well as I did, especially after such a slow practice." Slade's good performance only reinforces what a lot of people have known for a long time. A bass is a bass anywhere he swims and if you can catch fish consistently on Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Lake Livingston, you can catch them anywhere in the nation.

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