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Livingston Pro Takes 3rd in Tough Championship Tournament


Angler's Choice Pro/Am Championship
Lake Granbury

Granbury, TX, 09/08/2000 - Livingston professional bass fisherman, Mark Mueck, bested 37 of the nations top 40 bass pro's to take 3rd place and bring home a check for $4,750 at an extremely tough tournament on Lake Granbury, a Brazos river impoundment just southwest of Fort Worth. Well, just how tough was it, you say? Seven of the pro's fished hard for 2 days of competition and failed to catch a keeper size bass. Mueck was one of only 4 pro's to catch 5 keepers in two days. 34 of the 40 pro's brought 3 or fewer keepers to scales. And this was a 2 day tournament with a 5 bass per day limit, so the pro's could have weighed in as many as 10 keepers. But tournament angler's have an old saying, "You can't weigh 'em, if you can't catch 'em." And such was the case with Lake Granbury on the weekend after Labor Day. These weren't just casual weekend bass anglers either. Defending champion Matt Reed from Madisonville was there. 2000 Angler of the Year, Ted Pate, from Alexandria, LA came to the tournament after winning an impressive $28,500 for the year in Angler's Choice Pro/Am tournaments. Salty, Sam Rayburn, TX pro David Wharton was there after finishing as Runner-Up Angler of the Year with $16,100 in winnings. Nacogdoches,TX pro, Lendell Martin, Ardmore, OK pro Jeff Kreit ,Brentwood, CA pro Ish Monroe and Eason Dowden from Hemphill all tried, but failed to solve to bass fishing puzzle of Lake Granbury.

"Going into the tournament, I thought I could bring in a 20 pound bag both days and that it would probably take 40+ pounds to win this tournament," shared the young Livingston pro. "I was catching some quality fish from a mid-lake shelf that I stumbled across is practice. I was running across this area kind of in the middle of the lake and I saw my depthfinder jump up to 15'. I stopped, turned around and investigated and discovered that this shelf ran all the way to the river, topped out at about 15' deep on top and dropped off to 30' deep on the sides and I could see brush and stumps in about 20' of water. I threw out a Carolina rigged chartreuse pepper, Zoom French fry and after catching a few quality fish, I felt that I could do well by just fishing this one spot. Granbury is a long, narrow, river-run type impoundment and the upper end of it fishes a lot like Lake Livingston. I looked around up the river and found some fish on shallow stumps and logs on the inside bends of the river. I keyed on do-nothing looking spots because I knew with the quality of competition at a tournament like this that everything that looked good would really get pounded. I was catching those fish up the river on one of my favorite Livingston baits, a shallow running, chartreuse/blue back Renegade crankbait. I was a little shocked when all the fish in the lake seemed to turn off at once. I figured with a mid-lake, deep water pattern and a shallow, up-the-river pattern working in practice, that one or the other of those patterns might shut down, but not both at once. Man, was I wrong. During the first day of competition I was fortunate enough to catch a 5 pounder on that crankbait up the river and it really boosted my confidence. I was feeling a little ashamed to be coming to the scales with only 3 fish for the first day, but after the dust settled and I was setting in 4th place, less than 3 pounds out of first, I felt like I might have a shot at winning this thing. The already tough fishing got tougher on day 2 and I was only able to weigh-in 2 keepers, but still managed to move up to 3rd place. First and second place both won a boat, and if I could have caught one more 2 ¼ lb.. keeper, I would have brought that second place boat home, but I can't complain. I would feel worse if I had broken a big fish off or had a good one come off at the boat, but I feel like I had 5 keeper bites in 2 hard days of competition and carried all 5 of those bites to the weigh-in scales. You just can't execute any better than that. I'm ready for next year's tournament season to right now."

With 2 top 10 finishes during the regular season and a 3rd place finish in the championship tournament after his first full year of fishing the Anglers Choice Pro/Am circuit, look for this 27 year old, Livingston high school grad to continue to transform his 20+ years of bass fishing experience on Lake Livingston into bass fishing paychecks and prizes. Once again, Lake Livingston proves to be a fertile training ground for young, up and coming bass fishing professionals.

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