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28lbs-13ozs - 25lbs-4ozs & 22lbs Tops Rayburn Red Man
By Ed Snyder

CowBoy Division Red Man 2000 Tournament Trail
Saturday, February 5, '00, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"Thank the Lord for his smiling on me today, praised the Lufkin TX, Angler who had just weighed-in a 1st place catch of 5 bass/28 lbs-13 ozs which had knocked down a 5 bass/25 lb-4 oz catch to 2nd, which in turn knocked down a 22 lb catch to 3rd place. After the digitals finalized the 1st CowBoy Division tournament of the season, 400 anglers managed to weigh-in 753 bass weighing 1,958 lbs...."Rayburn's Back!!!

Chilly 23 degree postfront bluebirds and 10 foot low lake levels re-conditioned Rayburn's bass-bites as 200 Boaters teamed up with 200 Co-Boaters to compete for a chance to qualify for the "Red Man Regionals" and a shot at the Operation Bass "All American Championship". With new tournament format changes pairing the Anglers as Boater and Co-Boaters the Tournament weigh-in promised to become very interesting, and as the CowBoy Division teams made their scheduled 3:pm to 4:pm flight deadlines the attending crowd at Twin Dikes Marina would not be disappointed as some incredible weights were to be weighed-in.

"We had 436 anglers show up for this event, stated the Red Man Tournament Director, as he further explained that this was the first time that this has ever happened, and due to the fact that we could only field 400 teamed anglers we had to dismiss 36 anglers from fishing the tournament. "But, despite the negatives of those anglers who were turned away they "will" be eligible for a wildcard draw later on this year for the Regionals. "We also had 80 new sign-ups today, announced the Director, explaining that these new anglers had never fished a Red Man event before.

(1st Place Boater-5 bass/28 lbs-13ozs)-Jeff Buchanan of Lufkin TX, informed of fishing northlake areas, which were above and below the Hwy 147 Bridge, as he worked 1/2 oz & 3/4 oz crawfish rat-L-traps, Stanley 1/2 oz white/charteuse "Nitinol" wedge-spinner baits, and Carolina rigged watermelon/red Lake Fork Tackle lizards. "I fished 12'-to-20' deepwater humps and 3'-to-9' grasslines while working Loomis rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# P-line. "I worked my pattern from the deck of my Triton/Johnson bass-rig, Jeff explained as he told of catching an all day bite for 20 bass, further telling of his 9 lb-3oz "kicker" which he caught on a 2:30pm "Nitinol" bite. Jeff's kicker held as the "overall" boater big bass which would land him a $1,000 bonus check to go along with his $6,000 1st place boaters check. "Thank God for his shining on me today, smiled the humbled Lufkin TX, angler as he went off to prepare for next weeks BassMaster's event.

(2nd Place Boater-5 bass/25 lbs-4ozs)-Cody Bird of Granbury TX, told of running his Skeeter/Yamaha along Buck Bay points to fish Pirana Rods and Quantum reels spooled with 20# Stren as he worked the bald spots with Lake Fork Tackle charteuse/pepper RingFrys. "I had my limit by 8:30am, Cody stated, as he informed of catching 20 keepers by then for culling his 2nd place finish. "My partner lost a real goodun' at the boat, Cody further informed, estimating that the bass weighed between 10 to 12 lbs. Cody managed to take home a 2nd place check for $3,000.

(3rd Place Boater-5 bass/22 lbs)-Ray Beck of Beaumont TX, managed to find his bass while working "shallow"southlake point-grass and "shallow" grass-humps with Rayburn/red X-Caliber Rattlin' Spots. "I worked Mitchell rods and Mitchell reels spooled with 17# X-Caliber line from the deck of my Ranger/Mercury, Ray grinned, as he told of having a late Noon to 3:pm bite which put 18 bass in the boat for culling his 3rd place finish for a $1,500 payday.

(1st Place Co-Boater-5 bass/15 lbs-1oz)-Clay Henry of Many LA, announced that he was fishing with Phil Hennigan of Center TX, who gave him a quick lesson in "listening". Seems that Phil was loading up on bass bites while using rat-L-traps and tried to get Clay to change over. "But, thanks to the Lord, Clay humbly informed, "I finally listened to what Phil was trying to tell me and started catching my first bass by 10:am while fishing Adco rods and Ambassadeur reels spooled with 12# Stren. Clay went home with a "Lesson Learned" as well as a 1st place Co-Boaters check for $3,000.

Top 5 Boaters;
1-Jeff Buchanan-Lufkin TX----------------------5 bass/28 lbs-13 ozs-$6,000
2-Cody Bird-Granbury TX-----------------------5 bass/25 lbs-4 ozs-$3,000
3-Ray Beck-Beaumont TX-----------------------5 bass/22 lbs-$1,500
4-Malcolm Rachal-Alexandria LA--------------5 bass/19 lbs-13 ozs-$1,300
5-Toby Davis JR-Tyler TX-----------------------5 bass/19 lbs-6 ozs-$1,100

(Boaters caught 488 bass weighing 1,282 lbs.)

Overall Boater Big Bass-(9 lbs-3 ozs)-Jeff Buchanan-$1,000

Top 5 Co-Boaters-
1-Clay Henry-Many LA-------------------------5 bass/15 lbs-1 oz-$3,000
2-Dean Gilbert-Sherman TX--------------------5 bass/14 lbs-11 ozs-$1,500
3-Matt Cannon-Troy TX------------------------5 bass/13 lbs-14 ozs-$750
4-Scott Bailey-Longview TX-------------------5 bass/12 lbs-15 ozs-$650
5-Dan Isenhart-Mequon WI--------------------5 bass/12 lbs-7 ozs-$600

(Co-Boaters caught 265 bass weighing 676 lbs)-

Overall Co-Boater Big Bass-TIED-(6 lbs-1 oz-)-Scott Hanten-San Antonio TX-$200
(6 lbs-1 oz)-Bill Langley-Mineola TX-$200

All Bass were live released via Red Man Bass Recovery with 753 bass weighing 1,958 lbs.

For more information on this, as well as other Operation Bass tournaments contact -(270)-362-4880 -or clic to- <www.operationbass.com>

Tournament Sponsors; Red Man, Evinrude, Abu-Garcia, BC Headache Powders, Black & Decker, Chevy Trucks, CITGO, Coleman, EverReady, EverStart, GARMIN, Poulan WeedEaters, PowerBait/Frenzy, Ranger Boats, ShopVac, Stren, Timex, US Bank, Visa, Wrangler, "and" the Red Man Tournament Anglers.


1st place Pro Jeff Buchanan 5 bass/28 lbs-13 ozs

2nd place Pro Cody Bird 5 bass/25 lbs-4 ozs

< photos by Ed Snyder >


3rd place Pro Ray Beck 5 bass/22 lbs

CoBoater winner Clay Henry-L- & ProWinner Jeff Buchanan-R-

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