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Pruitt "WINS" Rayburn BASSMaster Texas Invitational
By Ed Snyder

( Takahiro Omori lands 2nd with 48.4 lbs )-

BASSMaster Central Division Texas Invitational
Saturday, February 12, 2000, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

The tournament field of 326 BASSMaster anglers (325 men and 1 woman) who arrived to compete for the three days of February 10, 11, 12, would be whittled down today as $213,000 in cash & prizes would awarded to the top 55 leaderboard marks. Lake water conditions, changing weather patterns, and "murphy's law" are all a big part of these events which gives all of the anglers an even chance at winning, or placing high on the leaderboard. Of the top 55 anglers who would receive a check today only the top 5 Pro's, who managed to mantain their edge, would be "imaged" within the outdoor news sections of the local press. And of these top 5 anglers, only one angler would be able to claim the "top-spot" for the BASSMaster Central Division Texas Invitational. And as BASSTournament Director, Scott King, began to announce the winners the 1st to step up for the applauds from a spectator crowd of over 4,000 was Bud Pruitt of Sam Rayburn, TX..

Final day launched under shifting winds and overcasting skys as the long awaited cool front began its pass-thru at about 10:15am just as Sam Rayburn Pro, Bud Pruitt, was catching his 5th bass of the day which gave him a "light" 5 bass limit of about 11 lbs. Not much more time would lapse til Bud managed to catch his first cull bass which edged his weight up to 12.7 lbs. And that was all there would be as Bud Pruitt, hoping for the "kicker" he needed, continued to cast for the win......"But, his 11:15am 12.7 lb cull was to be enough as Bud's 3 day total weight tallied up to 54.12 lbs giving him a 5.8 lb lead and his 2nd win for the prestigious BASSMaster Texas Invitational.

Tournament Recap;
Day-1-Little Rock Arkansas, angler, Scott Rook, kept close to southlake structure by working "fast" crankbaits along flats-grass and point-edges for catching a first day lead of 5 bass/21.10 lbs which included a 7.5 lb "kicker". Bud Pruitt of Sam Rayburn TX, came within just ounces of Rook's 1st place lead as he worked the same pattern for catching his 2nd place lead of 5 bass/20.11 lbs. Wayne Crumpton, of Royal AR, managed to land an 8.15 lb "kicker" on his very 1st cast of the morning for edging his 5 bass/19.08 lb to a 3rd place lead. "Overall" big bass for day-1 came in with Lehighton PA, angler, David Hall, as he nailed a "whopping" 10.1 lb Rayburn Lunker for catching the $1,000 Big Bass bonus check. David's "kicker" would also mark his 5 bass/18.12 lb weight for a 4th place lead. But the "BIG" surprise catch of the day came in with Arkansas Pro, Keith Green, as he worked a 1/2 oz red rat-L-trap along a 3' grass-line to "hooked-up" with a huge Oppelousas Catfish which weighed-in at 34 lbs-15 ozs.
Day-2-Sam Rayburn Pro, Bud Pruitt, stuck with his pattern of fishing 3 southlake areas which had scattered grass-clumps while fishing 1/2 oz TNN-shad & bleeding shiner rat-L-traps for "tipping" the grass-tops. Bud Pruitt managed to cull up a quality bass catch of 5 bass/21.10 lbs today for a two day total of 10 bass/42.05 lbs which included his rat-L-trap catch of 10.3 lbs for being the #1 lunker for day-2 earning him a "cool" $1,000 BIG BASS BASScheck.--Kenyon Hill of Norman OK, stepped up from 23rd position to 2nd by catching the heaviest weight of the day for his 5 bass/22.06 lb weigh-in while fishing 3 baits, a 1/2 oz chartreuse rat-L-trap, a firetiger 7A Bomber, and a homemade 1/2 oz black/blue jig while fishing shallow mid-lake coves and creek channel edges which had "thick" new grass in 5' to 6' of water. Kenyon's 4 bass/14.06 lb 23rd place sack 1st day catch added to his 5 bass/22.06 lb weight for day-2 gave him a 9 bass/36.12 lb total and the 2nd place leaderboard mark.

Day Three;
(1st-15 bass/54.12 lbs)-"I wish to thank Jesus Christ, began the greatfull angler who had just won the BASSMaster TX Invitational, "and I also give thanks to my wife and family who've given me such great support as well as my sponsors, BassCat/OMC, Castaway, and Lucky Strike baits. "My main Pattern was fishing flat bays which had lots of thick green hydrilla clumps, Bud informed, as he told of working Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20# Trilene mono. "I used 1/2 oz bleeding shiner rat-L-traps, Pruitt explained, adding that he managed to catch 10 bass on day one for culling his 5 bass/20.11 lbs, 9 bass on 2nd day for his 5 bass/21.10 lbs, and 6 bass on day 3 for 5 bass/12.7 lbs, which gave him a total of 15 bass/54.12 lbs, and the 1st place keys to a $26,000 Ranger 488VS/Mercury 200 and a $16,000 1st place check. Bud Pruitt would also hold the "top bass" of the tournament with his 2nd day 10.3 lb lunker.

(2nd-15 bass/48.4 lbs-)-"This is such a great place to be, smiled Takahiro Omori of Emery TX, "I really love this lake and all the wonderful people who live here. Takahiro Omori first started fishing Rayburn 8 years ago while he was still living in Japan, but he quickly moved to Lake Fork Texas to be close to his tournament fishing. "I fished the Black Forest area, Omori began to inform as he explained how he manuevered his Ranger/Yamaha along creek channel edges which had hydrilla clumps. "The key was to fish 3/4 oz shad Daiwa TD Vibration lipless crankbaits from the 5' edges down along the 8' to 9' drop-offs, Omori pointed out as he told of catching 6 bass on day 1 for 5 bass/12.8 lbs, 12 bass on day 2 for 5 bass/19.15 lbs, and 8 bass on day 3 for 5 bass/15.13 lbs for a total of 15 bass/48.4 lbs to win the 2nd place keys to a $25,000 Ranger 462VS/Mercury 175 and a check for $2,000.

(3rd-15 bass/47.15 lbs-)- "Skeeter/Yamaha, announced Jerrel Pringle of China Spring TX, as he explained how he was able to maneuver to mid-lake timber for catching his 3rd place finish. "I worked Berkley rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20# P-line, Jerrel began to inform as he further told of fishing parrot colored Norman DD-22's and DD-14's along 6' to 10' depths while looking for staging pre-spawners. "I managed to catch 6 bass on the first day for my 5 bass/12.15 lbs, 10 bass on day 2 for 5 bass/19.12 lbs, and 7 bass on day 3 for 5 bass/15.4 lbs, Jerrel added up as he took possession of the $25,000 Ranger/461VS/Mercury 175 3rd place prize.

Day two Big Bass came in with Jason Reynolds of Stratford OK, as he made that one last cast at 3:pm before heading in for his 3:15pm deadline. "I nailed that 9.13 lb Rayburn lunker on a 1/2 oz R2-44 rat-L-trap, Jason grinned as he informed of catching it from a 6' grass-snag. It was a pretty lucky catch for Jason as well, as right after he weighed the bass in, Bass/Pro, Jerry Knight digitized a 9.9 lunker on the scale right behind him. But Jason's catch held as day 3 big bass which gave him a $1,000 BASSCheck.

And as the Pro's were wrangling their top weights for the tourny, the K-Mart Casting kids were flippin' & pitchin' there way to the national casting kids contest which would qualify them for the 2001 BASSMaster's Classic.
TOP Casting Kids
(11 to 14 yrs)-
Justin Hixon-Lufkin, TX-(13 yrs)-
Zachary McMahon, Jasper, TX-(12 yrs)-
Taylor Cozart, Vidor, TX-(12 yrs)-
Coale Anders, Evadale, TX-(11 yrs)-
(7 to 10 yrs)
Hunter Gothia, Bridge City, TX-(10 yrs)-
Aston Lee, Lufkin, TX-(10 yrs)-
Cody Hixon, Lufkin, TX-(10 yrs)-
Marx Marcantel, Jasper, TX-(10 yrs)-

Top 10 BASSMaster's;
1-Bud Pruitt-Sam Rayburn, TX------------------------15 bass/54.12 lbs-$16,000-$26,000 Ranger
2-Takahiro Omori-Emory, TX--------------------------15 bass/48.4 lbs-$2,000-$25,000 Ranger
3-Jerrel Pringle-China Spring, TX-------------------15 bass/47.15 lbs-$25,000 Ranger
4-Wayne Crumpton-Royal, AR-------------------------15 bass/47.12 lbs-$9,000
5-Kenyon Hill-Norman, OK-----------------------------15 bass/46.4 lbs-$7,000
6-Randy Behringer-Waco, TX-------------------------15 bass/45.15 lbs-$5,500
7-Cody Bird-Granbury, TX------------------------------15 bass/45.8 lbs-$5,000
8-Chad Kelley-Haughton, LA---------------------------15 bass/45.7 lbs-$4,500
9-Terry Garner-Mansfield, TX-------------------------15 bass/44.6 lbs-$4,000
10-Todd Faircloth-Jasper, TX---------------------------15 bass/44.2 lbs-$3,700

Day One Big Bass-(10.1-lbs)-David Hall of Lehighton, PA-$1,000
Day Two Big Bass-(10.3-lbs)-Bud Pruitt of Sam Rayburn, TX-$1,000
Day Three Big Bass-(9.13 lbs)-Jason Reynolds of Stratford, OK-$1,000

"TAKE NOTE FOLKS OF THE TOP 3 BIG BASS".........Rayburn's coming back strong!!

All bass were live released via the BASSMaster's Fish Recovery Team for a 3rd day catch of 1,114 bass weighing 2,637 lbs for a 3 day total of 3,261 bass weighing 7,690 lbs. The BASSMaster's paid out $213,000 in cash & prizes to the top 55 positions with a cut off of 32.3 lbs... ...."Amazing"...!!

For more information on BASSMaster Tournament events contact (334)-272-9538 -or clic to- <www.bassmaster.com>

Sponsors of the 2000 BASSMASTER Central Invitational include Ranger Boats, RangerTrail Trailers, Mercury Outboards, BIG Kmart, Chevy Trucks, ACDelco Batteries, Humminbird/Zercom Marine, Pennzoil Marine, JERZEES OUTDOORS, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems and MotorGuide Trolling Motors and the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, "and" the BASSMaster Central Division Texas Invitational Anglers.


Bud Pruitt #1 Pro/Angler

Bud Pruitt with 10.3 lb #1 "Overall" Big Bass

< photos by Ed Snyder >


disregard

Takahiro Omori #2 Pro/Angler

Year/2000 Rayburn K-Mart Casting Kids Champions

Green with "BIG" catfish catch

Hall with 10.1 lb #2 Big Bass

Reynolds with 9.13 lb #3 Big Bass

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